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The facts about window warranties

Let’s demystify window warranties. Get all the answers here for everything you need to know, including quick overviews of specific window brands available for installation at DunRite Windows & Doors. Ready to learn more? Read on!

DunRite installation - moving door systemWindow 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. Since it’s commonly requested, we’ve also included Renewal by Andersen information, a franchise business model of Andersen Windows.

All information assumes the home is owner-occupied, and is limited to window warranties. Door warranties often differ.

Andersen Windows logo

 

  • Andersen’s warranty coverage includes free repair or replacement of all covered products for 20 years on glass (excluding Stormwatch and decorative glass) from the date of purchase.
    • Decorative glass is warranted against seal failure for 10 years.
    • For claims, they have the option to provide replacement glass product to you without covering the cost of labor (which may be offered free of charge by the individual dealer at their discretion), provide factory-authorized repair at no cost, or a refund of the original purchase price.
  • For non-glass portions, including hardware, lift systems, screens, blinds, trim, sashes and workmanship, the warranty coverage is 10 years from the date of purchase, except for the following.
    • For the E-Series, wood and wood composite components are covered for 10 years, but the exterior is only covered for 5 years. Also, retractable door insect screens are covered for one year for most products, and 5 years for Andersen’s big multi-glide doors.
    • Some hardware finishes are excluded and weathering of hardware finishes are not considered a defect.
    • Some products or accessories have their own limited warranties.
  • Exterior color finishes are warranted for 10 years from the date of purchase for most products. However, changes in color on Fibrex frames and painted aluminum are only covered if they exceed a specific range, and anodized aluminum surfaces only include a 5 year warranty. Warranty remedies include refinishing, replacement or a refund.
  • These warranties are fully transferable to a new owner if the home is sold.
  • If Andersen product is installed by a Certified Andersen Dealer (like DunRite), a two-year installation warranty is included for this product regardless of what their typical installation warranty covers.
  • Details and exclusions: https://www.andersenwindows.com/support/warranty/

Pella authorized dealer/installer - Arizona replacement windows

  • Pella’s warranty includes free repair or replacement of non-glass materials and workmanship for as long as the purchaser owns the home.
    • Sealed blinds are covered for 5 years and exterior AZEK trim is covered for 25 years.
    • EnduraClad exterior paint, DuraColor exterior paint, aluminum cladding, powdercoat and anodized finishes are covered for 10 years.
    • Non-rectangular specialty shaped fiberglass windows, fiberglass by and bow windows, and non-Duracast fiberglass windows are excluded from lifetime coverage and have a 10-year warranty. Bay and bow windows also have a two-year warranty on all factory-applied interior paint and stain finishes.
    • Nonlaminated glass includes a 20 year warranty and laminated glass is covered for 10 years. Wood windows include nonlaminated glass in the Limited Lifetime Warranty.
  • For all warranty coverage, labor and shipping are only included for the first two years. Coverage begins on the date of sale.
  • For successive owners once the home is sold, coverage changes to 10 years for non-glass materials, but all other coverage transfers.
  • Details: https://www.pella.com/support/warranties/

Anlin Windows logo

  • Anlin offers free repair or replacement of all covered  product for as long as the purchaser owns and continuously occupies the home, including labor, parts, glass and freight. It transfers to one subsequent owner if the home is sold, provided Anlin is notified within 90 days of the sale. It is not transferable if sold a second time.
  • Anlin pet doors have a two year warranty.
  • Coverage is effective beginning on the product manufacture date, not the purchase date.
  • Full details: https://anlin.com/warranty-information/

Milgard Windows

This one’s a bit complicated, so bear with us.

  • There is a Full Lifetime Warranty for the Tuscany v400 series and the Trinsic v300 series on an owner-occupied dwelling within the Milgard service territory, which includes the entire DunRite service area in Metro Phoenix.
  • All other product lines (Styleline, Ultra, Thermally Improved Aluminum, v150 Vinyl, etc) installed in their service area gets their Limited Lifetime Warranty, unless you purchase an upgrade to their Full Lifetime Warranty.
  • The Full Lifetime Warranty includes free repair or replacement of all covered products and services as long as the purchaser owns the home, including parts and labor; or 10 years prorated coverage if the home is sold.
  • The Tuscany and v450 Series both include free glass replacement (with limitations); a Glass Breakage Warranty Upgrade is available for the Trinsic Series at time of purchase.
  • The Limited Lifetime Warranty includes lifetime coverage on the mainframe, and 20- year coverage on all other components. This includes labor, parts and freight. A Full Lifetime Warranty Upgrade can be added at time of purchase.
  • On both the Full Lifetime Warranty and Limited Lifetime Warranty, painted and fiberglass frames, blinds within the panes of glass, and capstock finishes are limited to 10-year coverage on all product lines. Stress cracks, weatherstripping, insect screens and hardware have limited coverage for one year. (What is a capstock finish? An acrylic layer that covers – or “caps” – a vinyl window or patio door frame profile. As an example, it’s used in Milgard’s black vinyl window products.) 
  • 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

Renewal by Anderson windows in Arizona

  • Renewal by Andersen’s warranty includes free repair or replacement of all covered products for 20 years on glass and Fibrex
  • Coverage is 10 years on locks, hinges and other components, and 2 years on installation.
  • It begins on the date of purchase, and it’s fully transferable if the home is sold.
  • For non-glass portions, including hardware, lift systems, screens, blinds, trim, sashes and workmanship, the warranty coverage is 10 years from the date of purchase.
    • Some hardware finishes are excluded and weathering of hardware finishes are not considered a defect.
    • Some products or accessories have their own limited warranties.
    • Changes in color on Fibrex frames are only covered if they exceed a specific range.
  • These warranties are fully transferable to a new owner if the home is sold.
  • Details and exclusions: https://www.renewalbyandersen.com/homeowners/warranty

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.

Updated Aug. 10, 2023

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!

 
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Please note that we install replacement windows and doors, but we don’t repair them or replace broken glass. Three-item minimum purchase, some doors excluded. Refer to our FAQ and warranties page for details.

 

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