Replacement windows are an investment; installing windows onto your property can be expensive, so it should make sense to want to make the most of the product you’ve purchased. That’s the reason why getting the best available quality of windows coupled with an excellent warranty from a reliable window contractor is important when buying, installing, or replacing existing windows.
Smart homeowners know well enough to be on the lookout for a window warranty that will essentially cover any and all issues that could unexpectedly arise with their units. Just as is true for other product warranties, window warranties are meant to protect homeowners from costly repair or replacement costs; should a window unit malfunction or break while under warranty, they won’t need to shell out the money to have the issues fixed on their own.
Unfortunately, not all window contractors offer solid, reliable warranties, a situation that could leave you in a pickle if and when your new units start giving you problems. To avoid putting yourself in that awkward position, you need to be familiar with the basics of window warranties. We recommend asking your contractor the following questions to make sure you are protected by a strong warranty that is right for your needs.
What Does My Window’s Warranty Cover?
A window might seem like a simple home component, but contrary to what most homeowners think, it is actually a complex system of many different moving parts. For this reason, companies offer specific warranties for each crucial part. A material warranty may or may not cover the glass, hardware, screens, and other components. Before signing a contract, be sure to ask what parts are covered in the material warranty. Ideally, all parts should be protected to give homeowners absolute peace of mind.
On top of a material warranty, a reliable contractor should also provide coverage for workmanship errors. This is where the labor warranty comes in. Although you can rely on most local companies to properly install your replacement windows, your units may still be installed incorrectly, resulting in damaged seals and other similar malfunctions.
A labor warranty can protect you against these issues. Should your windows start showing problems possibly related to poor installation, the company should return to fix the issues for free. Similar to material warranties, though, labor warranties are not mandatory, so be sure to check with your contractor to know if they do cover the actual installation.
Can I Upgrade or Change My Glass Type?
Did you know that a huge part of your energy loss can be accounted for by the wrong choice of window glass? The right glass type, on the other hand, can significantly reduce energy-loss. If your window frames are in good condition, you’ll be happy to learn that there’s no need to replace your entire windows—many window companies allow switching out their standard glass panes for more energy-efficient panes at any time.
It’s easy to understand why more and more homeowners are putting increased effort on improving their home’s energy efficiency. For one thing, energy-efficient homes can help you save money on utility bills, all while keeping the temperatures of your indoor living spaces exactly as you like it. By going green, homeowners also do their part in saving the environment, as energy-efficient homes allow for a significantly smaller carbon footprint than most typical American homes. How’s this made possible? Switch to an energy-efficient glass package, like Renewal by Andersen®’s High-Performance™ Low-E4® glass, for instance.
Can My Window or Door’s Limited Warranty be Affected by Severe Weather Occurrences?
Tropical storms, hurricanes, severe precipitation, hail storms, and other weather disturbances may often exceed the intended performance of your windows. Such occurrences can cause leaks, mold, and rotting to occur. When your windows are constantly exposed to untreated water damage, they may warp, bow, or may be rendered useless. Warranties will not cover cases where the damage could be a result of the storm’s ferocity rather than poor installation.
Can I Convert or Modify My Window or Door?
Top manufacturers and contractors create their products with durability, energy efficiency, and maximum performance in mind. That’s why they design their products to ensure each piece works flawlessly with each other; this allows for simple and easy care. Should you modify the finished product — by extending the frames or removing some hardware, for instance — your replacement windows or doors may not deliver the expected performance. It’s better to simply replace the window or door in question rather than modify its parts.
Familiarize yourself with the basics of window replacement, and make sure to have a discussion on warranties with your suppliers to achieve a smooth-flowing project from start to finish. The takeaway from all this is, if your contractor does not offer any warranty on their products or workmanship, you may want to consider different windows or an entirely new contractor. Be sure to ask this question before reaching a signed agreement with your potential window installer.
Alex Esler works as a Marketing Manager for Renewal by Andersen, the window replacement subsidiary of Andersen Corporation. Their local, family-owned offices in Southern New England, Greater Philadelphia and Colorado make up the largest replacement window company in a network of 100 Renewal by Andersen Dealers. Always eager to help and known to maintain a positive outlook in life, Alex remains driven and inspired by her work and the causes she cares about.