What's A Warranty Worth?

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Peeling exterior paint warranty Peeling paint is a possible warranty situation. What kind of company will stand behind their work?

Believe it or not, some homeowners have hired crummy contractors - the kind you have no confidence in. But these people are quite sure that if everything goes bad, they've still got a written warranty.

Now a warranty is only as good as the company making it. The SBA says that 80% of new service companies don't make it to their 5th birthday (93% don't make it to 10 years!). You should know how far along that time line your contractor is before you buy into his warranty.

There are two kinds of warranties:

  • Labor Warranty (cost borne by the contractor)
  • Material Warranty (cost borne by the manufacturer)

Material Warranty

Crestwood Painting uses only lifetime warranty Sherwin Williams Duration for our exterior painting projects. But we don't mention the paint warranty because it just never comes into play - really. Most paint reps will give a few gallons to a good contractor to take care of a customer - no trouble at all. But it almost never happens if a contractor uses top-notch paint like Duration. Which leads us to the...

Labor Warranty

This is where most of the risk is - for the contractor and for the homeowner. It's easy to get replacement paint. But there is only one contractor that will make good on a warranty - the one you hired. If he's out of business, too busy, not interested, fishing, etc. then you have a problem.

If you've hired a contractor that has earned your trust and confidence, then fret not! But if you think a warranty may come into play, then the cost should be low enough to remove the stinging sensation from a warranty claim gone wrong.

Best Case Warranty Scenario

You call your contractor and he answers with a smile and a cheerful "No problem - we'll take care of that!" Paint is ordered and work is promptly scheduled. You can expect to see a slight color mismatch from age, sun, weather, etc. where the repair is made.

As of this writing (August '13) we've had one single call in seven years in business for exterior touch-up work. The paint had faded  after only three years (it was a difficult color - a deep Hershey chocolate). Sherwin Williams gladly provided all the material needed, I told the customer "No problem - we'll take care of that!" And three days later the customer was delighted again.

Even better - there was no color mismatch because we repainted the whole section!

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