We all know that a warranty is only as good as the company who backs it, but what does that warranty even mean? Product warranties cover functionality, but, in the contracting world, it is imperative to look closer. Knowing how long your warranty lasts, requirements for the warranty to be valid, and even if the desired outcome is covered can be challenging to say the least.
Requirements are often listed within warranty paperwork to make sure that the contractor isn’t trying to cover something that is out of their control. Environmental factors (high humidity in a basement), other contractors work in a property (modifying something the current contractor is doing or potentially affecting the quality of their work), and Acts of God (a hail storm that damages the roof) fall into this category. It is important to think of future plans and your local environment when looking into these types of warranty clauses. If you know you live in Tornado Alley and your roof warranty doesn’t cover hail, are you really getting a warranty? Good communication with prospective contractors is key too! If you are having work done in an adjacent area or plan to have other work done in the home, make sure to discuss the other projects with all contractors involved. Knowledge of what your warranty requirements only help you to know what you’re really getting.
What does the warranty ACTUALLY cover? In contracting, many times the warranty covers “workmanship”. When warranty information states this word, what you see is what you get. It means that if they warranty workmanship on a cabinet install, the cabinets are warrantied to be installed and not damaged during installation. It doesn’t mean that they will remain level or be as durable as described. This is very important in contracting as many people look at the length of warranty. If you were happy with the install day one, day 200 doesn’t much matter as the workmanship was completed to your satisfaction. This is hugely important in the mold remediation industry. Picture this: your house has dark colored mold on attic sheathing. The remediation professional simply bleaches the mold. You are thrilled with the outcome as it looks beautiful. 2 weeks later, the staining is coming back (because bleaching mold on porous surfaces doesn’t work) and your warranty is not worth anything. Know how to tell if this is what your warranty is covering.
Often times, consumers make the deciding factor between contractors based on the differences of warranty. Knowing to look for more than warranty length will make you a better educated buyer and help make your decisions for you. Keeping these common issues in mind when reviewing your warranty will give you the true value when making your final decision!