Understanding Siding Warranties
Siding upgrades are a great way to improve your home’s value, curb appeal and efficiency. But it can quickly become a costly project. Before the dust settles, it is important to protect yourself from any unwanted surprises. The best way to do that is with the right siding warranty. In the event of a product malfunction or installation mistake, a warranty will keep you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about different kinds of siding warranties.
Manufacturer vs. Contractor Warranties
Typically, there are two main types of siding warranties to consider: the manufacturer warranty and the contractor warranty. Together, these two types of warranties should entirely cover your home’s new siding, from installation, to parts and labor. Here’s a quick overview of manufacturer vs. contractor warranties.
A manufacturer warranty, like the name implies, is supplied by the company that made the siding. It guarantees your siding against defects in the materials themselves.
It’s important to note that to make sure this warranty is in full effect, you may need to work with a qualified siding contractor or installer. Additionally, a qualified contractor should be able to answer any questions about your manufacturer and their warranty policies. They can also help you register your warranty and help you get in contact with the manufacturer in case of a malfunction. When planning ahead and vetting a contractor, ask if they work with a specific siding manufacturer.
This type of warranty comes from your siding contractor as an entity and guarantees their workmanship on the siding installation. These warranties typically last a year, but may be extended further.
Siding contractor warranties are often negotiable to better meet your unique needs compared to manufacturer warranties, which are usually fixed. Even if workmanship issues arise after the siding contractor warranty has lapsed, a trusted, reputable contractor will usually provide certain support. Ask your contractor about their warranty parameters and consider speaking with former clients to find out about their long-term experience.
Elements of Siding Warranties
Before beginning a siding project, both types of siding warranties should be available, in writing and full detail, for your review. These documents should list the types of problems and remedies that are covered within the agreement, the duration of the warranty and how problems will be addressed. While the exact terms of your siding warranty will vary depending on the contractor and manufacturer used, here’s a brief list of terms you can expect to see.
For home siding, a “lifetime” usually refers to the amount of time the manufacturer determines your siding can maintain maximum quality. Typically, the standard is a 50-year warranty, but it can vary.
The quality of the siding can also determine how long a warranty will be set for. A good rule of thumb is higher quality materials will usually have a longer warranty timeframe. Sometimes a siding warranty will be prorated, meaning the amount the manufacturer will pay will decrease the longer the siding lasts. Other caveats may include policies regarding whether the siding can be painted or altered under warranty.
Siding Contractor Warranties
Siding contractor warranties normally include free coverage for labor and installation related issues for a set amount of time. Many siding contractors provide their warranties in lieu of the “implied warranty,” which in the U.S. reasonably guarantees good workmanship. This is why you may notice a mention in your written warranty specifying that the homeowner is giving up the right to implied warranty by agreeing to the siding contractor’s own warranty.
While they are standard, contractor warranties are not always a given. Some contractors do not offer them. It is important to work with a trusted siding contractor who guarantees their work and offers a worthwhile warranty for workmanship and labor.
Siding warranties may or may not be transferable, meaning they remain valid after the sale of your home. A transferable warranty is a desirable selling point to new owners and can increase your home’s resale value.
However, the warranty terms may change upon being transferred. For instance, the time-period or prorated value may be altered. Some contractors offer a “double lifetime warranty,” meaning the lifetime warranty is transferable to the next homeowner. It is important to understand a siding warranty’s transferability terms ahead of time.
Evaluating Siding Warranties
How do you know if a certain warranty option is right for you? The first step in evaluating a warranty is to read the documents carefully. Siding warranties can vary widely in their terms and it can get confusing. To better understand a warranty’s terms, we encourage homeowners to review warranties alongside a contractor. A trusted siding contractor can answer your questions, help explain the differences between dueling warranty options and explain any language you don’t understand.
Here are a few questions to help guide your conversation as you evaluate siding warranties.
- How long is the siding warranty valid for? The scope of warranties will often differ between brands and contractors. It is important to find one that makes you comfortable you’re getting all the bang for your buck in the long term.
- Is the warranty transferable? As noted earlier, you should understand from the get-go if the warranty is valid if you sell your home and if and how the terms change.
- What components does the siding warranty cover? Be sure to ask what parts are covered in your warranty. Ideally, all parts will be protected. This is an opportune time to ask about manufacturing defects and protection from excessive fading on your siding.
- Does the warranty cover labor? Similar to covering the various siding materials, a manufacturer’s warranty may not cover the labor costs of replacing a defective product. Your siding contractor may also have special fees related to labor in their warranty. Ask if damage caused by an improper installation a well as service appointments are included in warranty terms.
- Is the siding warranty a limited or full warranty? Siding with a full warranty should be replaced by the manufacturer or contractor in a reasonable amount of time. A limited warranty is more strictly regulated and may only apply to certain parts or specific siding defects.
As with many home renovations, finding the right contracting partner will be a big help in nailing down your desired siding warranties.
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