Keridwen: Lifetime doesn't mean nearly as much as sales reps (or some of the pros here)would make them out to mean, period. Make sure to read the fine print on all warranties!
In addition, never purchase from a rep that will not leave you one at the time you meet so you can examine what it really means (or doesn't mean) for yourself.
Here is the part they NEVER want you to read:
"Lifetime" warranties are always dependant on who owns the house. They will almost always transfer only once and not to a third owner. Why does that matter you might ask? It's simple, because the national average that a homeowner lives in a home is.......you guessed it 5-7 years. Hmmmmm???
So if you live in the home for 7 years and the next owner lives there 5 years, the much hearlded "lifetime" warranty is GONE in only 13 years! Same if you are there 2 years and the next owner for 2.
So what does one make of a product whos "lifetime" warranty may be gone in 4 years, or 10 years, or in most cases 15?
Next ask youself why in that same fine print the warranty will go down 50% at the 10 year point from install if you sell the house? For example, this comes direct from the Sunrise website:When transferring the warranty, the second property owner will be entitled to a 50% discount on the cost of a new insulated unit, should the original become defective as a result of the above reasons. However, if the insulated glass unit should fail prior to ten years after the original window or door purchase, the replacement unit will be at no charge.
Does that really sound like a product that will last for 20, 30, or 50 years like they want you to believe? If it is, then why charge 50% after 10 years to a second owner? And why does who owns the house matter in the first place if the product is supposed to hold up for "life".
When you read between the lines, you will typically find out how long the manufacturer thinks the product will last.
Fact is that a 20 year glass waranty, which doesn't hinge on ownership, like those offered by Pella, Anderson, and Marvin, will be a stronger warranty than the "lifetime" warranties most all of the time. There's a reason the Big 3 have been around from 75-100 years.
Sorry for the length and hope it wasn't too confusing. Funny that is really the point as the manufacturers and salespeople that play the "lifetime" angle for all it's worth tend to hope you get confused as well and just believe them."If you don't like the message, attack the messenger"