6 Warranty Questions to Ask Your Replacement Window Installer

Jun 15 2022 Posted By Ontario Window Reviews

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A window installer getting to work by installing a window

You’ve finally found the perfect replacement windows—but are you fully aware of the warranty scope?

The answers you get to key warranty questions will show you how much you can potentially save further down the line. An extensive warranty on windows from a trusted company will also give you added peace of mind. 

Essentially, getting cheaper windows with a substandard warranty may give upfront savings, but the limitations of that warranty may come back to haunt you. Just like with any investment, buying new windows comes with risks. By asking the window warranty questions in this guide, you will be in the best position to choose a company with a broader warranty that minimizes those risks.

Let’s talk warranty on windows!

 A house under construction being fitted with brand new windows after the warranty on windows were ascertained

1. How Long Has the Company Been Around For?

This may not look like a window warranty question at first glance, but it is critical information. A warranty on windows is only as good as the company that stands behind it. 

Essentially, a warranty is a promise that if something happens to the product, then the company will provide support in some way. Generally, product warranties pertain to free replacements and free repairs within the period of the warranty in case of product defects. 

Because a warranty is a promise, you need to be able to trust the company that is making this promise. Choose a company that has shown exemplary customer service through the years and one that has a solid reputation to protect. Companies that foster good relationships with their customers have the best chances of surviving and thriving. Therefore, asking how long the company has been around will give you a clue about its reliability.

Furthermore, you need to be sure that the company is still there to honour its warranty further down the road. One of the risks of buying windows from an unstable window company is that by the time a product defect shows up (e.g. five years after the windows were installed), the company may not be operating anymore.

2. How Long Is the Warranty on Windows Valid For?

Many window manufacturers will use the term “lifetime warranty” and this may confuse some buyers. Often, “lifetime” pertains to the lifetime of the product. 

As an example, low-budget windows may state that they have a lifetime warranty—but that “lifetime” only refers to a span of five years after purchase. Meanwhile, more durable windows can have lifetime warranties of ten to twenty years or more. 

3. Is the Warranty Non-Prorated or Prorated?

When it comes to warranty on windows, non-prorated is a more favourable choice. Non-prorated means that the support of the warranty will not diminish throughout the warranty period. 

As an example, it doesn’t matter if window product defects show up in the first year or 10th year (assuming the warranty covers this time frame). As a buyer, you will be given the same support—whether it’s a free replacement on parts, free repairs, or discounted replacement/repairs—whichever was agreed upon initially.  

Conversely, the support of prorated warranties diminishes as time goes by, depending on the age of the product. It can be likened to the concept of depreciation. Because of wear and tear sustained by the product, the support from the warranty decreases over time. For example, a product defect showing up in the first year may be fully supported, while defects that surface in the 10th year will only have limited support. 

A homeowner reading the terms of her warranty on windows

4. Does the Warranty Include Both the Product and Installation?

When it comes to windows, keep in mind that their performance will depend on two factors: the product itself and how well it was installed. An all-inclusive warranty on windows typically means that both of these are covered. 

All-inclusive warranties covering the window and installation are only available at window companies that offer installation as either an added or complimentary service. A truly confident window company will be able to give an all-inclusive warranty that has a broad scope for both the window and the installation service.    

On the other hand, some companies may opt to offer two separate warranties for the window and for the installation. In many cases, this is a way to set more limits on either of the warranties. 

5. Are Replacement Parts Covered in the Warranty?

When asking window warranty questions, you need to make sure that no stone is unturned. It’s typical for companies with substandard warranties to gloss over the details to hide the limitations. 

One of the common limitations in window warranties is that replacement parts aren’t actually covered. This means that even if the product is defective, you will pay for the replacement parts needed to fix it. Though the service is likely to be offered for free under such warranties, you will still spend on replacement parts.

Look for warranties wherein replacement parts are covered along with the repairs. Though this is not common, this broader type of warranty is usually offered by window companies that produce high-quality and reliable products. 

6. Is the Warranty on Windows Transferable?

If you’re intending to sell your house sometime in the foreseeable future, then this is one of the most important warranty questions you need to ask. Is the warranty transferable once you sell your property? And if yes, will the warranty on windows remain the same or will it have added limitations? 

All else being equal, new windows with a reliable and fully transferable warranty will be more attractive to home buyers than new windows with a forfeited warranty. 

Two technicians installing new windows

Find a Window Manufacturer/Installer That You Can Trust

With the above warranty questions, you are one step closer to buying new windows without worries!

We can’t emphasize enough that a warranty on windows, no matter how broad, is only valuable if it’s provided by a trustworthy company. Check out our list of the most reputable window companies in Ontario!  

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