Window warranties can be tricky, and understanding the fine print before you purchase a specific brand of home windows is important. Many homeowners don’t take the time to understand these details, and it may influence the decision process.
Most window brands do not offer global warranties that apply to all product lines they manufacture. Be sure to check the warranty for the specific product line you are considering, as it may differ based on the materials used.
For example, Milgard has a full lifetime warranty on most of its products for as long as the purchaser owns the home, but its moving glass wall systems are limited to ten years.
Also verify the warranty applies to the specific year that your product was made or installed, since warranty coverage can shift over time as the materials used change or improve. The warranty in effect at the time of installation may differ from newer product.
While limitations and exclusions apply, here is a quick overview of warranty details of the window brands that we install at DunRite Windows & Doors. We’ve also included Renewal by Andersen information, since it’s commonly requested.
- Parts & Term: Free repair or replacement of all covered products as long as the purchaser owns the home, or ten years from date of install for successive owners if the home is sold
- Labor: Included
- Glass Replacement: Can be included if requested, ask your sales associate for details
- Details: https://www.anlin.com/Warranty.aspx
- Parts & Term: The Tuscany and Trinsic Series include free repair or replacement of all covered products and services as long as the purchaser owns the home, or 10 years prorated coverage if the home is sold; Other lines include a lifetime warranty on frame coverage, and 20 year coverage on all other components. Painted and capstock finishes are limited to a 10 year coverage on all product lines.
- Labor: Included for the Tuscany and Trinsic Series; 10 years for other product lines.
- Glass Replacement: Lifetime coverage for the purchaser for the Tuscany and Trinsic Series; other product lines include a 10 year warranty. Ask your sales associate for details.
- Note that coverage begins on the date of manufacture, not installation.
- Details: https://www.milgard.com/warranty/full-lifetime-warranty
- Parts & Term: Free repair or replacement of all covered products for 20 years on glass (excluding Stormwatch), and 10 years on everything else. Fully transferable to a new owner if the home is sold with no limit during the warranty term.
- Labor: Some items not automatically included, determined by the individual dealer
- Glass Replacement: Not included
- Details: https://www.andersenwindows.com/support/warranty/
- Parts & Term: Free repair or replacement of glass and Fibrex for 20 years, 10 years on components, and 2 years on installation
- Labor: Includes all labor costs for covered products and services
- Glass Replacement: Not included
- Details: https://www.renewalbyandersen.com/homeowner-help/warranty
- Parts & Term: Free repair or replacement of non-glass materials and workmanship as long as the purchaser owns the home.
- For successive owners, ten years for non-glass materials and laminated glass, 20 years for non-laminated glass, 5 years for sealed blinds, 25 years for AZEK trim, and 10 years on DuraColor exterior paint.
- Labor: Labor and shipping is only included for the first two years
- Glass Replacement: Not included
- Details: https://www.pella.com/support-center/warranties/
Like every warranty, limitations and exclusions apply. It’s usually safe to assume anything related to a manufacturing defect or part that doesn’t work is typically covered by a warranty, but what’s NOT covered might surprise you.
Perhaps that’s why most window manufacturers call their warranties a “limited lifetime warranty.” It sounds great, but the loopholes can leave a homeowner frustrated.
“Warranties NEVER seem to cover what we think they do,” says Sal Sucato, owner of DunRite Windows & Doors.
“Our lifetime warranty is a bit different from most. We cover the shortfalls of the factory on labor, if they don’t take care of our customers. We will make it right. We also repair issues related to installation for life for the original purchaser, even if your home settles or moves. You can be confident that if there is ever a problem to be addressed, we’ll take care of it.”
EXCLUSIONS & LIMITATIONS TO BE AWARE OF
Here are a few examples of common exclusions to consider.
Installation Mistakes & Unauthorized Installers
All window brands exclude damage or defects from improper installation.
They also will void the warranty if installation is not performed by an authorized dealer or subcontractor, and/or a licensed contractor.
