Reading between the Lines

Any substantial home remodeling project should come with a warranty.

They essentially serve to guarantee the contractors work, and they leave the home owner feeling confident that their home remodeling project will be done right – the first time. Not all home warranties are created equal. It is important to carefully read through your warranty before signing any type of home remodeling contract and before any type of remodeling work begins on your home as a lot can be hidden in the fine print.

The first thing to consider when reading the fine print of your home remodeling warranty is to determine who is guaranteeing the warranty. While a contractor will be the one in charge of your DC home’s repairs and remodel, the materials being used will often come from a variety of vendors and suppliers. Some contractors will provide a warranty on the workmanship of the remodeling job separately from the materials. These material warranties will likely come directly from the supplier or manufacturer. This can often become an issue of contention if you need to use your warranty as the contractor may argue that the fault was in the materials and not the workmanship and vice versa. Choose a contractor that provides all-inclusive warranties on their home remodeling jobs so if something goes wrong, you are covered.

It is also important to identify any areas of exclusion in a warranty for potential remodeling work. This means finding out what exactly the warranty will cover and what it won’t cover. For example, a flooring company may issue warranties that guarantee their work through normal homeowner wear and tear. Their warranty may not cover a kitchen flood due to a busted sink pipe leaving you out to dry on repairing your floor. Again, try to find a contractor that will issue a warranty that avoids adding exclusions to it.

A homeowner hiring a contractor to remodel their home should make note of their warranty’s notification process. Many warranties will set time limits to report damage or faulty workmanship. Some homeowners may even notice damage and avoid reporting it until the problem escalates. This is especially important for major repair jobs such as the installation of a new roof. Waiting to report a leak until the damage spreads may void your warranty.

A homeowner should require a warranty for any home remodeling work they price out. It is up to you to read over your home warranties to ensure you are aware of any restrictions, exclusions and hidden details that could affect your warranty.

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