First question: What is outlined in your labor warranty and how long is that? I usually give a standard 5 year labor warranty. Second question: If a homeowner calls you and says the roof is leaking!!! and you just had 60-80 mph wind and rain…and you inspect it and find a couple of missing shingles…how do you handle that warranty?
When I started in 99 my warranty was matched with everyone elses in my area.The norm was 1-3 years.I started feeling that was lacking so I bumped it to 5 years around 06’ then I went to 7 over a year ago.Now I am between 10-15.
The question a contractor who wishes to provide the best for his customers has to ask himself/herself is this.How confident are you about your installations? Have you or do you install all your installations to spec or are they thrown together by a bunch of goobers who want the check ?
A contractor can be the talk of the town banging out 3 or 4 jobs per day driving $50,000 trucks with fancy wraps and some billboards.That looks impressive from the street.But if you don’t offer a solid warranty that covers your customer then at some point you will see those billboards be replaced with other contractors who take care of their customers.Those high priced trucks might end up in repo lots or pushed to another storm zone because you don’t stand behind your work or spend more time side stepping your coverage than it takes to just fix the problem and move on.
The point I am trying to make is if you install a product you install it to spec.Then you can offer your customer the maximum amount of workmanship warranty the material can help you offer.I give 10-15 and sleep peacefully.If at anytime within the amount of time I have given in writing goes wrong as a result of my installation its covered.Most times even if it was not because of my installations I help them anyway.The last thing you want to make your customer feel is being hung out to dry.
Even if its not your fault maybe replace what was damaged but DO NOT accept responsibility but inform them of the cause and what you are going to do about it even though it doesn’t fall under your warranty.I have been offered payment after I said those words.And yes I took the payment if offered it just depended on who they were and the situation.Contrary to popular believe if explained not every homeowner is out to screw you.
The flip side to offering a 10+ year warranty is standing behind it.You can offer something all day long but until you step up in the event of a problem then its just what I call “Ladder Chatter” in other words bullsh**.
My advice to you is this.,actually you can do it 4 ways.
1.Replace the shingles and touch up any interior damage and be a lifesaver quality contractor who will probably have a referral for life.
2.Replace the shingle and tell them the winds exceeded material capability (BS) and they are responsible for the interior.
3.Tell them there is nothing you can do because the winds exceeded the material capability.
4.Ignore the call maybe they will forget who they had for a contractor.
Honestly I would lean towards the first choice.And here is why;
Replacing the shingle and touching up the interior if need be shows integrity and concern for the customer.It shows that you stand behind your work and your name.It shows that you are the one to call for any exterior repairs.You are solid and customer loyalty and appreciation is something that means something within your company.
Something that has recently been brought to my attention that I have been missing is the fact that if you look at some of the typical contracts the contractors spend more time and paragraphs and pages explaining what they are NOT responsible for versus what they are responsible for within their contracts.I am guilty too.I have a sheet that has about 24 things I am not responsible for and a measley line or 2 explaining what I cover.I have changed all that and went into detail what I am responsible for on my contracts.No its not rocket science I know but it is a problem I have heard about for years and have dealt with and now I feel better about the new version.But once again these are my opinions.
“1.Replace the shingles and touch up any interior damage and be a lifesaver quality contractor who will probably have a referral for life.”
I’m with #1. Besides, 60-80 mph winds shouldn’t cause any more damage than 5-10 mph.
Case in point about coverage. Though I wasn’t offering any warranty on a roof I subbed to a member here, yesterday, a drip edge one of his employees was tasked with stripping in leaked. He missed a bad joint and there were a few other iffy things. I and the man I subbed to were there re-strip it in and touch it up. We also recoated the 2 sq. roof.
I will still be in the client’s short list of people to call, and he’ll still get work from me.
And before I get taken to task for helping, I’m not to the type to just tell a client somebody will be there and hope for the best. I was onsite and able to start something even though the sub said he was on his way. It’s how I’ve always rolled.
BTW, don’t waste too much time before you get with your client.
Great posts guys, even if it is past the point of your warranty a bit it never hurts to just be a good guy!
BTW, don’t waste too much time before you get with your client.[/quote]
Very important Frank.
Stopping for a cup of coffee and a box of doughnuts on a leak call isn’t advised.I had that happen once.,the sub said he was on his way and I beat him to the site.I took care of the problem and he pulls up with a cup of steaming coffee and a doughnut hanging out of his face from Quiktrip.Then has the nerve to ask if I wanted one :shock:
Warranty’s are not worth the paper or the time to explain. If a Roof is going to leak it will happen soon, that is why most States require minimum of 1 year.
Inspect your Wind Damage- for proper nailing as per Manufacturer’s Written Instructions.
