What to Look for in Good and Bad Home Remodeling Warranties
The following is a guest post:
Most states require remodeling companies to carry a limited warranty by law, usually for one year, on parts and labor performed on all sizes of remodeling jobs, even small home improvement projects. Knowing the minimum warranty in your state is a good place to start when it comes to picking a remodeling company with a good warranty. You’re looking for a company that goes above and beyond the minimum.
Basing some of your initial decisions about which remodeling company to hire on the warranty alone can help homeowners weed out some of the more questionable companies immediately, before moving on to issues such as cost, references, and project history.
A remodeling company offering a warranty that’s longer than the state law requirement shows that they stand behind their work. Contractors that are constantly returning to the jobsite to fix faulty construction don’t offer extended warranties on projects. Choosing the less expensive company whether remodeling a kitchen or any other room of your house with a shorter warranty won’t save you money in the long run either, when you have to hire a second remodeling company to fix the work of the first.
By choosing a remodeling company with an extended warranty, you, the homeowner, are covered either way. Companies that back their work are far less likely to have to return to the job to fix it, and just in case a problem arises, a good warranty will guarantee that it gets solved at no cost to the homeowner. Here are a few other things to look for in both good and bad remodeling warranties.
Bad Warranty: The standard warranty usually comes with a guarantee to fix all work that’s found to be faulty within one year of project completion. Many standard warranties are transferable to a new homeowner, which can be a minor selling point in the event your home’s up for sale, but the warranty is still only good for one year from the date of project completion.
Here’s what’s missing in a basic one year warranty: The work or labor that the company completed is covered, but any faulty parts or appliances are not. Many remodeling companies will hire subcontractors to do specialized work such as painting, stone masonry, or drywall. The work of subcontractors may not be covered under a standard warranty.
Finally, beware. If you or anyone other than the original contractor attempts to repair faulty parts or construction on a remodel job, even in an emergency, the warranty becomes void. If your contractor is called in to make repairs, the warranty on those repairs is not extended to one year from the date of repair completion.
Good Warranty: Again, you’re looking for a contractor that’s willing to go above and beyond the basic requirements, so it’s advisable to look for companies that offer at least a two-year warranty when the law requires one. Many quality remodeling companies are willing to offer much long longer warranties, sometimes as long as five to ten years on labor, in order to stay competitive with one another.
Remodeling companies that offer longer than a one year warranty on parts are a good sign too. Companies that perform quality work purchase quality parts and hire reputable subcontractors that offer their own extended warranties. You can expect longer warranties to come with some exclusions: for example, a five year warranty on labor will probably have a shorter warranty on parts, appliances, and subcontractors.
About the Author: Joaquin Erazo, Jr., senior vice president of Marketing and Public Relations for Case Remodeling/Design, writes about a variety of tips for home remodeling and home improvement projects on his company blog, Remodeling Tips & Trends.