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Roof Warranty

Contractor Warranty vs. Manufacturer Warranty

October , 2023 | 7 min. read

By Cassie Findley

large victorian style home

Warranties play a pivotal role in the world of consumer protection, offering a safety net for various products and services. Whether it’s for your new car, your recently purchased washer & dryer, or your roof, warranties are important. While one warranty isn’t exactly more necessary than the other, having warranties that protect your roof is of the essence. Why? Well, a roof is one of the biggest investments a homeowner can make, and we’ll bet you want that bad boy protected.

RoofCrafters has been installing roofs since the 90s, and the one thing that hasn’t gone out of style since then is protection efforts through warranties. But, there are so many to choose from! We know; so let’s pump the brakes and talk solely about contractor warranties and manufacturer warranties! Both serve the purpose of providing homeowners with confidence in their purchases, and these warranties cater to different facets of the consumer experience.

That being said, understanding the contrasts and similarities between these warranty types is vital for informed decision-making, ensuring that homeowners like you are well-equipped to address potential issues that may arise in the realms of roof replacements. We want you to be as educated about warranties as possible, so in just a few short moments, you’ll learn what a roofing warranty is, the definitions of contractor and manufacturer warranties, and a comparison between the two. Let’s get started!

What is a Roofing Warranty?


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A roofing warranty is a contractual agreement between a roofing manufacturer, installer, or contractor and the homeowner, outlining the terms and conditions related to the performance and longevity of a roofing system. It serves as a guarantee that the roof will function as intended for a specified period, typically ranging from a few years to several decades, depending on the type of warranty. Roofing warranties can cover various aspects, including material defects, workmanship, and protection against leaks or damage.

birdseye view of a roof replacement in progress

If issues arise during the warranty period, the responsible party, whether it's the manufacturer or installer, will typically repair or replace the roof at no additional cost to the homeowner. Roofing warranties provide homeowners with peace of mind, assuring them of the quality and durability of their roofing investment. It's crucial for homeowners to thoroughly review the terms of the warranty to understand its coverage, limitations, and any required maintenance or registration to ensure they can take full advantage of the protection it offers.

What is a Contractor Warranty?


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A contractor warranty is a legal and binding assurance provided by a construction or service contractor to their customer. This warranty outlines the terms and conditions of the contractor's commitment to the quality and durability of their work or services. It serves as a guarantee that the contractor's work will meet certain standards and perform as promised for a specified period. Typically, contractor warranties cover aspects such as workmanship, materials, and sometimes structural integrity.

before and after a new asphalt shingle roof replacement

In case issues or defects arise during the warranty period, the contractor is obliged to address and rectify them at no additional cost to the homeowner. The specific terms and duration of contractor warranties can vary widely, so it's essential for homeowners to thoroughly read and understand the warranty agreement before hiring a contractor to ensure they have a clear understanding of the protections and recourse available to them should any problems arise after the work is completed.

What is a Manufacturer Warranty?


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A manufacturer warranty is a legally binding guarantee provided by the manufacturer of a product, assuring homeowners of the product's quality and performance. This warranty typically outlines the terms and conditions governing the manufacturer's commitment to the product's durability and functionality within a specified time frame. Manufacturer warranties can vary in duration and coverage, but they generally offer protection against defects in materials or workmanship. In case the product fails or malfunctions during the warranty period, the manufacturer is responsible for repairing, replacing, or refunding the product, depending on the terms of the warranty.

drone shot above a home showing finished 3-tab shingle roof

These warranties provide homeowners with a level of assurance that the product will meet certain quality standards, and they often play a crucial role in a homeowner's purchasing decision. It's important for consumers to carefully review and understand the terms and conditions of a manufacturer's warranty to ensure they know what is covered and for how long, helping them make informed choices and take advantage of available protections if issues arise with their purchased product.

Contractor Warranty vs. Manufacturer Warranty


Contractor warranties and manufacturer warranties are two distinct types of warranties that offer different types of protection to consumers:

Contractor Warranty


A contractor warranty is typically associated with the services provided by roofing contractors. These warranties focus on the workmanship and services performed by the contractor. Key points to note about contractor warranties include:

Coverage: Contractor warranties primarily cover the quality and craftsmanship of the work performed. They may also encompass the materials used during the construction or installation process.

Duration: The duration of a contractor warranty can vary but is often limited to a specific time frame, such as one to ten years.

Responsibility: The contractor is responsible for addressing and rectifying any defects, issues, or failures that occur within the warranty period at no additional cost to the homeowner.

Claims Process: If a problem arises, the homeowner contacts the contractor directly to request warranty service or repairs.

Manufacturer Warranty


A manufacturer warranty, on the other hand, is associated with a product and is provided by the manufacturer of that product. These warranties focus on the quality and performance of the item itself. Key points to consider regarding manufacturer warranties include:

Coverage: Manufacturer warranties typically cover defects in the materials and workmanship of the product. Some may also include specific performance guarantees.

Duration: Manufacturer warranties can vary widely in terms of duration, ranging from a few months to several years or more.

Responsibility: In the case of product defects or issues, the manufacturer is responsible for repairing, replacing, or refunding the product within the terms of the warranty.

Claims Process: To make a claim under a manufacturer warranty, the homeowner contacts the manufacturer or follows the instructions provided in the warranty documentation.

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Understanding the Roles of Contractor and Manufacturer Warranties


As you now know, contractor warranties and manufacturer warranties serve distinct yet complementary roles in providing consumer protection and assurance. Contractor warranties focus on the craftsmanship and materials used in construction or service projects, ensuring the quality of the work performed.

In contrast, manufacturer warranties center around the quality and performance of products themselves, offering coverage for defects in materials and workmanship. Both types of warranties can be essential for homeowners, whether they're having a service performed or purchasing a new roof. Understanding the terms and conditions of these warranties is crucial to making informed decisions and having recourse if issues arise.

By recognizing the differences and similarities between these warranties, homeowners can navigate their choices with greater confidence, knowing that they have safeguards in place to address potential concerns with their projects or purchased items. If you have questions regarding your warranty options and are looking for a professional opinion, be sure to hit the “Schedule an Inspection” button down below, and one of our experts will conduct a thorough examination of your roof and provide you with our top-tier warranty choices!

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Cassie Findley

My name is Cassie, and I’m the Content Manager here at RoofCrafters. I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and made my way out to Florida post-college graduation. I’m incredibly passionate about writing and creating valuable content that helps others with the collaboration of my marketing team. When I’m not working, I enjoy shopping (a little too much), spending time at the beach, and reading!