Your nails properly placed get on the horn with the Rep. and they will most likely make it right- if you are a Roofer they know of. Check the Wind Stats for that Area that day.
The leaks, well if a storm happened 2 weeks ago and they did nothing to notice damage, nor call you for inspection and now it is coming through the ceiling well they dropped the ball.
And finally that is why they have Homeowners Policy, Act of God- (Wind) and then rain and then damage you get to turn in an Invoice to Someone.
Were the shingles missing installed properly? If not, yeah its you to fix the roof.
I agree with roofcheck for the most part. That is why I think giving a workmanship warranty past 5 years doesn’t make much sense but can create a rather expensive liability for the contractor. Lots of things can happen from year 5 through 15 causing leaks that may very well have nothing to do with workmanship. However, if you’re providing that 15 year warranty, rest assured you will receive a call and be expected to show up to inspect the damage AT NO CHARGE. In many cases, you’ll be pushed to repair the leak regardless of the cause.
Those trips and repairs cost money. Assuming you’re a legitimate and honorable contractor, every roof you build represents a potential liability expense to you. It’s as sure a thing as a debit on your balance sheet. Let’s do some math here for consideration. Let’s say you get a call back on 2 out of every 100 roofs you build. For the sake of argument, let’s say you build 200 roofs per year. Let’s say the average cost to make the service call and repairs for each call is $200.
A 5 year warranty therefore costs you 20 x $250 = $5,000
A 15 year warranty therefore costs you 60 x $250 = $15,000
I think these numbers are VERY conservative. This doesn’t take into account the interior damages you may be liable to repair which would increase these numbers by 3x to 5x. What happens if fuel is $8 per gallon (or more) 10 years from now?
Any way you cut it, a 15 year warranty is likely to cost you 3 x as much as a 5 year warranty. You may want to argue the 15 year warranty gains you business and spreads good will. I will argue unless you’re always willing to bend over and take it in the shorts, that 15 year warranty will cost you business over the long haul and end up creating ill will.
If the difference between you winning and losing jobs is the difference between giving a 5 year and a 15 year warranty, I believe you have some other issues you need to review, that being your Sales Reps and their approach to the Customer. Just my humble opinion but I think people should be very conservative with throwing things like 15 year warranties around casually. Roofmaster, given the volume of work you’ve been doing, you’re accumulating a rather extensive financial liability with that warranty, I hope it doesn’t come back to haunt you down the road my friend.
Rayson, I apologize, I didn’t really answer your question.
We give a 5 year Workmanship Warranty. Given your set of circumstances, we’d first go out and inspect the roof to determine the cause of the problem. Our philosophy with these types of things is to always give the Customer the benefit of the doubt. I’m going to say that 95% plus of the time, we’re just going to make the repair and consider it warranty coverage.
Last summer, we experienced some excessively heavy monsoon type winds/rain in Alabama and had a number of leaks. Upon investigating these, the vast majority were clearly from these excessive conditions and were not the result of any poor workmanship. Without exception, we repaired every one and also had the interior repairs made as well. This easily cost in excess of $10,000 but I believe we may that back multiple time with the references we got and the bad publicity we avoided. I consider stuff like that as “advertising cost”. It sucks but sometimes you simply have to swallow hard and accept these types of costs if you want to be considered the premier contractor in your area. That “premier” tag sure is nice, it gets you a lot of business, it allows you to sell at a higher price but don’t think for a minute you gain and maintain that label for free.
Zero to 5 years is my standard.
If it happened, I’d inspect it and call the shingle rep because it would be a manufacturer defect, not an installation issue. If necessary, I’d make temp repairs until he could get there so it won’t leak again until the issue is resolved.
Thanks guys. First of all let me start by saying I agree with just fixing the problem. There have been a few times where we have not taken owner ship of a problem. I think we would all be lying if we said we honored every homeowners request for (OUR) problem. Here in Oklahoma it seems pointless to have a warranty longer than 3 years because we are getting hit with a hail storm or tornadoes every year. I have replaced a lot of my homeowners houses 3 years in a row now. We are GAF advocates and up sell there warranty packages. I have a standard 5 year but will go to a 10 year if we install all the components that GAF requires. They also get the manufacture warranty as well. NOW, all manufacture warranties really suck once you read the fine print and can understand what is covered and what is not covered…being I used to be an adjuster helps me more to understand verbiage…but it goes back to what you all are saying about INTEGRITY. We just had some strong winds and rain and only had 2 calls, so I thought that would be a good topic to post about.
First of all when you hire some one for your home maintenance.you check their feedback that show their previous progress. You should proper agreement with them that is the proof. if they can’t complete your work then you contact court. They will pay you maintenance payment .
