Some manufacturers offer lifetime window and door warranties including labor, others offer 10-year warranties on the full product along with 20 years for the window glass while others exceed the 10/20 and extend their coverage to a 10/30 year warranty.
And the layman homeowner says …
“What does all this mean!? I sure like the idea of a lifetime warranty for my windows and if that warranty also includes labor, Wow! That sounds like a great deal! When I think about a 10/20 or 10/30 warranty that starts getting a little complicated, and what could possibly go wrong with a modern state of the art window with the most up-to-date glass available anyways?”
And the seasoned salesperson says …
“Whoa, hold on there, let’s break down what you are getting from those warranties, the give and take that you should expect when you make your final decision on the windows and doors for your home and how you will live with your choices, and what the manufacturer’s stake is on the line to extend their warranties”.
Looking into aspects of a “Lifetime Warranty – Including Labor”
This warranty is typical of a top of the line vinyl window and door product line. SolarGlass offers Milgard vinyl products for projects in which this product line calls for, but we do advise our customer’s regarding the typical lifespan and the high rate of expansion/contraction that is inherent with the raw materials used in the manufacturing of this type of product. Now, this being said, on to the warranty aspect … Yes, the warranty from Milgard and some other vinyl manufacturers is for a lifetime and in Milgard’s case along with some other vinyl manufacturers the warranty includes labor. A lifetime in this type of warranty is measured by the length of time that the “original” owner owns their home. This delves into a gambling game played by window & door manufacturers of the scenario that a typical homeowner stays in their home 3-5 years.
For the gambling manufacturer, they will be exposed for the majority of the homes where their products are installed, in the window business realm for only a very short period of time. The manufacturers usually have a clause included in their warranty text that a limited time/non-lifetime transferrable warranty is extended to the 2nd home buyer, however that is typically only a one-time transfer. Now, considering the die-hard homeowners who actually stay in their home for a lifetime, which is very rare indeed in this modern day. They can expect to have several glass seal failures replaced at no cost to them, and depending on the window or door operation they may have a few units which need hardware replacement too. Warranties however typically exclude normal wear, or color fading aspects that can be expected in a vinyl window line along with proper care and cleaning that homeowners should expect to complete. Expansion and contraction is an expected and inherent aspect of vinyl product which means heat expands and cold contracts, and on those cold, cold winter days and nights the vinyl is contracted and air infiltration is to be expected. So, at the times when you need the warmest window possible, instead you can have a window with the most air infiltration.”
Now until part 2 and 3 of these blog posts are complete go with a window/door distributor who is forthright in manufacturer’s warranties and knowledgeable with not only their own product lines, but just as important go with who is knowledgeable with competitors lines, ask questions and read the fine print in manufacturer’s warranty details.