Oh I wonder, wonder What’s in a warranty! Who knows what surprises a warranty can hide! Yummy nestle chocolate with candy shapes inside!… Wait that’s a wonderball…. 😉 If you don’t remember wonderballs- just ignore this part. In all seriousness though, sometimes the warranty we pay for with our paint job can be full of surprises too! I’m here to show you what to look for before you sign that contract… Not all warranties are created equal and a good one can add significant value to your paint job. Let’s go over the two main types of warranties you will see.
Many paint contractors will not have their own warranty. Instead, they will just advertise the 12-15 (ish) year warranty on the paint itself that comes from the paint manufacturer. This only means that if the paint on your house fails within that time period (for a reason that can be clearly defined as an issue with the paint itself and not the application, weather, etc… )that the cost of new paint will be covered. This does not mean the cost of labor to repaint the house will be covered. Different paint manufacturers have different lengths on their warranties, but for the most part, they aren’t adding any Real value to your paint job.
Lazy Contractor’s Warranty
You might also see this manufacturer’s warranty being used as a selling point by the contractor. They just slap their name on the manufacturer’s paperwork instead… Here is what to look for when you see something resembling “12-15 year warranty” from a contractor.
- Does it say anywhere that it covers workmanship?
- If it does cover workmanship, how long exactly? (Surprise! Probably not 15 years!)
- Does it define what is a defect?
- Does it have exclusions? What are they?
- Are there extra stipulations? ex: proof of maintenance like pressure washing to remove mildew and residue OR specific paint that must be used etc…
Most of the time, contractors who offer an unclear warranty for an absurd length of time (such as 12-15 years along with the paint) will not have any of the detail above, and likely will not honor anything if they failed to word it well. After this much time has passed it is easy to say that the paint failure is not due to workmanship or product defect… so there is no real value added. 15 years of nothing! What a Deal!
There are many contractors who take the time to put together a comprehensive warranty that adds real value. Usually, they will have different warranties for interiors than exteriors (as is only logical), and the duration of time will be much more reasonable. A 5 year warranty for an exterior paint job is very reasonable, but 15 years is just unrealistic. On an opposite note; sometimes a 1 year warranty gets some glory but in truth, it hardly allows for anything to need warrantied.
Some contractors will be basic and only cover defects in their workmanship, while others will cover scratches from your pets and normal wear and tear. These details make all the difference. The more that is offered that is within reasonable bounds, the better the warranty! To further explain that; things that would be unreasonable for a contractor to cover would be things like fires and hail and more intensive things that your home insurance should cover. If the painter offers Too much, it is probably too good to be true.
Basic Warranty vs Premium Warranty
The way to tell if you’re getting a run of the mill, mostly useless warranty vs a comprehensive and quality warranty is by looking for these details:
- Will they touch up paint damages that were not their fault?
- Is the duration of time covered reasonable?
- Are their exclusions fair?
- Are their requirements logical?
- Is there any evidence that they honor this warranty?
Words are just words with no action! Here at Sir Paints A Lot; we take the extra steps to ensure you have a quality experience! Our exterior work is warrantied for 5 years and that includes 1 hour of touch-up each year. We contact you in the spring to schedule your touch-up work! We will do this for all 5 years so long as you can prove with a receipt that you’ve hired a contractor to pressure-wash mildew and debris off of your house once annually! (A good warranty should have some clear stipulations!)
Check out this quick video from just a tiny portion of last year’s paint touch-ups!
Maintenance is the best defense to paint failure! This is why we also offer our Premium Home Care Package!
Premium Home Care Package
Hopefully now you know what to look for in a painter’s warranty and you don’t run into any unfortunate surprises down the road!