Whether you’re buying or selling a house, one topic that comes up frequently during real estate transactions is warranties. From appliances to floor coverings, warranties provide peace of mind to both the current homeowner and the new home buyer.
When it comes to roofing, a transferable warranty can be one of your home’s greatest assets.
This article explains what you need and how to transfer a manufacturer roofing warranty, including how much time you have to complete the process after purchasing a house.
Before diving into roofing warranties, let’s discuss warranties in general. According to Merriam-Webster, a warranty is “a guarantee of the integrity of a product and of the maker’s responsibility for the repair or replacement of defective parts.”
One of the key words here is defective. Most warranties are only concerned with faulty products, not problems due to everyday use and aging.
Roof warranties may be offered by the roofing contractor or the manufacturer of the roofing products.
Workmanship warranties are warranties from the roofing contractor and typically cover the quality of the installation.
Manufacturer warranties generally protect only the roofing materials and assume the roofing contractor followed proper installation procedures.
Occasionally, with extended manufacturer warranties, such as the Service First Roofing Preferred Protection and Platinum Protection Limited Warranties, contractor workmanship is included in the manufacturer’s warranty.
It’s uncommon for workmanship warranties issued by the contractor to be transferable, so the focus of this article is on how to transfer a manufacturer roofing warranty.
When reviewing a roofing warranty document, you should scan for the following details:
Warranties should specify who benefits from the warranty. Typically, the original owner of the shingles or roofing products and – if the warranty is transferable, a subsequent owner of the shingles or roofing products would be covered.
Here, you’ll find details on which specific products are covered and other eligibility information, such as proper installation by approved contractors. You’ll also learn what the remedy is should there be a defect. For example, are tear-off and reinstallation labor costs covered or does the warranty only provide for the cost of new material?
Coverage periods may vary by component (shingles vs. vents) and feature (algae resistance, wind resistance, etc.), so pay close attention to the wording.
Your manufacturer’s warranty will usually detail some common scenarios that are expressly not covered, like improper handling, installation and roof preparation errors, and damage from debris impact.
If your warranty can be transferred to the next homeowner, you should find the guidelines outlined in a separate section, although sometimes it’s also mentioned in the “Who Is Covered” paragraphs.
There should be a dedicated portion on how to file a claim, where to send it and how to deal with disputes.
Two common terms you may hear when discussing warranties are limited and lifetime. These words may have different meanings depending on how they’re used and the warrantor’s intentions. They may also be linked together, as in “limited lifetime”.
Always pay close attention whenever you see these words pop up in a document.
All warranties have conditions, and therefore all warranties are “limited.” Typical warranty restrictions include time, cause of the problem — such as wear and tear — and disallowed costs, like labor or certain parts.
Basically, a warranty can be limited by a number of items the manufacturer outlines. Always take the time to read over and make sure you understand the limits of your warranty, whether it covers your roofing materials or any other purchased items.
Lifetime warranties for roofing products typically imply “as long as the original owner owns the home.” The warranty contract should spell out what the exact definition of “lifetime” is per the manufacturer.
If you’re ever in doubt, ask your roofing contractor in The Woodlands or the roofing manufacturer to explain it.
When you put the two words together as in a “limited lifetime” warranty, you’ll usually find a warranty with some limits as to product and time coverage.
The manufacturer can offer extended warranties that provide additional or lengthier coverages than their standard warranties. Extended warranties usually cost extra to obtain and may only be available under certain conditions or for certain products.
For example, Service First's extended roofing warranties can only be offered by their network of independent Platinum and Preferred Roofing Contractors, and they only apply to particular products.
As stated earlier, the ability to transfer a roofing warranty to a new owner is dependent upon the warranty contract.
Warranties that are transferable usually have strict guidelines that must be followed to make sure the transfer takes place correctly.
In some cases, there is a cost associated with moving the warranty from the original owner to the new owner.
Warranty transfer procedures vary among manufacturers and even among the different product lines the manufacturer sells. The success of a transfer also depends on if it is completed within the required timeframe after a house is sold.
Did You Know? Service First offers its customers the benefit of a transferable warranty for all its shingle products.
Some important details to note concerning a transfer are:
To better understand a warranty transfer, let’s review the process together in an imaginary scenario with Service First shingle products. Remember – every manufacturer is different, so this scenario only explains what you would do in the case of an Service 1st Roofing warranty.
For this example, let’s start with the sale of a single-family detached home by its original homeowner to you. Congrats! You are now the new owner.
Fortunately for you, the home you just bought had Service First shingle products installed on the roof, all of which came with a Standard Product Limited Warranty.
There are three key things you need to know and do when transferring a warranty:
Hopefully, the seller kept their original manufacturer warranty documents and/or contractor agreement. If not, you may have to do a little detective work by reaching out to the contractor who did the install and ask for a copy of the agreement.
The logic behind the above requirements is straightforward. This documentation is required so that Service First can confirm that you are the second owner of the shingles or roofing products and not the third, fourth, etc. and to confirm that their products were used on the roof.
As you can see, proper record-keeping can make the warranty transfer relatively simple. When your roofing project is complete, make sure you register your warranty according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Then, securely store all the necessary paperwork, along with a copy of the warranty. This makes it easier for the new homeowner to complete the warranty transfer.
If you’re purchasing a home and the previous owner didn’t keep accurate records, it’s still possible for you to transfer a warranty. First, try calling the contractor or supplier to get proof of purchase. You’ll also need to provide the month and year the shingles were installed.
Warranties let consumers know that the manufacturer stands behind their products. Roofs are one of the largest upkeep expenditures for homeowners, and a quality roof can last for many years, making it a valuable investment.
If your roof is covered in durable, reliable Service First Roofing products, remind prospective homeowners that the roofing materials are backed by a manufacturer’s warranty. The ability to transfer the roofing warranty could be a motivating factor in the sale.
Pro Tip: If you’re buying a home, be sure to ask about the roof and get the required documentation for a warranty transfer if applicable.
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Our object in the construction of the state is the greatest happiness of the whole
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