I think everyone is also missing an important component: How much interior damage occurred? Did a shingle blow off from high winds and cause a minor leak with minimal sheetrock damage or did the valley come up and flood the house? In the latter instance, I would inform the HO to call their insurance and file a claim. The repair costs clearly exceed the cost of their deductible and this roof failed because of high winds.
If the roof leaked and caused minor damage, I would be willing to eat this small repair without admitting fault to the customer. This is good business.
I had a similar event happen last week. Customer had a few shingles blow off and ruined sheetrock in daughters room. My sheetrock buddy charged me $250 and it was as good as new. Customer had ordered and paid for factory second shingles. we installed them but made it clear that they had no warranty. Just a couple blocks over around a dozen power poles were knocked over and houses throughout the neighborhood had missing shingles. This was clearly not my fault but I knew customer didn’t have money to make repairs and the same repairs would have cost him $500 or more. I have a customer that is loyal to me and will give good referrals. plus my buddy was needing work.
With this being a site predominantly a Insurance Restoration Site Reference Site…
What if…the Salesman/ woman who sold the original project sold the said warranted roof as a Insurance Claim Wind Damaged roof?
What if… only a few shingles missing from the previous roof yet the entire roof was bought by Insurance?
What if… the HO had a stupid high deductible $1,000 or more, and the repair was only a few shingles ($200 service call) but a confident Sales Rep got the whole roof bought?
With all these scenarios this HO has lost faith in your ability as a company whether you are there or not to do repairs. Doubtfully you will get this HO to pay yet another deductible 10 times the value of a repair for a second time.
Offering an excessive Warranty has now cost you a big, big problem, ill will and lack of faith in your organization.
For those of you replacing 200 roofs a year subbing subbing subbing you may very well find you in the failed business statistics that is often used as a Sales Tool.
I had a similar event happen last week. Customer had a few shingles blow off and ruined sheetrock in daughters room. My sheetrock buddy charged me $250 and it was as good as new. Customer had ordered and paid for factory second shingles. we installed them but made it clear that they had no warranty. Just a couple blocks over around a dozen power poles were knocked over and houses throughout the neighborhood had missing shingles. This was clearly not my fault but I knew customer didn’t have money to make repairs and the same repairs would have cost him $500 or more. I have a customer that is loyal to me and will give good referrals. plus my buddy was needing work.[/quote]
So now you’re installing factory seconds? LMAO! What next famous?
Customer asked for them. What would you do? I think at times some of you guys lose track of what it is like to be poor. This is often the case with deductibles. Someone that makes $8 an hour can’t afford a $1,000 deductible. Cold hard facts.
Customer asked for them. What would you do? I think at times some of you guys lose track of what it is like to be poor. This is often the case with deductibles. Someone that makes $8 an hour can’t afford a $1,000 deductible. Cold hard facts.[/quote]
I would refuse to install them. Period. I have refused several shingle over jobs. I think that is a crappy way to do a roof and REFUSE to have my company’s name associated with that type of work.
With all due respect famous, someone making $8 an hour can’t afford a house.
You are 100% right and I see it all the time. They live in mom’s or grandma’s old house. They can’t afford to maintain, insure, or upkeep the property. What do you do? I also have been known to finance roof repairs! You tell me how much(little) money I make on financing a 6 square redeck job for $1,200 on payments of $200 per month with $600 down from their insurance check? I had a salesmen bring it to me last month. Yeah, it was 60 miles away too and I bought the crew lunch and paid the salesmen a $200 commission. He actually brought me a signed contract that he had signed too. I just laughed. What else can you do? Yeah, they were 2 weeks late on first check and still owe me $400.
I thought the wife was going to make me sleep outside on that one! LOL.
I’ve had a contract for over a year where the guy lives in a 400k house with a $4,200 deductible on a 13k claim. No I won’t pay his deductible! He has his and hers matching Cameros and harleys and inground pool and takes trips every month. He still can’t pay the deductible and calls me about every month or so seeing what we can work out. Last time I suggested he either sell a toy or wait for a hail storm. Hasn’t called back and still hasn’t cashed his check. He’s waiting me out to pay his deductible. LOL!!!
I meet people every week that can’t pay a $500 deductible and live in a nice house and drive nice cars! They have to pay out the deductible in installments! How can they live that way?
What else can you do? Send him back with the contract in hand to get it changed to something acceptable or terminate it. Then tell the Salesman if they do something like that again, they’re fired.
I don’t know how it is in other States but here in Vermont Workmanship is a unwritten one year so regardless the “Tail Light” Warranty expressed with sub par make shifts we are still liable. Enforceable, thats something all together different.
In my area there are far and few high winds so i offer out of the hole a 15 year warranty. I do it since well it will make me stand out and i have the confidence my guys will do a great job as they always have. Build a big crew and have 2 foreman’s on the job and nothing is missed or done wrong. Thats how i do my stuff.