Considering buying vinyl windows or vinyl siding for your home? Well, warranties matter and here is why.

Hello, I’m Matt, the owner of Tropical Wholesale, the oldest vinyl siding and vinyl window business in Hawaii. My father and uncle started it in 1961, then I took over in 1975 and my sons will be the next owners.

When I started, I was what we call “green,” or inexperienced. I thought all mainland manufacturers and warranties were great. But now, almost 50 years later, I have learned my lesson. So, let me teach you how to be akamai when you spend your hard-earned money to fix your home.

The first lesson is not all manufactures stay in business and companies can be sold to another company. In either situation, homeowners lose their warranty. Why? Because companies buy assets, not liabilities. So, be sure to check the manufacturer’s history before purchasing the brand.


The second lesson is that buying from a local vendor or company does not guarantee a warranty on the materials. This is really important because the local business or contractor is just the entity who installs it. The material warranty is from the manufacturer. The state of Hawaii only requires a one-year workmanship, which means if the manufacturer goes out of business, the local contractor can walk away after one year. Plus, the contractor usually cannot get replacement parts.

The third lesson is that manufacturer warranties only cover certain parts of the products. For example, most window manufacturers exclude Hawaii and other areas with salty air from hardware warranties. A common warranty exclusion is 6 miles from the ocean, which affects Hawaii, Guam and other island communities.

The vinyl portion of the window frame will have a lifetime warranty. Like my father used to say, you can throw a piece of vinyl in your yard and it will last a hundred years. But if the hardware on a vinyl window fails, the window is no good because it will no longer open and close.

The fourth lesson is that not all lifetime warranties last a lifetime. For example, there are two new siding products on the market.


• Hardie Board: This product has a 30-year warranty, but only covers against termites (despite Hardie Board being made of concrete) or defective panels. The warranty is also pro-rated, which means it breaks down the percentage by the year. Not to mention, you still need to paint this product every five to six years.

• Celect: This is a foam product coated in Kynar paint. This product has a 25-year warranty and the finish is also pro-rated. Plus, this product will have to be repainted sooner or later.

Beware of these two products. From my 50 years of experience, failure is going to happen, which is why vinyl siding is the way to go. It has a 50-year warranty with no prorating. This will last you a lifetime, plus no painting is required.

The last lesson is that if you are going to purchase vinyl siding or vinyl windows, call Tropical. The company has 63-plus years of experience and serves more than 25,000 Hawaii customers. Tropical is the oldest and best specialty contractor for vinyl windows and vinyl siding in Hawaii. Tropical will help you navigate your home project and get you the best products, warranties and installation.


Call Tropical at 808-593-2000 or come to the showroom at 1351 S. Beretania St. where “Vinyl is Final” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

1351 S. Beretania St.,Honolulu