While window replacement is not the most expensive home remodeling project, it can be a significant investment. Ensuring that your investment is covered by a solid warranty should always be a part of your search for a replacement window installer.
Usually, there will be two types of warranties for your windows, one offered by the manufacturer and one by the window replacement contractor. The manufacturer warranty will cover issues such as glass breakage or hardware that malfunctions. On the other hand, the contractor's warranty will likely cover damage that occurs to the windows or your home during the install.
Before work begins, ask your replacement window installer these five warranty questions:
1. How long is the warranty valid?
Warranties come in many lengths, but they usually fit into one of three categories; lifetime warranties, limited lifetime warranties, and timeframe warranties. Usually, lifetime warranties cover your windows as long as they are subject to normal wear and tear, limited lifetime warranties will cover specific parts or certain types of defects and may not include the cost of labor to fix the issue, and timeframe warranties expire after a set number of years. Length of coverage will often vary for different components of the window, so make sure you read your contract carefully. Additionally, some warranties may be voided when the house is sold or may be transferable to the new owner regardless of the amount of time that has passed.
2. Does the warranty cover labor?
The replacement window installation company should have insurance to cover any accidental damage to your home or the windows as they are being installed, as well as damage sustained from improper installation. Ask about this insurance upfront. On top of a warranty for your windows, make sure the contractor is also insured, saving you from liability in case a worker gets injured or damage occurs during the project.
3. Which components are covered?
The manufacturer's warranty should cover all parts of the window, including the hardware (moving parts), frame, glass, and finish. However, different components will likely be covered for varying periods. For example, hardware such as balances or locking mechanisms should have lifetime coverage under conditions of normal wear and tear. Whereas, stains or finishes will be covered, but for a shorter period, such as ten years.
4. How soon can I expect my window to be fixed or replaced under warranty?
The window replacement company should be able to tell you how long it takes them to respond to a labor warranty, however, they may not be able to answer this question regarding the manufacturer's warranty. Make sure you have information on the window manufacturer and an easy way to contact them. Your window replacement contractor should share this information before you start work on your windows.
5. Is the warranty transferable?
In some cases, the warranty will be void when you sell your home. However, transferable warranties allow you, the original purchaser, to pass on the warranty to the next owner of your home. There will usually be stipulations on these warranties, and you will need to notify the manufacturing company. For example, when Brothers installs ProVia windows, ProVia offers a warranty that can be transferred from the original purchaser to one subsequent purchaser as long as ProVia receives a Warranty Transfer Certificate and a small fee within 30 days of the home purchase. If you are planning on selling your home, a transferrable warranty could add value. Just make sure you understand the terms.
Brothers offers a 10-year labor warranty on installed replacement windows and a transferable lifetime warranty on all parts, including accidental glass breakage. When you are considering window replacement, schedule a free, no-pressure consultation with one of our window installation experts.