Just about anything and everything you buy nowadays comes with a warranty. You might not pay attention to it anymore, but the fact is that there’s a wealth of information in a product’s warranty. With an investment as important as your home’s windows, it’s crucial to know the extent of–what is and what isn’t covered–by your window warranty.
Wait, do I really need a warranty for my windows?
The long and short of it is “yes.” In a nutshell, your new window’s warranty serves to protect you against any problems that the window might have come with. This is not to say that there’s anything wrong with your window — far from it, in most cases. It is merely an acknowledgment that, sometimes, despite all the best effort, things can go wrong with your window.
The warranty serves as your lifeline to getting things fixed in just such a situation. It’s a token that you can trust the person you paid for the window or the installation, that they have confidence in their products and services.
What a Window Replacement Warranty Means
Not all warranties cover all the things that can potentially go wrong; there are, in fact, two types of warranties: there’s the product warranty, which protects against defects the window might have had coming off the production line, and there’s the workmanship guarantee, which safeguards you against problems caused by human error that might have occurred during the installation of your new windows.
Between the two, you’re covered on all fronts, assured that your new window is working as it should. However, take note that product warranties and workmanship guarantees are typically offered separately. They may be offered together though when a contractor is certified by a manufacturer.
What Makes for a Good Window Warranty?
It’s important to note that not all warranties are created equal, however. Just like two similar products in the same price range don’t necessarily work exactly the same, it’s possible that the warranties offered for similar products, or even the warranty on the same product offered by two different merchants, will have different terms. This is one reason why it’s important not only to go with a company that does good work, but one that also offers the best possible warranty on their work and products.
So what, exactly, should you be looking for in a warranty?
For starters, the warranty should cover as long a period of time as possible. Things will eventually wear out, but it’s unrealistic to expect a warranty to cover the entire lifetime of a product. At some point, product failure will be due to aging and regular wear and tear, and cannot be attributed to defects in the window.
However, some companies are willing to go farther than others, even to the point of guaranteeing warranty coverage for the lifetime of the product. That shows a special kind of confidence right there: it’s the kind of confidence that shows that you know your product is superior in every way when compared to the competition, and only accident or human error can produce a product that is less than perfect.
Similarly, some warranties will only cover specific parts of the window — maybe it’s just the glass, or maybe it’s just the frame that a company is willing to guarantee. Instead of settling for such an inferior warranty, look for a company that’s not only willing to give a long warranty on their windows, but is also willing to cover all of the parts of the product. By offering you a warranty that is both extensive and long-lasting, the company is telling you that you’re buying the best windows money can buy.
Other Things to Consider
While the terms of a warranty might look good on paper, the proof is, as they say, in the pudding. Or, in this case, registering and, ultimately, using the warranty itself.
Even if the terms of the warranty look favorable, if it feels like it’s too difficult to register or use a warranty based on instructions from a manufacturer or contractor, then you should question how willing are they really to stand behind what they are offering. Give the warranty a good once-over, and look for things like the ability to transfer the warranty to a subsequent owner, what limits, if any, the company is looking to tack on to the claims process, and the terms and conditions that cover when and where the warranty is valid. It’s the little things like these, in addition to the broader strokes of the rest of the warranty, that set apart a good warranty from a truly great warranty.
Should you have any questions or concerns about window warranties, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a window expert in your area. Much like how you’re in the market for the best replacements for your home, so should you be on the lookout as well for the best warranties around.
Alex Esler is the marketing manager for Renewal by Andersen of San Francisco. She is an integrated marketing professional with a digital focus, driven and inspired by her work to help homeowners find the window replacement solutions they are looking for. For updates from Alex, check out the company blog!