Published: June 9, 2022
Summary: Yes, most Pella replacement windows have a lifetime warranty; however, it’s not all-inclusive and only applies to the original purchaser, or for ten years from the date of purchase if the home is sold. Coverage varies by product and each individual component, finish or feature.
When purchasing replacement windows for your home, understanding warranty coverage is a critical part of the process. Here’s what we like about Pella® Windows: they include a lifetime warranty on most of their replacement window products. However, it’s important to note that it’s a “lifetime limited warranty,” which only applies to certain parts of the product, not the entire unit.
For most Pella products, non-glass components (such as the frame, sashes and hardware) are covered for as long as the buyer owns the home. Paint and finishes typically have a warranty period of 10 or two years, depending if it’s painted or anodized, and glass coverage ranges from five to 20 years. (More details below.)
Also, warranty coverage may depend on the degree of damage or product failure, and how much that defect impacts operation or performance of the window. For example, a certain amount of fading is allowable for a vinyl window, but excessive fading outside of normal amounts might be cause for a warranty claim. The word “limited” is typically included in the language used for lifetime warranties to protect the manufacturer from claims for minor defects or cosmetic issues that can be considered normal or expected.
Also, it’s important to know that damage to the home is excluded, even if it’s a direct result of a defective product. If you have a defective window frame that causes water damage on the window sill and walls, for example, the warranty would not cover that damage. Shipping costs of replacement product from Pella may also be an out-of-pocket charge.
Here’s a tricky part to be aware of… If the home is sold, certain parts of a Pella warranty may transfer to the new owner, but the lifetime warranty shifts to a ten (10) year warranty that begins on the original date the product was purchased, not the date of home purchase. If the home is sold a second time, any subsequent owners also qualify for transferable warranty coverage, if it’s within the timeframe allowed.
Despite this, we have faith in Pella product and their superior customer service, which is one of the best we’ve seen. “Pella makes a quality product – especially their Impervia line of fiberglass windows, which holds up beautifully to Phoenix weather. It’s very durable and never warps in the heat,” says DunRite Owner Sal Sucato. “In our experience, warranty claims are uncommon.”
Installation vs. Product Warranty Coverage
Here’s another aspect of warranty coverage that’s important to know. Manufacturers typically separate the product warranty from the installation warranty, since that is provided by the installer, and Pella is no different. Labor is only covered for the first two years, so ensuring you purchase Pella product from a reputable installer with a solid installation warranty is important. Otherwise, a claim can lead to unexpected out-of-pocket costs, even though it’s under warranty.
Did you know DunRite offers a lifetime* installation warranty? If Pella doesn’t cover labor, we will. Arizona requires contractors to provide a minimum two-year warranty for installation, which is what home improvement stores and most installers provide.
Lifetime warranties sound great, but Pella’s is not all-inclusive.
Adding a layer of complexity, Pella warranty coverage differs from product line to product line, and also for individual components within a window or door product. The term “lifetime coverage” does not apply to the entire unit.
For example, a vinyl window has a lifetime warranty for non-glass components (which for Pella includes the frame, sashes and hardware—excluding finishes on that hardware). However, if you choose factory-painted black exteriors, Pella only includes a ten year warranty on their exterior paint. And the glass only has a warranty of five, ten or twenty years, depending on the type of glass and any films or upgrades to the glass.
Plus, If that same home is sold four years after the installation, the new buyer only has six years remaining of the lifetime warranty on some components but not others, according to what is defined as transferable under the original warranty. Some things don’t transfer. Homeowners can be caught by surprise to learn their warranty coverage may not apply, depending on which component is defective.
Confusing, right? Window and door warranties can be a minefield of details.
