Guarantees play a huge role in the world today. We expect a basic guarantee for so many different good and services – and we should. Otherwise, how do we know that our money is going to be well spent? Guarantees are a way to ensure ourselves that if something goes wrong, the manufacturer or service provider will do what it takes to make things right. In most cases, businesses know that if they cut corners on workmanship or services, it will cost them more in the long run, since they will have to honor the guarantee. They may also get hit with a negative review online. Therefore, they work harder and smarter to make sure that guarantee is never needed.
For some reason, however, people often don’t think of guarantees when they think of home renovations. But they should. Home renovations are one of the most important (and often one of the biggest) investments a homeowner will make. There are so many variables that go into deciding all the layouts and designs of a renovation, and also deciding who to hire. The results can be a long-term advantage to the lifestyle and market value of the house – or they can be an ongoing headache.
The answer is a definite ‘yes’ – home renovations should always be guaranteed if you are working with a legitimate business. At the same time, homeowners need to be aware of what the guarantee specifically entails. A verbal guarantee, for example, is meaningless from a legal standpoint. It might make you feel better when a contractor assures you that they’ll fix the problem if anything goes wrong, but when push comes to shove, spoken words will not hold up in a court of law. Instead, the guarantee should be built into the contract, and should explain to the client in plain language what the guarantee entails, and for how long.
So what can homeowners expect from a home renovation work warranty? The laws differ from state to state, and some contractors exceed the minimum legal requirements in order to instill more confidence in their clients. Generally speaking, work warranties cover the labor and materials (if they were procured by the contractor) against problems or defects that resulted from incorrect workmanship. If materials fail because they are simply not good materials, the manufacturer (not the renovation contractor) would be responsible. That’s why it’s important research materials carefully, and go for the best quality possible within your budget.
It’s important to realize, too, that the line can often be blurry in terms of what is causing problems. A shifting foundation, for example, can commonly lead to major problems that the renovator will not be responsible for. This is a good reason to make sure your home’s fundamentals are sound before you embark on a home renovation project.
Reputation is important
A written guarantee is a must when it comes to home renovation, but it’s not the be-all-end-all. Legal battles and repeat visits to correct nagging problems are not an ideal situation. What is an ideal situation? Mathematical perfection may not be possible in any home renovation, but the ideal situation would be friendly and punctual service, a project that runs on time and stays within the allocated budget, and results that exceed expectations. A contractor’s online reputation will often paint a fairly clear picture of whether or not past clients have had this type of experience.