April 23, 2020| Lester Yat
Sick of looking at peeling paint on the building’s exterior, or fearful that those curling roof shingles may be hinting that leaks are on the way, the owners have accepted the fact that it’s time to act.
Discussions have been held, requests for proposals sent out, bids reviewed — with a wide range of prices. The moment of decision has arrived, and the property manager is at the front line of the renovation action.
But wait! Take another look at those bids — and look beyond the bottom line, in search of the warranty details. When analyzing vendor proposals, the warranty information must be included; it’s a vital factor to be considered as part of any contract.
Consider this: a roof warranty will cover material defects for a number of years — five, 10, or even 50 — as well as the labor required for replacing defective shingles. And then there’s the issue of “workmanship coverage” affecting specifics from flashing application to the disposal of materials. And don’t forget the “peace of mind” that comes with a transferable warranty.
GAF, for example, offers three levels of warranty, from “base” to “best,” that should be weighed when considering the cost of a roofing project. A wise owner or manager will ask questions about any difference among the warranties — and will find that the very best is only a few hundred dollars’ difference. Divided by the number of buildings or units involved, moving up the warranty ladder comes down to a couple of bucks per door! And add this into the equation: for the better warranties, the product must be installed by a certified contractor, indicating that you’re getting top-notch service from the beginning.
Other exterior projects — such as siding, windows/doors, and skylights — will be a little easier to decipher, since those components most likely come with only a single warranty. But the devil is still in the details, and it’s always wise to compare the warranties offered before opening the wallet for a major project that residents are going to be living with for a long time.
Managers, of course, should remember that consistent preventive maintenance programs will keep the warranty in effect and beyond that, can extend the useful life of the component.
So the new roof looks great. The windows are draft-free. The skylights let the sun shine in, brightening life for everyone. But don’t stop now: At the completion of a capital improvement project, the vendor should automatically submit the warranties, so that down the road, there won’t be any questions about what is, or isn’t covered, should a problem arise. Want an even greater sense of security? Customer-centered companies will go a step further, hand-delivering not only the manufacturer’s warranty, but also their own warranty covering workmanship.
Face it: the time has come to make that building beautiful again — and to do it with the peace of mind that comes from having a solid warranty standing behind the job.