Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I see around here most of the companies are offering a 1 year warranty on their work, a few are giving 10 year warranties and a few are giving lifetime warranties of their work.

I was thinking of offering a: Limited lifetime warranty

Covering all labor for the lifetime of the work preformed on your home for the duration you are the homeowner.

In short this ends up being a non-transferrable warranty. I would warranty the work for as long as they owned the home.

What do you think? Warranties are kind of strange beasts, since you have to have so many disclamers in them. For instance you build a deck, you warranty the labor against defects, but the finish can't be warrantied for a lifetime considering most finishes need to be maintained every two years. You can't warranty against rot indefinetly since even pressure treated wood eventually rots. There seems to be a lot to this the more I think about it. Any simpler methods, or is this why so many people are just giving a 1 year warranty, because anything else is just so impossible to figure out the complications down the road?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
Mike that all depends on the type of work you are to warrant. In IL youhave to give 1 year no ifs ands or buts. On residential roofs we give a 10-year warranty if we are allowed to specify what is to be installed and how. Could I give a lifetime? Hell no! An average shingle roof lasts 15-17 years in my area. If the customer wants a lifetime warranty I sell them the GAF System Plus 50-year labor warranty.

The company I work for has been in business since 1986 so we know our roofs last at least ten years. This is how we can warrant them in confidence.
 

·
Flooring Guru
Joined
·
2,794 Posts
We warranty our flooring for the life of the client living on it. We know that would cover (restretching, or any failure due to install)
If installed right, there will be no failure. If the house settles and tiles come loose, that is not covered. If there was water damge, that is not covered. Basically, we cover any failures that are the installers fault. It gives piece of mind that even if 1 year and 1 month down the road, if the carpet comes off the tackstrip, then we will restretch...or if the cove base starts peeling off the wall, we will replace...ect...ect....
 

·
Back from the dead...
Joined
·
6,646 Posts
I doubt I would even consider a lifetime deal. To many numbskulls out there wanting to take advantage of people. Most painters/paperhangers give a 1 or 2 year warranty on labor, I give 2 or 3 for paint, depending on the job, and a 5 year deal for wallpaper. I do all my work per manufacturers spec, and do all necessary prep, so I haven't been called out on my part yet. Some have tried, but sorry ma'am, your cat/kid tearing the paper down doesn't qualify.
 

·
Flooring Guru
Joined
·
2,794 Posts
If you think you will not lose business, then keep warranties as is. But if you think that giving a lifetime warranty against install failures will bring in a ton more business, you may want to consider it.
As long as the client knows that it covers INSTALL failures. Which usually will happen in the first year anyway.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
What is a warranty anyways? It really is making a broad promise and then slowly but surely eliminating just about everything with disclaimers until you are left with just the labor used to install something, right?

Take for instance here in Colorado in regard to a basement finish. We have expanisve soils so the big thing here is you put in floating walls because the basement floors are floating slabs and are subject to movement. Some never move at all, but some do and those are the ones that you have to watch out for.

Remodellers warranty the framing and the finished walls but they exclude any warranty of the work if it is caused by the floor moving. What is really interesting is that they put in these floating framed walls so prevent damage if the floor rises or falls, yet they then don't warranty the walls or finish if it is caused by the floor rising or falling!

Isn't a warranty basically promising the world to a customer in a broad claim - such as "Lifetime warranty of work preformed" and then basically take it all away with a list of disclaimers leaving you with something specific that really is just warranting the labor of what you did for them?
 

·
Flooring Guru
Joined
·
2,794 Posts
well, if your into conspiracy.
I prefer to call it "common sense warranty"
Our disclaimers are pretty up front, and they are very standard..but as a customer I would think "if this company warranties labor for 1 year, and the other for a lifetime, and they have the same disclaimers, why not go with the latter?"
why would I be worried about disclaimers if I ask up front what they are?

Information is the key....you never know..It just may fail in 1 year and 3 months because not enough glue was used or whatever...or the wrong glue was used or whatever...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
we give a standard 5-year warranty on the installation of paving stones and retaining walls. In Arizona, most companies give 1-year by law and that's it.

Our warranty hepls us sell jobs. We include a sheet with the finsished paperwork about what the warranty covers and just as importantly what it doesn't.

And, our suppliers all offer a lifetime warranty on the pavers and walls.

Rex Mann

our web site
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Just ran across a pamphlet distributed by L and I in Washington meant to give advice to consumers on how to choose a contractor. The pamphlet is called "Hiring a Contractor or Remodeler." One section therein is called "Be wary of contractors who:" and it goes on to list numerous tips. One such tip states:

"Be wary of contractors who: Offer exceptionally long warranties."

and who

"give you an offer that sounds too good to be true" This I think would be pertinent to your question as to wether or not to offer lifetime warranties. The state itself warns against trusting it. Rightfully so I think. I would say be prepared to expect people to feel duped and upset and not recommend you, thus losing your good word of mouth business, when they call on you and you pull out the fine print down the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
All our installations are 1 year parts and labor warranty. After that the manufacture parts warranty (no labor) kicks in. I go on to explain to customers that parts warranty means a compressor goes bad, the compressor is covered but NOT the refrigerant, recovery costs, labor, etc. I even will show them in the manufactures warranty where it states this information. If they choose at that time to purchase an extended warranty that is Parts and Labor, then I do. Normally only catches are damage caused by neglect (hit it with a car, kid shoots it with BB gun, decided that it makes a great table only it doesn't hold the weight of the pick-up bed you sat on it, etc.) and damage due to lack of service. Acts of God normally will fall under their home owners coverage and most customers the little stuff (refrigerant, recovery, etc.) that the Home Warranty doesn't want to pay can be put under the 10 yr. P&L. HVAC is about the ONLY thing I would ever buy an extended warranty for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
Extended warrantys are becoming popular in the roofing world. The reason is the extended warranty's cover labor from the manufacturer. Even if your roofer goes out of business your roof still has a labor warranty.

Personally I wouldn't purchase an extended warranty for ANYTHING. Reason? Because warrantys have so many "out" clauses if the manufacturer doesn't want to warrant it they will find a way not to warrant it. I've had very poor experiences with warranties and have very little faith in them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
To me it always seems that warranties in my area require customer involvement.
A buddy of mine has been roofing for 10+ years. He offers a warranty only if the customer calls him in the winter to snow rake the roof after each snow fall. Really sounds like a way to make a lil extra after the job is done.
Ive seen painters offer warranties past 1 year, only if the customer calls them to do a light powerwash each year.

As far as myself. I only offer the the warranty provided by the paint. As pro said, as long as the application is by the book. But living in Michigan, with our winters, I cant give a warranty for labor of painting.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top