Homeowners, if you’re thinking of installing vinyl windows, take a minute and learn to be akamai.

As we all know, akamai means to be smart. In every home improvement purchase, there are dos and do nots for products and product installations. Matt, the owner of Tropical Wholesale, the top window expert in Hawaii, was asked: “If I am purchasing windows, what do I look out for to be confident in my purchase?”

Here are five dos for purchasing windows.

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


2) Select a company with a manufacture 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-proof windows that are designed for Hawaii. With hurricane season upon us, call Tropical.

3) Check Hawaii contractor licensing for Hawaii insurance and bonding. Sept. 30 was the renewal date for all Hawaii contractor licensing. This happens every two years to ensure you are dealing with a reputable firm. The state of Hawaii checks state and federal tax records and many other criteria to re-qualify every two years. Be careful, since not all businesses requalified this year for the next two years.

4) Ask about warranties. Many mainland manufacturers void out warranties in Hawaii due to the salty 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 more than 12 to 16 weeks is unacceptable. I have heard up to 1-year installation lead times from mainland companies, and a year is a long time. Fifty percent deposits are also too much. Give all the money and there is no incentive to do the job. Be akamai.

What about installation? Installation is key. Homeowners can purchase the best windows ever, but with the wrong installation you might as well purchase the cheapest window. The biggest do nots are:


1) Do not retrofit. This window installation technique is a mainland shortcut installation that saves money on the contractor, which results in kapulu (messy or sloppy) or kapakai (to wait for) jobs. Ask the 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) Do not begin installation until rotten wood is taken care of. Make sure to repair rotten wood as well as paint all drywall and exterior areas during the window installation process. Otherwise, it’s like putting on a new suit without taking a bath. It all stinks.

3) Do not use the incorrect tools or wood. Use materials like termite-treated wood. Do not use a hammer as your main tool. Also watch for unlicensed contractors as well as unlicensed sub-contractors. Homeowners have a right to know and it’s the law.

So, in summary, be akamai and call Tropical for windows and vinyl siding. 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 the showroom at 1351 S. Beretania St. in Honolulu.

808-593-2000 • 808-263-1252
1351 S. Beretania St., Honolulu