Even if you buy top dollar windows, from time to time, something could go wrong. From the start of manufacturing to the finished installation, is a big project. Window warranties vary and understating them involves a lot of reading, memorizing and research. In general, the most popular warranties are Limited Lifetime, and Lifetime. Here we will break this down for you, and state some popular brands with warranties.
In window replacements, lifetimes doesn’t actually mean for life. It refers to the number of years declared by the manufacturer to be the products lifespan, how long it can hold a maximum quality. Low budget windows will come with a shorter lifespan typically. And sometimes the warranty is even less than the life span of the window. Some low budget windows only have a warranty for 3-5 years, not many people replace their windows every 3-5 years. High quality windows can be warrantied up to 50 years!
Limited Lifetime Warranties
Limited Lifetime Warranties are the most common. These generally cover defects in aesthetics and performance. Often times, these warranties have strict limitations, such as the warranty only covering the cost of the replacement part, but not the cost of labor to replace it. Most Limited warranties will cover costs related to errors in installation. Meaning, if something went wrong from the time the window was made, to the time it was claimed to be done, and you notice an error after completion, either your installation crew or your manufacturer is responsible for correcting the damage free of charge.
Read the fine print!
Generally speaking, having a warranty is better than not having one. Reading your (hopefully short) list of exclusions is crucial though. This list can be as excluding as the location of your window on your home, or where your home is located. Many warranties do not transfer from owner to owner. Meaning, if you bought a home with brand new windows, that warranty might be waved because the original owner has essentially sold the windows to you along with the home. Purchasing a window and installing it yourself or having an un-certified person install it for you, will almost always eliminate any warranty for your window. Here are some popular window companies that offer warranties, proving their titles can vary on covered elements.
Full lifetime warranty
This is the best possible warranty. Milgard offers to repair or replace any defect in materials or workmanship and will cover all costs in material and labor for the entire time the original window owner owns the home. If the owner chooses to sell the home, the warranty stands for up to 10 years of the original install date for the successive owner.
Pella offers specific warranties to nearly each of their types of products. You can check these out in complete detail here. For Vinyl windows, they offer a limited lifetime, and a transferable limited warranty, however the list of exclusions is over 30 list items long. Again- be sure to read the fine print!
Cascade Windows have a lifetime guarantee. For as long as the original owner lives in the house, they will fix any defects in materials or workmanship. That sounds promising, but it also sounds like all items have the same warranty. Cascade actually breaks down this policy into 3 different warranties. A Residential Lifetime Warranty, a 10 year commercial warranty, and a separate warranty for Folding Doors. The Residential Lifetime Warranty has ten list items that fall under exclusions. The titles sound straight forward but it's imporant to always read your exclusions and meanings.
Still have questions?
Z Double B Inc can walk you though these. We give free and honest advice from our window experts. We can also provide you with links and brochures for products we offer. You can visit our show room to pick these up at 12860 W. Cedar Drive, Lakewood, Colorado. Or call today to talk to an expert at 303-997-8168.