What’s in a Replacement Window Warranty?
There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a contractor for your home’s replacement windows; the quality of their work, and the price, to name a few. But of all of the variables to consider, warranties are the trickiest, and it can be hard for the average consumer to spot a good (or bad) replacement window warranty. Because of this, I want to take some time to break down what makes up a window warranty, so you can make the best decision you can. So what exactly is in a replacement window warranty? Here are some of the big pieces to look for:
Coverage – One of the first things you’ll want to figure out when looking at a warranty for replacement windows is what it actually covers. The average window warranty will cover the parts of the window and the glass seals at the very least. But what’s often missing from a window warranty is coverage for workmanship. Many window distributors hire a subcontractor to install the windows in your home, and because of this, won’t cover installation and workmanship under their warranties. You could have a great window put into your home, but it might be installed sloppily, and you won’t be covered for a bad installation. Also, be on the lookout for coverage exclusions. You’d be surprised how many exclusions and limitations you can find in a window warranty, and you’ll end up asking yourself: “what’s left to cover?”
Length – A lot of companies boast a “lifetime warranty” for their windows, but what does that really mean? Is that the owner’s lifetime? The home’s lifetime? The company’s lifetime? With all of this ambiguity, it can be hard to know exactly how long your windows are covered. When talking to a window salesperson about the warranty, make sure they can give you a real number, and that should be at least 40 years for all the parts and pieces of a window, and 25 years on the glass seals. It’s also important to know whether your warranty will be transferred to the new owner if you sell your home, without costing you or depreciating the warranty.
Proration – Proration means that over time, the warranty will cover a decreasing percentage of the cost to fix the problem. Say something happens and you need to replace a window half-way through the length of your warranty. If you have a warranty with a proration schedule, it might only cover a small part of the cost of replacement, and the rest comes out of your pocket. The bottom line is that with prorated warranty, your windows start to lose their value as soon as they are installed. If you want your warranty to still be worth something after a couple of decades, stay away from proration!
We know that warranties can be a pain for anyone buying replacement windows, and we know that there are plenty of companies out there offering mediocre warranties. That’s why at AHT Wisconsin Windows, we offer a straightforward, no-nonsense warranty on all of our windows. When you get windows from us, you get a fully transferable, non-prorated, 50 year warranty on all parts, and workmanship. But don’t just take my word for it; whenever we give a free, in-home estimate, we bring a copy of our warranty with us, so you can take a look yourself!