The warranty game, is the most over used sales tool in the industry. The most advertised, yet the most misunderstood, part of having structural repair work done on your property is the warranty. You will see „Lifetime Warranty“ or „Lifetime Transferable Warranty“ or even „Longest Warranty in the Business“. What does this mean? What is the warranty worth? Are there any costs associated with the warranty? Most importantly, what warranty do I need?
The number one piece of advice about warranties – Read It! If the salesman does not have a copy for you to read, tell him to go get one. There is generally only one reason that he is not carrying one and that is because he does not want you to read it. If the warranty is too long or too hard to read, forget it. Warranties are simple – „This is what we cover and this is how long we cover it for“.
When it comes to Lifetime Warranties, be careful. In some states a „lifetime warranty“ is 7 years, some states it is 11 years and then some states it is for the life of the structure. Why would a lifetime warranty be 7 years? This can be the case because, according to a general law enacted by some states, the standard life of a service is 7 years. In these states your lifetime warranty is not as good as the others guys 10 or 15 year warranty.
Limited Warranties are standard in foundation repair. „Limited“ means that the only things that are covered are the things that can be affected by the work that has been done. You still want to read this type of warranty and understand what is covered and for how long. Don’t forget to ask if there are any fees required before the contractor will honor his warranty.
A manufacturer’s warranty of their products is the number one item that you should be looking for. If the individual installer goes out of business, there will still be someone standing behind the products you purchased. The best of these manufacturer’s have very simple and comprehensive warranties for their products. One specific manufacturer has a three part warranty form that states exactly what is covered and for how long. One copy goes to the installing contractor for his records and the other two go to the property owner. The property owner then submits one of their copies directly to the manufacturer so there is no doubt that it has been filed. Simple and effective.
Warranties should not be difficult, they should be readily available and straight forward. They need to state what is covered and for how long. If a foundation engineer has been hired to design and supervise the installation, and he recommends a product that a quality manufacturer will supply, there should not ever be a warranty issue in the first place. If there is, call the engineer first, the contractor second and lastly the manufacturer. Your issue will be resolved, and you will be happy.
Don’t play the warranty game. Hire quality people to work on your most valuable asset and rest assured that you have taken the correct steps in getting what you pay for.