It’s essential to read the fine print on a warranty when purchasing a new window. Many companies that sell or install windows offer a manufacturer’s warranty on parts and labor, but only for the first year. Some companies will offer labour for another year on top of the manufacturer’s original warranty, but they’ll charge you for the replacement of small parts that relate to the window’s function. Not a great scenario to be in when the windows are essentially brand new. Also, interestingly – some companies will offer lifetime warranties - which sounds fantastic until you learn that the company has only been around for a couple of years. It’s kind of difficult to have comfort in a lifetime warranty with a limited track record to date.
Here’s the kicker. Read this article by Clayton Dekorne at Remodeling. Did you know that 30% of the windows that are replaced are only about 7 years old? The article makes a few great points about the necessity to really read the fine print on the supported warranty with whoever you’re purchasing your windows from, as in many cases, it’s got conditions and exceptions that can be unreasonable and which don’t exactly work in your favour or reflect a quality product. This is a highly important aspect of things in our opinion. So important, that it should be front and center in terms of your decision on a purchase. Here’s a few bullet points from the article to look out for when reading the warranty paperwork on some of the windows you might be considering…
- “Non-prorated” warranties, which will cover the entire purchase price of the window for the term of the warranty. Remodelers are familiar with prorated warranties on roofs. But a well-made window shouldn’t gradually degrade with exposure as rapidly as roofing materials do, so there is little justification for such a warranty structure.
- “Fully transferable” warranties. These are a sign that the window maker means business. For a homeowner selling a home, it can be a value-added feature that the remodeler ought to make available when recommending a window. For the record, our warranty is fully transferable for it’s 20 year duration.
- “Non-glass” component warranty. Hardware, in particular, should carry a minimum 10-year warranty. A good window with bad hardware is a bad window, Mathis insists. If a lock breaks or the crank handle strips out, it will reflect poorly on the remodeler who installed the window. Think about the window manufacturer’s capacity to stock replacement parts well into the future.
- “Labor and installation.” Unless a certified representative of the manufacturer installed the unit, few warranties will cover the cost of installation. Some may, but largely this will fall to the remodeler who installed the window — even more reason for remodelers to stick with brands they can trust.
- “Exclusions.” Some warranties specifically exclude coverage for damage from environmental factors such as high humidity or salt spray, making installation especially inappropriate in many locations. Often the exclusion applies to the glass, as well as the hardware and finishes.
- “Finishes.” Coverage on finishes is rare, but some warranties do cover exterior coatings and finishes on cladding. However, painting or refinishing the exterior to match the home may null this coverage. This is particularly true with warranties on aluminum-clad and vinyl units.
With all of this to say, we’re not just shedding light on this without backing it up with our 28 years in the business and what many consider one of the best warranties in the industry. You can read about our warranty – here. We offer a 20 year warranty on our products that includes the parts AND the labor.