Purchasing vinyl windows for your home? Be akamai, homeowners. If you’re thinking of installing vinyl windows, take a minute and learn to be akamai. As we all know, akamai means “be smart.” In every home improvement purchase, there are do’s and don’ts for products and product installations. Matt, the owner at Tropical — the top expert in the Hawaii industry — was asked, “If I am purchasing windows, what do I look out for to be confident in my purchase?” Matt’s response was, “There are five for sure dos for purchasing windows.” They are:

1) Pick a solid company that has been in business in Hawaii for 20 or more years. Tropical, my company, is the oldest — 62 years. That is a real track record and comfort.

2) Pick a company with a manufacturer that has materials that will hold up to Hawaii’s harsh weather conditions. Stainless hardware is a must. Tropical’s windows are all designed to withstand Hawaii’s harsh conditions. Tropical has hurricane windows that are designed for Hawaii. With Hurricane season upon us, call Tropical.


3) Check Hawaii Contractor Licensing for Hawaii insurance and Hawaii bonding. Sept. 30 is relicensing for all Hawaii contractors. This happens every two years, so be sure you are dealing with a reputable firm. The state of Hawaii checks state and federal tax records and many other criteria to requalify every two years. Be careful, not all businesses will requalify Sept. 30 of this year for the next two years.

4) Ask about warranties. Many mainland manufactures void out warranties in Hawaii due to salt air conditions, so be careful. Mainland companies are naming their vinyl windows local names to keep homeowners from directly calling mainland factories for true warranty information. Plus, many mainland companies even warranty themselves, which is not worth much in a couple of years. Don’t be caught holding the bag.

5) Ask about delivery and install times. Even in today’s rough circumstances, anything over 12-16 weeks is unacceptable. I have heard up to one-year installation lead times from mainland outfits. Be careful, a year is a long time. And a quick note: 50% deposits are too much. Give all the money and there is no incentive to do the job. Be akamai.

What about installation? Matt responded to this, saying, “Installation is key.” Homeowners can purchase the best window ever, but with the wrong installation, you might as well have purchased the cheapest window. The biggest don’ts are:


1) Do not retrofit. This window-install technique is a mainland shortcut installation/contractor money-saving, or kapulu, or kapakahi job. Ask your contractor if they plan to retrofit. If they say yes, run the other way as fast as you can. Then, call Tropical. We get it right.

2) Make sure to repair rotten wood. And make sure to repair and paint all drywall and exterior areas during the window install process. Otherwise, it’s like putting on a new suit without taking a bath. It all stinks.

3) Use the correct tools and wood. For example, use termite-treated wood. And don’t use a hammer as your main tool. Also, watch for unlicensed contractors as well as unlicensed subcontractors. Homeowners have a right to know and it’s the law.

So, in summary, be akamai and call Tropical for windows and even vinyl siding. Where, after 62 years, “Vinyl is Final” and you can deal with the only Hawaii company where Hawaii homeowners can “buy local.”


Call Tropical at 808-593-2000 or come to our showroom at 1351 S. Beretania St. in Honolulu.

CONTACT 808-593-2000 • 808-263-1252
ADDRESS 1351 S. Beretania St., Honolulu
WEB twoahu.com