Here are some key tips when purchasing window and siding products from seasoned professional Matthew Houar, who has been in the siding and window business in Hawaii for 40 years. Houar provided these answers:

• Always a sale. “I went on a vinyl siding install bid and the homeowner said he was busy and needed to reschedule for next week. I said, ‘but this week is our big sale.’ He told me, ‘there’s always a sale, even next week, so I’ll come back then.’ I came back the next week and there was a sale, and he purchased the siding.”


• What does 40 percent off mean? “Remember, 40 percent of what?”

• Are there self-cleaning windows or siding? “I have never seen a window or piece of siding clean itself and I have been doing this for 40 years. In other words, if it is too good to be true, it’s too good to be true.”

• What if a person says their company has 40 years of experience? “Does this mean the 38-year-old person you are talking to has 40 years experience, or the 10 people in his company have four years experience each? Clarify this.”

• What is a lifetime warranty? “Clue No. 1: Does the manufacturer warrant the product? In Hawaii, because of our salt-air conditions, almost all factories void warranties. So, call the factory, because if the factory will not warrant it, there must be a reason. Clue No. 2: Maybe because the factory knows it will fail and does not want the liability. Don’t be fooled. Deal with a company at least 15 to 20 years old.”


• How do I know who I should trust? “Buy local. Buy from the guy, like me, who has been here in this business for 40 years. That’s the ‘best warranty.’ That’s the best advice I can give you: Buy local.”

Someone in business as long as Tropical, you can’t go wrong. Call Tropical at 263-1253, 456-4892 or 396-0971.

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