This protects them against installation methods that don’t follow best practices, install the wrong type of window for an opening, or perform work without the proper training.
Lack of Proper Maintenance
Manufacturers also commonly void the warranty if the windows have not been cared for and maintained as outlined in their documentation.
For example, if a window can’t open due to issues with the track, and the homeowner has not maintained the tracks by keeping them clean of dirt, or debris—or if the homeowner used a corrosive cleaning product or method that caused damage to the glass or frame—then the warranty will not apply if a problem arises due to neglect of the homeowner.
Here’s another example. If you are using a razor blade to scrape exterior paint dribbles from the frame of a window, and accidently slice the vinyl and break the seal, for example, the warranty won’t cover the damage caused by that blade.
Finishes, caulking, sealants, paints, after-market films or screens, and non-manufacturer parts are also excluded and may void the warranty.
Normal Wear & Tear
Weathering of finishes falls under this category, since most manufacturers do not cover normal wear, fading or discoloration caused by use, age or exposure to direct sunlight.
If you’ve purchased a white vinyl window at a too-good-to-be-true price and it turns yellow as time goes by, most manufacturers won’t replace it.
Likewise, if you install windows in your second home in San Diego that’s within walking distance of the ocean, manufacturers won’t replace windows that have issues with corrosion. It’s normal wear and tear when there is a high concentration of salt in the air. But if you have corrosion in a window for your Scottsdale home? It’s probably covered under warranty. We’re definitely more than two miles away from any bodies of saltwater.
Finishes on hardware is also excluded, along with damage from vandalism, burglary, abuse and natural catastrophes.
Lack of Maintenance
Window manufacturers also won’t cover window damage under a warranty if that window hasn’t received proper care and maintenance. For example, Andersen and Pella wood windows require a high amount of maintenance. If it’s ignored, the homeowner won’t be eligible for free replacement. It’s up to the homeowner to prove the defect or failure is unrelated to noncompliance.
A Different Homeowner
Some warranties also apply only to the original homeowner who purchased the windows, not secondary owners once a window has been installed. Milgard’s pro-rated warranty can be an example of this. Others, such as Anlin and Andersen, cover the buyer of the home once it’s exchanged hands.
Installation Issues Once a Building Settles or Moves on the Foundation
Because it’s a problem that occurs naturally after the installation has been successfully completed, most warranties do not cover issues that arise from a home that shifts on the foundation, or settles.
Screens, Integrated Blinds & Electric Motors or Drive Units
Some brands exclude these elements in their warranties, or provide a different term on the warranty that is shorter than the window itself because these elements tend to be more fragile and require replacement.
Soundproofing and any inert gas inserted between panels of glass may also have a limited warranty, since their effects may naturally dissipate over time.
Rental or Second Homes
Some warranties only apply if the home is continually occupied by the homeowner purchasing the windows. Windows installed on a rental or investment home, or a second home, may differ. If this applies to you, be sure to ask questions and review that specific warranty information from the manufacturer.
Failure to Notify
Even when a manufacturer extends the warranty to the next owner of the home if the property is sold, the wording of the warranty may be a bit tricky. For example, Anlin includes a clause in their warranty that requires the new owner to notify them within 90 days of their home purchase, or the warranty is terminated. If you’re purchasing a new home and the inspection reveals an issue with your windows, or if warranties are important to you, reviewing warranty details of any expensive components in the home during the first 30-60 days of closing is a smart thing to do.
DunRite’s Free Lifetime Installation Warranty
We believe in excellent customer service, and doing each job right. We offer a lifetime warranty on the installation of every window and door that we sell. This includes caulking that’s free of blistering, peeling or flaking; a water-tight seal from the exterior of the home to the window frame, and all components free of installation-related defects. If you have a problem, we’ll make it right
Learn more about our reputation for five-star service at the bottom of our home page. Be sure to click on the logos of review sites, such as Yelp, Rosie on the House and Angie’s List!