Home Improvement

Roofers and Roofing Warranties

“Millie, the roofer said he would guarantee our new roof.” That’s pretty much the way things were handled in the past. An honest verbal agreement and a handshake were all you needed.

But today when it comes to choosing the roofing material for your home, whether it is a new roof or replacement roof, you need a qualified experienced roofing company and a written warranty from both your contractor and product manufacturer. There are two warrantees for the homeowner to consider. These are not the same warranty. One, there is the workmanship or labor warranty that comes from the roofing contractor. And two, the manufacturer or product warranty.

Warranties are provided to ensure homeowners they are getting both quality workmanship and quality roofing materials. All warranties should be read carefully and understood before signing a contract. Warranties can be complicated and riddled with loopholes. When choosing a roofing contractor look for one that is local with a proven track record. When choosing a roofing material, choose a manufacturer whose warranty is comprehensive, complete, and clear in its wording.

The workmanship or labor warranty should detail the period of time that the contractor will cover his workmanship. This warranty should detail what the contractor covers, what the terms are, and for how long a period of time. This warranty should guarantee the contractor’s work and job performance. Be aware that most workmanship warranties will cover labor only. And, the workmanship warranty may or may not be transferrable. Remember, a warranty is only as good as the contractor backing it.

The manufacturer’s warranty covers the product. They warranty their product against manufacturing defects. The manufacturer’s warranty differs with the type of roofing product, such as, 20 to 50 year shingles. Each product’s warranty will vary according to its description. Some product manufacturers offer lifetime warranties. In some instances lifetime may only mean 30 years, so you should have your contractor explain the term “lifetime” to you.

“Home Warranties” fall into an entirely different category of roof warranties. It is mentioned here only because of roof repair questions. Most standard “home warranties” cover items such as kitchen and laundry appliances, toilets, electrical, A/C, and heating. They don’t cover the cost replacement of a new roof. For an additional fee, but not included in the standard package, you can add coverage for roof leaks and repairs. The homeowner will have to determine if the cost is worth it or not.

A well explained written warranty, a good handshake, and a word of assurance from a trusted roofing contractor will go a long way. Most homeowners are just looking for peace of mind that the money they are investing in their home is being well spent. Everyone can rest easy, contractor and homeowner alike, when there is a clear understanding of the warranties presented. I guarantee!

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