You know you have to have them, but what do window replacement warranties truly entail? Truth be told, they are not created equal. Window warranties can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and from contractor to contractor, making them confusing for a lot of homeowners. A little bit of research, however, can go a long way to making sure that your upgrades are worth your time, money and effort.
One effective way of protecting your window investment is by choosing a brand that offers comprehensive warranty coverage. These warranties are meant to protect you from costly repairs and replacements should your new windows malfunction due to material defects or installation issues, so it’s critical to have them.
PROTECTION FOR YOUR WINDOWS: When it comes to window replacement, you want to make sure you’re getting products and services covered by strong warranties.
What Makes a Good Window Warranty?
Did you know that window warranties are not required by law? This means window manufacturers are not obliged to provide their products with warranties for your protection. As such, those that actually offer them have incredible commitment to quality and customer excellence, showing how confident they are in their products and services by offering you the ultimate assurance in the form of generous warranty terms.
However, for a window warranty to be considered good, it needs to cover a lot of aspects. National brands, like Renewal by Andersen®, for instance, offer comprehensive warranties, which include coverage for:
- Frame and Glass – Window structural integrity is largely dependent on window frame and glass. Should window damage present itself due to defects in the manufacturing process, your window should be repaired or replaced at no cost to you.
- Hardware and Accessories – Like your home, your replacement window is a complex system of moving parts. However, not all manufacturers cover hardware and accessories, focusing solely on major components like window frame and glass. Hardware and accessories are very much a part of your window, influencing both its form and function, so they too should be covered by window warranties.
- Installation Labor – In the same way that a window warranty signifies product quality, it also points to reliable installation work. Enlisting the aid of a professional to install your windows is a great way to ensure you’re getting reliable installation work, but warranty coverage is an even better assurance that you’re being provided with the installation service you deserve.
Lifetime, Limited and Full Warranties: What Are They?
DIFFERENT WARRANTY TERMS: Manufacturers may have different perspectives regarding warranty terms, so make sure everything is clear before starting any work with your contractor.
One of the first things you want to verify before signing a contract with a window company is how long their warranty is valid. Typically, window warranty validity could last anywhere between two years to a lifetime. Now, this is the tricky part—”lifetime” could mean one of these two things: a) the warranty is valid for as long as the product is available on the market or b) the warranty is valid for as long as the original homeowner owns it. Make sure you’re clear on when your coverage starts and when it expires before signing anything.
When you review the conditions and exclusions of your warranty, you’ll see that there are types of issues not protected under it. A limited warranty usually covers only specific parts and/or types of defects, and doesn’t normally include labor costs. A full warranty on the other hand, includes complete repairs or replacement of the defective product as long as they fall within the specified validity period.
How to Make the Most of Your Window Warranty
Strong window warranties are vital because they protect you from unwanted costs in the event something goes wrong with your replacements. In other words, they make sure you don’t pay for mistakes other people made, which can be costly, depending on how severe the resulting issue is.
To help you make the most of your window warranty and avoid these issues, keep these important tips in mind:
- Hire a certified contractor. Just because a contractor offers “professional” services doesn’t mean their products and workmanship will come with extensive warranties. When a contractor is certified by top manufacturers, it means they have passed the qualifications necessary to attain exclusive certifications, making them eligible to offer comprehensive manufacturer warranties to their customers.
It’s not enough to simply purchase a window with a warranty. To make the most of your investment, be sure to read the fine print that comes with it.
- Read and understand the fine print. Nobody enjoys reading paperwork, but it’s necessary if you are to learn everything you can about your window warranty. Again, as mentioned earlier, warranties may vary so never make assumptions about coverage. If there’s anything you don’t understand at all, don’t hesitate to let your contractor know.
- Be careful not to render your warranty void. There are a few things that might void your warranty, one of the most common of which is not using a certified installer. Window installation requires ideal conditions to ensure optimum performance, and not meeting these conditions puts replacements at risk of issues down the line. To enjoy the benefits of a window warranty, make sure that you turn to certified professional installation team for the job.
A replacement project can do a lot for you and your home, and you can make sure those benefits last by ensuring that you have the right window replacement warranty in place. As it is, getting new windows can be a significant investment, so you’re definitely going to want to guarantee every dollar you spend goes to great use. Should you wish to learn more about window replacement and included warranties, just give your local window expert a call today.
Dave Steffes is the owner of Renewal by Andersen of Des Moines, where he has many contacts in the roofing, siding and window industries. He enjoys talking about various topics related to home improvement, regardless if he’s with friends or clients. Check out the company blog for updates from Dave!