Replacing your windows or doors requires a plan that includes developing a budget with a specific dollar amount for unforseen emergencies. Although we all hope that every project goes smoothly, there are times when unexpected structural damage impacts the natural flow of a project, resulting in delays, and subsequently and increase in labor costs. When this happens, no one is happy. A good warranty can help alleviate frustration and this post can help you understand the ins and outs of warranties.
- Do an assessment – during an initial visit, a product representative or installer should inspect your current windows and patio doors and identify potential challenges that you as a purchaser may face on installation day. This assessment helps to determine the scope of the project and in turn, the product rep or installer can estimate an accurate price.
- Permits – when replacing your exterior doors and windows, the city of St. Louis actually has guidelines in place for building permits to protect your home against harsh elements. Work with your installer to get the proper paperwork up front so that you don’t find yourself experiencing delays on the back end of your project.
- Use Visuals – when describing the vision for your new windows or patio doors, it pays to use pictures to send your message across properly. Visuals would help you express your ideas and ensure you’re on the same page with your contractor. Tree Court Builders Supply offers an Idea Center showcasing images of windows and doors for this very purpose. And once you pick out something you like, simply call our customer service representatives to help you identify brand, product number and size.
- Think Outside of the Box – one of the most common mistakes of homeowners when buying replacement products, is choosing the same thing. New technologies can enhance your home’s comfort and energy levels. If you replace your units with the same materials, then you won’t be making any improvements. This is why you should plan for replacement units with remarkable energy-efficient features and minimal upkeep requirements to truly save money.
What You Need to Know When COMPARING Warranties
- WHO the warranty is designed to protect
- The WORDS used to describe the warranty, especially in the title.
- The physical LENGTH of the warranty
- The amount of FINE PRINT used in the typical window warranty
WHO Does the Warranty Protect?
One of the biggest misconceptions about window warranties, and warranties for any product for that matter, is they are designed to protect the purchaser of the product. The reality is that most warranties for every product made is ultimately written to protect the company that makes the product. Think about it, who writes the warranties? The manufacturer. However, this doesn’t mean a warranty isn’t useful or beneficial to the customer when a product arrives damaged or faulty.
Window Warranty Descriptive WORDS
Most people think about a general replacement window warranty in three broad strokes; how long does it last, what is covered for how long, and, the ability to transfer the window warranty in the event the home is sold.
Lifetime or Limited – most window warranties describe length of time one of two ways; lifetime or limited lifetime. Either doesn’t necessarily mean “forever,” but the word “limited” should definitely set the alarm bells off and encourage research. Be mindful that what is “limited” in a warranty can often be the very thing a warranty might be needed for.
The Concept of Proration – have you seen a warranty that reads “to the effect of X being covered for the first 20 years, Y for the next 10 years, and Z for the next 5 years?” This is called a prorated warranty. Prorated replacement window warranties define how long the manufacturer thinks each part of the window will last. In short, the warranty itself expires after X, Y and Z years.
Warranty Transferability – warranty transferability becomes important at the sale of a home. Conferring the benefits of the warranty to the next homeowner has a value. Similarly to proration, a manufacturer changing the original time period of the warranty after transfer, or even worse not allowing a transfer at all, communicates their concern about the performance longevity of their product.
Words – how many times have you fully read through the “terms and conditions” on a website before you clicked “I understand?” The main reason you probably haven’t is because you don’t have the time, nor the knowledge of all the legalese, to go through the whole thing. Same idea with window warranties. The best replacement window warranties are the shortest, and the ones easiest for you to understand.
The Fine Print – the way to quickly review the typical replacement window warranty for these types of things is to look for the fine print. Often times one finds out about the restrictions of a “limited” warranty when they get to the fine print. Prorated time definitions? The fine print. More text and harder to understand? The fine print. Fine print is the easiest way to hide the most negative things about the warranty because the authors assume you’ll never really read the whole thing until you need it.
SO WHAT DOES A GREAT REPLACEMENT WINDOW WARRANTY LOOK LIKE?
- A warranty that covers the product for the life of your home, and does the same for the next homeowner if you were to sell, or even leave your home to a family member.
- A warranty that provides the same coverage 20,30,40 even 50 years from now that it does today, and, yes, for the next homeowner as well.
- A short, concise warranty with little or no fine print.
When you work with Tree Court Builders Supply, ask our friendly customers sales representatives or sales team members about the warranties and they will walk you through them step by step so that you feel confident in your replacement window purchase. 636-225-7717