Let’s elaborate… Say a Pella installation included 22 vinyl windows, and a patio door with mini-blinds between the panes of glass. If those mini-blinds broke two years after the new owners purchased the home, it would not be covered by the warranty. Sure, some elements are still covered under warranty, like the hardware—but mini-blinds aren’t considered hardware. They have their own line item under the glass warranty terms, which includes five years of warranty coverage for “insulated glass with blinds sealed between the panes of glass.” So when the blinds broke two years after purchase, it was actually SIX years since the original installation, and warranty coverage had already expired.
That same patio door without mini-blinds would have the standard ten-year warranty for laminated safety glass. Vinyl windows in the same home would have a twenty-year glass warranty, since they use non-laminated glass. So as an example of a window warranty claim, a window with condensation between the panes of glass, signifying failure of a window seal, would probably be covered under the warranty, even if it was 19 years after the installation and two or three subsequent homeowners, not the original purchaser.
No wonder many homeowners don’t take time to understand a warranty. They can be very complicated with many loopholes. Pella’s is fairly complex, too. Let’s take a closer look at their current documentation.
Pella Warranty Coverage by Material and Product Line
(Click or swipe the tab below for details.)
- This includes the following product lines: Pella® 250 Series, Encompass by Pella®, Pella® Hurricane Shield Series™ and Pella® Defender Series™.
- Non-glass components are covered for as long as the buyer owns and occupies the home, or ten (10) years from the date of original purchase if the home is sold (transferable). Hardware finishes are not covered by warranty.
- Glass coverage includes twenty (20) years for non-laminated glass, ten (10) years for laminated glass (such as HurricaneShield® or safety glass), and five (5) years for insulating glass with blinds or shades sealed inside (transferable).
- Exterior surround made with AZEK trim is covered for twenty-five (25) years (transferable).
- Factory-applied exterior paint is warrantied for ten (10) years (transferable).
- This warranty detail applies only to Pella vinyl window and patio door product purchased on or after February 9, 2017. View the full documentation here. For product purchased before that date, you can find appropriate documentation here.
- This includes the Pella® Impervia® product line.
- Non-glass components – Pella Impervia Duracast fiberglass components are covered for as long as the buyer owns and occupies the home, or ten (10) years from date of original purchase if the home is sold (transferable). Non-Duracast fiberglass resin materials used for specialty shapes other than rectangular, and glass stops, are covered for ten (10) years (transferrable). Hardware finishes are not covered by warranty.
- The paint finish or exterior powder coatings on Duracast fiberglass are covered for ten (10) years (transferrable).
- Glass is warrantied twenty (20) years for non-laminated glass, ten (10) years for laminated glass (such as HurricaneShield® or safety glass), and five (5) years for insulating glass with blinds or shades sealed inside (transferable).
- Exterior surround made with AZEK trim has a twenty-five (25) year warranty (transferable).
- Factory-applied exterior paint is warrantied for ten (10) years (transferable).
- Bay and bow windows are the only Pella product to cover termite damage, which is covered for the first two (2) years. These specialty shapes also have a two (2) year warranty on factory paint or stain applied to the interior.
- The above warranty details apply only to Pella fiberglass window and patio door product purchased on or after November 30, 2020. View the full documentation here. For product purchased before that date, please find appropriate documentation here.
- This includes the Pella® Reserve™, Architect Series® and Pella® Lifestyle Series product lines.
- Because of its need for ongoing maintenance, wood products can be the most challenging type of warranty claim. Homeowner’s must prove that product failure is unrelated to a maintenance issue, and any resulting damage to the home is excluded from coverage.
- Wood and aluminum-clad wood products, and non-laminated glass, is covered for as long as the buyer owns and occupies the home. It is the only Pella window product with a non-transferable warranty for non-glass components if the home is sold. Hardware, laminated glass and screens/blinds/shades are covered for a ten (10) year period (transferable).
- Interior factory finishes are covered for two (2) years (transferable).
- Exterior finishes vary as follows:
- Twenty (20) years for EnduraClad™ Plus paint if it excessively chalks or fades (transferable). Cracks, corrosion and peeling are not covered.
