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Understanding Warranties

Understanding Warranties

October 1, 2013

Getting a new roof system for a home is a significant expense, and therefore is very important that the homeowner understands the role of the roofing contractor and the role of the manufacturer.


When you chose a contractor to install the roof, you should look for a contractor who is competent, and able to complete the work in a professional and timely manner. As a way to protect yourself, it is in your best interest to establish in writing all the details concerning the service to be performed by the contractor, and the expectations you have as the homeowner.

-Negotiate a written job agreement with the contractor that defines the following terms:

  • License and permit requirements
  • Work start and completion times
  • Products to be used
  • Work site appearance
  • Insurance coverage in case of property damage
  • Insurance coverage in case of personal injury
  • Change order procedures
  • Price
  • Payment terms and conditions
  • Exclusions

The Contractor: Reputation and Price

The signed agreement between the homeowner and the contractor generally includes a written warranty on workmanship. A good contractor will stand behind his work because he cares about his reputation and the homeowner’s potential as a referral for other work. In fact, the terms of the agreement and the good reputation of the contractor are the most reliable assurances of satisfactory workmanship.

In addition to the warranty, price is always a central concern. Price is a measure of the cost of the project. Be careful when choosing your contractor, if they are giving you a very low price, compared to other companies, you might want to think twice before going with them.

Don’t forget that as a homeowner you are shopping for a roof that will help you protect your home, and that your home is probably the largest single asset you own. Also, remember to judge the price based on the total services a contractor will provide. Only after you take into account all these considerations should you think about the price.

The Manufacturer: Warranties

Unlike the workmanship warranty, which is generally negotiated in the job agreement, the product warranty is set by the manufacturer and cannot be altered by the homeowner nor the contractor. It is the responsibility of the contractor and the homeowner to read and understand all the terms and conditions of the warranty.

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