Well not really, but it seems like it as we look at many recent projects that use builders grade products. So what is most important when building a home or purchasing a new home? Most people look at the kitchen, master bedroom, layout of the living room or master bathroom. That’s all fine but what I see from the remodeling standpoint is that only a few people ask about the warranty of the roof, windows and siding. Even though these are high ticket items and cost thousands of dollars which are very important (unless you use builders grade), it seems like these are the last items people ask about.
Many times we look at a project that’s only 5 to 10 years old and it’s already time to replace it whether it’s poor workmanship and/or bad materials. Remember, most builders only give a 1 yr warranty and they’re out. This allows them to hire the least experienced contractors that carry very little overhead and use the cheapest materials. So most buyers will ask “When was the roof installed?” Ouch, this is somewhat important but what’s even more important are the following questions;
- 1. “Who installed it and what type of materials did they use?”
- 2. “What type of product warranty and workmanship warranty came with it?”
- 3. “Did they remove the roofing down to the roof deck or install another layer on top?”
- 4. “Can you provide the warranty certificates?”
Many times the current owner will have a roof installed directly on top of the existing roof to SAVE money and then the new buyer will end up paying the bill to properly remove both layers since the last roof only lasts a partial lifetime due to excessive heat buildup from multiple layers.
So what type of warranties are out there and should you ask for as a home buyer?
Product & Workmanship Warranties:
- Vinyl Siding: Most come with a lifetime warranty although it’s pro-rated.
- Asphalt Roofing: A few years ago these material options were changed from 20,25,30,40 & 50 Yr warranties to all Lifetime Limited Warranties. See where this is going?
- Windows: Minimal should be Lifetime on parts/components and 20 Yrs on the Glass.
- Workmanship: Minimum of 5 yrs.
While this information only skims the surface, feel free to ask me additional questions.