- Ten (10) years for EnduraClad paint if it excessively chalks or fades (transferable). Cracks, corrosion and peeling are not covered.
- Ten (10) years for anodized finishes if it cracks, peels or excessively corrodes (transferable). Chalking or fading is not covered.
- This warranty detail applies only to Pella wood and aluminum-clad wood window and patio door product purchased on or after November 30, 2020. View the full documentation here. For product purchased before that date, please find appropriate documentation here.
It’s also worth noting that product purchased at a Pella-owned retail showroom includes a ten (10) year installation warranty. However, service calls after the first two years incur a service charge of $75 or more per product (not per trip or repair).
Need we mention DunRite’s free lifetime warranty includes
zero service charge? Nada. Zip. Ziltch.
More fine print…
This article details Pella warranty coverage for residential single family homes, but investor-owned, multi-family and commercial property warranties have their own documentation. The residential warranty paperwork is unclear how coverage applies to second homes, or second homes used as a part-time AirBnB rentals; if that applies to you, then it would be smart to chase down specifics directly from the manufacturer.
The warranty does include a list of things that void the warranty, such as aftermarket films or paint, harsh cleaning products, drilling a screw or nail through the window frame, etc. The complete list can be found in the documentation. Also, naturally, incorrectly installing product and not following maintenance requirements can void the warranty, too. These must comply with Pella specifications.
It might be helpful to know that Pella has several options to service an approved warranty claim, which is chosen at their discretion. They can repair or replace the product, or refund the original purchase price. However, replaced product is not guaranteed to match installed product.
All Pella warranties include a damage liability release, and waive the right of the buyer to participate in a class action lawsuit (unless they opt out within 90 days of purchase). That’s a tricky detail we don’t like, even though it may or may not be enforceable… The newest version of warranty paperwork also claims to supersede earlier product warranties, which we question the legality of. As an installer, we’ve noticed every window and door manufacturer tends to include an exclusion and/or loophole or two in their documentation that we feel are not in our customer’s best interests, so please always take time to review documentation and ensure you’re comfortable before proceeding with a purchase.
For Pella, however, we will say this. Their documentation is one of the most complex in the industry, but DunRite has installed a lot of Pella products over the last few decades without running into ANY situations where Pella declined a claim unfairly or handled the situation in a way that left a customer unsatisfied. We’ve also never experienced issues working with Pella on warranty claims that left us unhappy.
Out of all of our product manufacturers, they consistently provide the best customer service. It’s exceptional and they’re right there for us.
“I don’t say this lightly, they are excellent,” says Sucato. “I know that if a problem occurs, Pella will handle the customer like I would. With five-star service.”
The warranty coverage details in this article only apply to Arizona homes; if you reside in another state, be aware that coverage differs based on the climate where the product is installed. For example, all warranties may be void if the property is located within two miles of a coastal seashore or anywhere in the State of Hawaii.
And if your warranty is about to expire? Know that you must provide notice of a claim to Pella before the term ends, although work is not required to be completed in that timeframe.
If you’d like to review the warranty for your Pella product, remember that warranty coverage tends to change as years pass. Your coverage is determined by the date of purchase on your sales contract, so if you are looking up your warranty on the manufacturer’s website, have that date on hand to review the correct coverage.
If you aren’t the original purchaser of the windows, and have no way to find out the installation date or who did the installation, you can try contacting Pella to see if any product has been registered to that address. You can also request a lookup using the name of the former owner of the home, which should be on your loan paperwork.
DunRite is a member of the Pella Certified Contractor Program. If you have questions about Pella products or warranty coverage, reach out to us using our Contact Us page, Facebook or Instagram and we’ll get you some answers! You can also schedule a no-obligation, in-home consultation for your home, if you’d like to discuss the pros and cons of Pella products or get a cost estimate.
* The DunRite Lifetime Guarantee only applies to the original purchaser for as long as they own the home. It is not transferable.