Windows and doors warranty and service are in some ways similar to the warranty you get on a major appliance like a furnace. Windows, doors and large appliances require professional installation to ensure their proper operation and long life. If you got it installed by your general contractor or by yourself there will be significant limitations to the coverage. There are also significant differences as well. Most important one is that once a door or a window is installed, it can not be removed without the damage which would render the item unusable. Certain things can be repaired and adjusted, e.g. broken glass, hardware.
When making a major investment in your home, naturally you want to have the peace of mind knowing you are covered in case there is an issue with your windows and doors no matter of what has caused it. In addition to the rare warranty issues, doors and windows suffer from break-ins, damage done by other trades, pets, kids, wildlife, etc. You need to know what is considered normal wear (e.g. gradual even fading of paint) and what requires immediate attention, e.g. condensation inside the sealed glass unit or a door showing daylight through the weatherstripping.
Typical door or window life is no less than 25 years. This is why the warranty is one of the most important components of any window and door purchase often overlooked in favor of the upfront cost.
Reputable windows and doors manufacturers/dealers that stand behind their product and their craftsmanship all include a lifetime transferable non-prorated warranty and service in the price. They have no issue backing up their work with a comprehensive written warranty. Companies not confident in their technicians tend to offer the manufacturer’s (parts only, no longer than 10-15 yrs) warranty. As for the true value of any promise and service quality, the best strategy is to research the company’s reputation and look up the old customers’ reviews.
Reading and understanding everything about written warranty needs to be done before signing the contract. All concerns regarding the warranty should be easily addressed by a company representative. Exclusions and limitations shall be added to the contract in writing.