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What’s a good warranty on new windows?

Another great window replacement question is, “How long will my warranty cover my windows?” Most companies will say, “a lifetime,” which is a very ambiguous term. When considering warranty issues, there are many components you need to consider.

  • Is the replacement window company backing the warranty or is the window manufacturer backing the warranty?
  • Does “lifetime” mean the lifetime of the window, the lifetime of your home, or the lifetime of how long you live in the home? Does the warranty cover the actual window as well as the installation of the window?
  • If a warranty issue arises, is your window warranty pro-rated?
  • Is there a cost to service the window if a warranty issue does arise?
  • If you sell your home, is the warranty transferable? If so, is there a cost for this?
  • If the glass accidentally breaks on your window, is this covered by the warranty?
  • If a window screen tears, does the warranty include the replacement of that screen?
  • Does the window company have a full-time service technician in case of a warranty issue? If so, is the service department open 24/7 in case of an emergency?

These are only some of the questions that you should be asking a window company when they claim to have a lifetime warranty. A simple tool you can use to ensure that the warranty is as good as the company claims is: Ask for references. Not for references of how well the company did when installing your windows but how well the company performed when asked to cover a warranty-related issue.

Ask the following questions:

  • How long did it take to file your service call?
  • How long did it take to complete your service call?
  • Was the technician on call when you filled your service call?
  • Was there any charge whatsoever for the service?

If the answers to these questions are:

  • The tech was on call the moment I filed my service call;
  • The tech was at my house that day and charged me no money whatsoever;
  • The policy of the company is to do the same in the future;

Then you’ve got yourself a good window warranty. If the company fails to respond immediately to any service call regardless of the size or attaches a charge to fix your window, then the warranty is obviously not as strong as it should be. The bottom line is you should be investing in windows one time only. That investment should be paid upfront and not over time, meaning that once you pay for your windows, you should never have to pay for anything relating to those windows again. Please make sure you ask about the warranty, and don’t let that discussion end with the common response – “Our warranty is a lifetime warranty.”

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