WINDOW REPLACEMENT GUIDE:
WARRANTY & SERVICE
Typically, window companies fall into one of two warranty approaches:
The large replacement window companies and most of the vinyl world offer a lifetime, often transferable, warranty on the product and labor. Since “lifetime” is a theoretical target and not a statement of true product life cycles, these warranties are written with the support of actuarial experts who calculate the frequency of validated warranty claims to determine their level of acceptable warranty exposure.
The other approach is to offer a ten-year warranty on the product itself and twenty years on glass seal failures. This approach has its roots in the large window manufacturers who built their businesses serving contractors and their new construction and remodel projects.
Which warranty is better depends on how you look at the difference between lifetime and life cycle. As a practical matter, I am not sure there is a big difference at the product level and, if the installation is of high quality, the labor warranty term will be less important.