What’s in Your Warranty?

By Susan MacKay
January 12, 2016
THE TALK... | Codes & Standards

Authors Note: While The Gary Law Group has written articles for Window & Door over the years, we are pleased to be given this opportunity to join the 21st century and pen our first Talk. Our firm focuses on providing legal services to the fenestration industry and we look forward to tapping into that expertise to provide you with blog posts throughout 2016. We seek and appreciate any and all feedback you wish to provide. Our first blog will hit on one of my favorite topics: Express Warranties.

Anyone in the distribution chain of fenestration products, whether manufacturer or distributor, has probably been asked many times: “What’s the warranty?” The inquiry refers to the express warranty for the product, which details on paper what a manufacturer will do if something goes wrong with the fenestration product (and installation, if those services are provided).

Have you ever stopped to consider why fenestration manufacturers provide an express warranty? It would be so much easier (think: less time, less money) if a manufacturer’s responsibility ended at the point the product left the factory, so there must be a good reason for providing an express warranty.

An express warranty can serve several purposes, and it is up to the manufacturer to decide how to balance the needs of both the company and the users of its products. The warranty tells the product user what the manufacturer will do in the event that identified conditions arise (and what problems will not be addressed by the manufacturer).

The promises represented within the warranty are often used as a marketing tool to support product sales. A warranty can also manage legal issues. A thoughtful express warranty will cover all of these areas, and possibly more.

Whatever your priorities, it is important for fenestration manufacturers to review their goals and the written warranty periodically to determine whether revisions (or an overhaul) are called for due to changes in the fenestration market, within the company itself, or in the law.

What do you think about warranties? Review the results of this week’s poll, leave a comment and/or email your thoughts on the subject.

Survey Results for 01/13/2016 :

What is the number one reason your company provides an express warranty?

To use as a sales and marketing tool to sell fenestration product.





To say what the company will do if a warranted condition arises.





To address legal issues, such as disclaimers and limitations on remedies.





Susan MacKay is an attorney with The Gary Law Group, a law firm based in Portland focusing on legal issues facing manufacturers of windows and doors. Contact her at 503/620-6615 or susan@prgarylaw.com.


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I had just been hired by a window company as a young man in 1984 and was working a consumer home and garden show representing Andersen Windows which offered a 20 year glass warranty.

On my break I walked past a booth with a local vendor selling vinyl windows and a huge sign offering a 50 YEAR GLASS WARRANTY !

I asked him how a huge company like Andersen could only offer 20 and he could offer 50.

He said " Hey kid, I'm going to sell as many of these windows as I can in the next couple of years and then go and retire in Florida, that's how "