Should My Home Renovator Offer a Written Guarantee?

Warranties and guarantees are an important part of doing business in today’s world, whether you’re a business offering a product or service and trying to win the trust of your customers, or whether you’re a customer looking to make your dollars go farther. The list of things that typically include some sort of guarantee is long and always growing. Electronics and appliances are some of the most frequent purchases made by Americans, and these products are typically covered by a manufacturer’s guarantee — in addition to a guarantee from the store or site from which the item was purchased, in many cases.

When it comes to a serious investment like a kitchen or bathroom renovation, a written guarantee is all the more important. People often wonder whether they should bother seeking a written guarantee from a home renovation contractor when this kind of work is being done — and the answer is unequivocally “yes”!

Let’s say you hire a contractor for an interior renovation, and you’re excited to get the project underway. You’ve been planning and thinking about it for quite some time, and it’s finally time to take the leap. You might not be thinking about all the elements involved in this process: choosing and buying materials, perfecting your designs and blueprints, creating a work schedule with your contractor, and following through with the actual work and craftsmanship. Defects and mistakes can happen in any of these key areas. You might get the wrong materials, or they might come at a higher cost than was originally agreed. The design process can hit a snare and be delayed. Flaws in the workmanship can be noticed — if not right way, weeks or even months after the project is completed.

If your renovation contractor hasn’t offered a wide-ranging guarantee that covers all of these areas, you could be left with an unexpected bill — or a renovation that simply doesn’t live up to your hopes and expectations. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if we were talking about a smart phone, or even a larger appliance like a dishwasher. But home renovations are typically much more costly. The represent a substantial investment by homeowners, and a good return is expected — whether that means increased market value or simply an enhanced lifestyle.

What does a guarantee tell you?

It’s important to look at a detailed and written guarantee from two important angles. First, it protects you (the homeowner) from defects in the renovation process and/or the finished results. Second, it sends a clear message that the contractor does not expect anything to go wrong with the renovation. When a project is undertaken and backed by guarantee, it’s in the contractor’s best interest to do things right the first time around, and to make sure your expectations are met or exceeded. A written guarantee is a statement of confidence by the contractor, and no home renovation such be undertaken without such a guarantee. If you’re researching contractors in your area, be sure to ask what kind of guarantee is offered, what’s covered and what isn’t, and whether that guarantee is in writing. Remember — a verbal guarantee might sound good, but a contractual guarantee is the only thing that matters from a legal perspective. Good luck!