Just like every window is not created equally because of their NFRC rating, not all window warranties are the same either.
Warranties on products are meant to both inspire confidence in the consumers perception of a product and to protect a consumer from any repairs or replacement costs associated with a product malfunction or failure during any warranty period.
Warranties on new or replacement windows are critical in protecting your wallet from costly damages. Furthermore, warranties on the glass may be available and offered separately from your window based on the manufacturer. Below are some tips to help differentiate different warranties associated with windows.
Questions to ask about Window Warranties when shopping for new windows
- Do you offer a warranty on all your windows?
- How long is the warranty valid for?
- Does the warranty cover all parts? Only the Window Frame? Only the Window Glass?
- Is the warranty limited or full?
- Does the warranty cover labor?
- How easy is it to register for the warranty?
- How soon can I expect my window to be fixed or replaced while under warranty?
- Is the warranty transferable (passed along to subsequent homeowners)?
Window Warranty Basics
Window warranties are NOT mandatory, which could leave you in a hot water if your new windows start giving you problems. We recommend asking your window installer the following questions to ensure your window’s warranty is right for your situation.
Do you offer a warranty on your windows? Since warranties are not mandatory, some companies may not offer or include a warranty for your windows. If your contractor does not offer any warranties with the installation, consider purchasing a warranty directly from the manufacturer. If neither option is available this should be an immediate red flag and should consider finding a different window contractor.
How long is the warranty valid for? The scope of warranties often differ by product, brand, or manufacturer. Some warranties may be a “lifetime” warranty, meaning they are valid forever. Others may only be valid for one, five, or 10 years, while others may last as long as 20! Always ask which parts and services are included with the warranty!
Does the warranty cover all parts? A window may seem simple, but depending on the function, it may have moving parts like in double hung or casement windows. A manufacturer’s warranty may or may not cover the glass, hardware (e.g. its lock, hinges), window screen, etc. Be sure to ask what parts are covered in your window’s warranty. Ideally, all parts are protected under your warranty and the labor associated with fixing any defective parts.
Does the warranty cover labor? Similar to covering the various parts of a window, a warranty may or may not cover its installation. Although you can rely on most companies to properly install a window (especially if they are a window and door company), your windows may be installed incorrectly and result in insecure seals or a malfunction. Common sealant failures are explained in depth by the largest sealant manufacturer if you are installing windows on your own.
Is the warranty a limited warranty or full warranty? Not every window warranties are the same. If your window comes with a full warranty then all parts should be replaced by the manufacturer or contractor in a reasonable amount of time at your convenience. A limited warranty is more strictly regulated and may only apply to certain parts or appeal to specific defects. Limited warranties offer less coverage than a full warranty and are only as specific in their coverage as the manufacturer or retailer wants.