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Warranties from GC after completion

Posted by spio (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 6, 11 at 12:07

We hired a general contractor to do a small room addition and deck, along with kitchen gut and remodel and it's just about done--waiting for final inspection from the city. We asked the contractor for the warranties on items such as kitchen cabinets, bamboo flooring, siding, decking, etc. He gave us a copy of each warranty (I think printed from each manufacturer's website), but nothing specific to us, such as warranty registration information. Don't we need some sort of date of purchase documentation that shows these warranties are in our name or something more official? Or is our original contract with him that specifies the products to be used enough?

I'm concerned that if we ever need to rely on these warranties, we'll be told by the companies that they have no record of us purchasing their product.

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Warranties from GC after completion

More than likely he did not keep them. May have been lost when they were installed. You need to get a copy of the date of purchase, receipt. He will not want to do this as a lot of small GC's are very good craftsmen but bad businessman. Really it should be his responsibility to get them to you by what ever means. I would send him a registered letter demanding the factory warranties if for no other reason than to teach him a lesson in proper business procedure. But you may have to do it yourself by calling each manufacturer or place of purchase to see what can be done.
Good luck.


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RE: Warranties from GC after completion

Thanks novascapes!

We still owe the contractor the final payment and are waiting for the city inspector to sign off before we make that payment. That's the leverage we'll use to get dates of purchase and receipts from him that will be necessary to use the warranties. No more documentation of warranties, no final payment. Just wasn't sure whether the contract that stipulates the materials was enough, although the specific brand and type wasn't included in the contract wording for everything.


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RE: Warranties from GC after completion

No, you do need to register most warranties for them to be in effect. Coverage exists whether or not the manufacturer knows your purchase date. The GC is your intermediary here. He purchased the products, so you will need to go through him as a licensed agent if you have a warranty issue. I'm assuming that he also provides some type of install warranty for a specified period as well? That's actually more important than the manufacturer's warranty, because most issues that you will have will be due to improper installs, or normal wear and tear or abuse. None of which is covered by the manufacturer's warranty.

The only paperwork that is worth pursuing are the appliances, HVAC, and water heater paperwork. Those are the only ones that have a long term warranty beyond the installer's warranty and could have issues that a manufacturer's warranty will cover. Most of the problems that you will have down the road with any of the rest your home's components will be due to improper install or ordinary wear and tear/abuse. Even if you have warranty paperwork, a manufacturer won't cover a wood floor buckling--because that's an installer issue. They won't cover a hinge pulling out of a cabinet door---because that's due to abuse. In fact, they won't cover most anything you have a problem with. All a warranty is is a public statement of confidence that the manufacturer has about the quality of their products. The longer warranty they have, the less likely anyone is to ever make an claim under that warranty. It's the 1 year appliance warranties and 5 year HVAC warranties that end up being utilized.


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RE: Warranties from GC after completion

Thanks Live!

We purchased the appliances ourselves and have registered those warranties. Other than extending ductwork to the new addition, no HVAC work was done and we didn't get a new water heater.

Our contract with the GC does include a guarantee/warranty on their work; I think it's one year (don't have the contract in front of me), but GC in his early 60s and I'm sure will be retiring within the next 5 years. Several aspects of the cabinets have a lifetime warranty and the bamboo floor is 30 years. Not sure what it is on the siding and windows, but I have known several people who have had siding or window issues that were indeed covered by the manufacturers' warranties. If our GC is no longer in business when/if we have issues, I don't want to be stuck simply because we didn't insist on more documentation.

Thanks!


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RE: Warranties from GC after completion

"No, you do need to register most warranties for them to be in effect."

Not correct.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act sets the law.

The rules are rather strict, one of the reasons almost all warranties are now "limited."

Any requirement to "register' to receive warranty protection is also very limited, and almost none of the companies comply.

(b) Duties and conditions imposed on consumer by warrantor
(1) In fulfilling the duties under subsection (a) of this section respecting a written warranty, the warrantor shall not impose any duty other than notification upon any consumer as a condition of securing remedy of any consumer product which malfunctions, is defective, or does not conform to the written warranty, unless the warrantor has demonstrated in a rulemaking proceeding, or can demonstrate in an administrative or judicial enforcement proceeding (including private enforcement), or in an informal dispute settlement proceeding, that such a duty is reasonable.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode15/usc_sec_15_00002304----000-.html


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