4 Key Points to Understanding Premium Product Warranties

4 Key Points to Understanding Premium Product Warranties

You ever see contractors “Lifetime Warranty” or “50 Year Warranty?” Sounds too good to be true–right? They are.

What happens to the warranty when the contractor goes out of business?
What happens to the warranty if the contractor passes away?
What happens to the warranty if the homeowner sells?

These are just a few of the “what-if” questions that should come into play when committing to a contractor–especially for large scale, low-maintenance, high-quality product lines.

You may have noticed that ALL products we install are premium materials that require strong installation requirements and certifications. As a 5 Generation Family Owned Company, we are not going anywhere. But don’t you want that extra assurance that your contractor and the manufacturer truly have your best interest in mind?

Here are some key points to keep in mind when selecting your contractor and product lines.

1. What is the difference between a contractor warranty & manufacturer warranty?
Manufacturer warranties protect homeowners against manufacturer defects. That means if there is a problem with the material due to the production process, the manufacturer will cover the issue. In most cases, new material will be installed on the manufacturer company’s dime. When the materials are installed by a certified contractor (ie: Trex ProPlatinum and Elite Preferred Hardie), there are additional labor warranties also covered by the manufacturer. For example, James Hardie Siding has a 30 year warranty & Trex Decking has a 25 year warranty.

A contractor warranty is just that–whatever the contractor claims he/she will cover. These don’t hold as much value as a manufacturer warranty as the contractor can claim one thing and do another (especially if it isn’t in any formal paperwork showing partnership), go out of business or pass away.

2. Is the warranty prorated or non-prorated?
Prorated warranties decrease in value over a period of time. We see A LOT of “competitor” manufacturers with claims of 50+ year warranties. However, after the first 5 years, only 70% of the project is covered under that manufacturer warranty, 40% covered after 10 year, etc. until only 2% is covered come year 50.

Non-prorated warranties are much more valuable and can help homeowners determine what is the best composite or fibercement material to select. We love Trex and Hardie for this very reason.

3. What is the difference between a full warranty or partial/limited warranty?
Full warranties cover the complete material and installation with very little (if any) exceptions. Partial/limited warranties may cover some materials and no labor. These strict restrictions can be easily overlooked and homeowners must do their research to understand the fine print. Most honorable contractors should have transparency as to what components of the project are covered and what are any limitations.

For example, Trex decking and railing has a 25 year manufacturer material warranty with additional labor warranties for those certified as an Trex ProPlatinum installer. However, homeowners would not have a manufacturer warranty on a pressure treated frame. Therefore, they may opt to upgrade to a Fortress Steel Frame for a matching 25 year manufacturer warranty.

4. Is the warranty transferrable?
Because of the ebbs and flows of today’s New England real estate, it is possible you may decide to sell your home. Even if you are not planning on listing anytime soon, it is important to know if the products you’re investing in hold ROI and if the warranties are transferrable.

Some warranties are only valid for the original owners, which you would need to disclose to the new homeowners. The product lines we support do transfer to new owners and have excellent ROI.
Now is an ideal time to get on the schedule and invest in your exterior project by contacting us at Professional Building Services .

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