There’s no denying the fact that home construction is a huge investment requiring a tremendous amount of time, care, and energy. While no one expects a new home to suffer damage, we at Annadel Builders Inc. feel that it is always wise to plan for the unforeseeable by choosing a contractor who will support you for the long haul. Having a contractor who is committed to standing by their work guarantees your home lasting excellence. The relationship you establish with your contractor should be a lifetime relationship.
Contractors can offer this support in two main ways: through warranty work and through periodic maintenance. Here’s what you should look for in a contractor in terms of warranties and maintenance.
A warranty essentially functions to protect both the contractor and the customer from unfair trade. On the one hand, customers are guaranteed a certain level of quality in their purchases, while on the other hand, contractors are protected from unfair liability. Each warranty, however, is a negotiable agreement that differs by construction contract. The standard written warranty is approximately one year from the time of completion, and usually covers only the product, and not removal or installation. Ideally, a private contract will spell out the standards by which various materials will be evaluated, as well as a plan to enact should problems occur.
In addition to private contracts, California homeowners are automatically afforded a degree of protection under a one-year implied warranty against defects in workmanship and installation, as well as a 10-year warranty against structural defects. This protection, however, is limited and somewhat vague, and should not take the place of a written warranty between you and your contractor. For whatever warranty you agree upon, have your contractor provide additional warranties from the subcontractors and suppliers. Check and make a record of all warranty dates for future reference. Finally, plan on scheduling a walk through with your contractor one month before its expiration. Check all systems and hardware for damage or malfunction, then get it on the books prior to the end of the warranty.
Unfortunately, after warranty expiration, many contractors fail to offer any kind of future support, leaving you to bear the brunt of any future problems. Avoid this by hiring contractors who will pledge to stand by their work. Look for contractors who are committed to establishing a lifetime relationship with their clients and who are willing to go the extra mile, even after their express warranty has expired. A good contractor will stand by their work for a lifetime and only charge the necessary cost, and/or work with the homeowner for a fair and equitable resolution.
The other way a contractor can provide long-term support is through regular home maintenance. As with any major investment, a home requires continued care in order to be sustainable. To achieve this goal, have your contractor come by regularly to perform periodic inspections on your home.
Some simple things to note include:
- Sprinklers that spray the house instead of plants
- Build-ups of pine needles and leaves on rooftops and gutters
- Leaking weather stripping
- Damaged duct work or water leaks under the house
Catching these problems earlier rather than later can mean the difference between a quick fix and an expensive disaster. In this way, by maintaining a long-term relationship with your contractor, you can be sure of an investment that boasts not just one-time quality, but a lifetime of sustainable excellence.
At Annadel Builders, Inc., we’re committed to that level of excellence for our clients in Sonoma, Marin, and Napa counties. We believe a homeowner’s relationship with their contractor should last a lifetime. We stand by our work. When you hire for the job, hire for the long haul. Call us today to schedule a consultation.