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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you feel the contractor’s workmanship warranty is a significant factor in the mind of the homeowner?

If so, do you feel the length of that warranty has much of an impact on their decision making?

What would work best; 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 15 years or lifetime?

I started offering a lifetime warranty 2008. During that same period my closing ratio went down.

I don’t know if the warranty had anything to with it. It could have been because the economy in Detroit has worsened. I also noticed more of my leads were from referrals in 2007.

Anyway I decided to lower it back down to 15 years for 2009. I wonder if I should take it even lower. What do you think?
 

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Is that 15 year warranty from you, or the manufacturers program?

If from you, do you charge extra for it and if so, how much per incremental amount of time?

In you Michigan economy, I would offer one option that is bare bones and very limited on the warranty, so that they have a budget option to choose from.

Then, try to get them to upgrade after they decided on you as their contractor, if you think it merits further discussion.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's my warranty

Is that 15 year warranty from you, or the manufacturers program?

If from you, do you charge extra for it and if so, how much per incremental amount of time?

In you Michigan economy, I would offer one option that is bare bones and very limited on the warranty, so that they have a budget option to choose from.

Then, try to get them to upgrade after they decided on you as their contractor, if you think it merits further discussion.

Ed
It's my warranty and it's included for free
 

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It's my warranty and it's included for free
Dang, thats an awful long time to hang your azz out on a warranty.

I hope you have good exclusions or requirements, like an annually required maintenance inspection for a nominal fee.

Ed
 

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5 years is plenty,10 years is feel good stuff
reality is:If you do the job right,and only guarantee that they`ll have no problems.leaks caused by labor/and/or workmanship-It`s a moot point
top quality 1st point
reasonable price-2nd point
3rd point-ability to point out the differences between you,and lowball roofer,and why those things are included in your bid
I always stress the prope educating of the homeowners,about how and why you do what you do-helps to build trust,with that-comes signatures
 

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I do feel that the leak free guarantee plays into the mind of the customer. However at some point you may scare them with a "too good to be true". For me I think the only people who buy the life time warranty's are the same people who think financing is a good idea. They are also the same that allow themselves to be high pressured.

A game going on around here right now is companies offering the manufacturer's upgraded labor guarantee, llike the certainteed surestart, for example. I don't think they actually mislead the customer by saying the manufacturer is guaranteeing the roof won't leak but that's what I'd bet most customers assume when they see labor guarantee. If you read the fine print, one company I know of is guaranteeing it for only 2 years.... When I explain what the upgraded guarantee really is, it's usually a pretty easy sell.

I offer 10 years on shingles. I do this because I know what I am doing is better than most and I know that my roof will probably last longer than most, therfore it should be warranted longer. My guarantee is also fully transferrable for the full 10 years, a nice selling point of they are trying to put the house on the market.
 

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Hi Jack,

Most contractors I have spoken with over the past 37 years have told me how they limit their warranties and add in all kinds of disclaimers in order to protect themselves from being sued. They were very concerned about putting themselves at risk.
After being hired as a consultant and expert witness in countless litigations over the years, I can tell you with all confidence that a limited warranty will not protect you nearly so much as you might think. The only thing that will genuinely protect you from being wiped out in court is to give your customers the very best roof work possible and to stay in a good relationship with them. Giving your customers great warranties will help you infinitely more than being fearful and tight-fisted.
If you remove your potential customer’s perceived risk of doing business with you, you have put him at ease. In other words, you have moved him away from pain and into pleasure.
Any call-backs or partial refunds you might have to make are microscopic compared to the increase in sales you will have by taking the risk on yourself instead of placing it on your customers.
I have learned from decades of my own experience that making good on a warranty is always to your advantage. Each time you do, you can ask for a letter from your customer stating how well you responded and took care of the problem.
Then, if you have a website for your company, you can include those letters on your warranty page. Those letters will win over your potential customers and give them the comforting knowledge that you will also take care of them in the very same way.
Your warranty page will show how extensively you cover your products and installations – and it will be backed up with testimonials of how well you respond to warranty calls. It will slam dunk one sale after another for you.
There is no real value to skimpy warranties, unless of course you plan on doing shoddy work and leaving people out to dry. Even then, your skimpy warranties and failure to correct future problems for your customers will do nothing more than turn them against you and land you in court.
So again, there is no real value in short, skimpy warranties. They will do you much more harm than good.
Suppose you offer your customer a ten-year service warranty. You will be linked to that customer for the next ten years – and that will be a good thing. You can add them to your list of references.
If your company uses quality materials and excellent workmanship, my advice is to pile it on in your warranties. Spell it out in detail. And include a coupon that says:
“Good for one free inspection and roof tune-up anytime in the next 20 years.”
And then spell out on the coupon everything you will check, repair, and touch-up.
Your warranty will cause your potential customer to heavily lean in your favor. It will alleviate his fear of the unknown, such as, if his roof will ever leak in the future. Your warranty will lower his “perceived risk” of doing business with you.
Your customers link your warranty to pain and pleasure – to pain if the warranty is short and skimpy – and to pleasure if your warranty encompasses their perceived needs and extends far into their future.
In reality, your warranties cost you nothing, because they will dramatically increase your percentage rate of getting the job. So, give great warranties and take the risk of the purchase away from your potential customer. He will feel good about you for doing it.
 

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If your referring to shingle work and use aluminum/neoprene pipe collars I would back down to 10 years.I feel 10 years is more then fair.If your install is faulty it will fail in the first year or so.In this area 10 is standard.Like Grumpy pointed out "to good to be true" does pop into customers minds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for input

Thanks for your input.

I think the lifetime warranty I was offering last year really didn't help me.

My workmanship warranty was equal to the warranty on the shingles, 30 years for example.

THat probably made propects skeptical.

I'm not sure if 15 is much more believable.
 

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Tim,

I finally get to meet the Man behind the "How To Bid Higher Than Anybody Else And Still Get The Job" cd's and instruction manual.

Chris Rayburn and myself have talked about the benefits of your program several times in the past.

Welcome to the site.

One thing I took away from your sample course years ago, was to take many digital photos of the job you are surveying.

It works like a charm and takes the place of the written proposal for the most part.

I agree and already had mentioned about the annual maintenance agreement for the extended periods of time, but I like the coupon idea as an add on to that concept.

Ed

Hi Jack,

Most contractors I have spoken with over the past 37 years have told me how they limit their warranties and add in all kinds of disclaimers in order to protect themselves from being sued. They were very concerned about putting themselves at risk.
After being hired as a consultant and expert witness in countless litigations over the years, I can tell you with all confidence that a limited warranty will not protect you nearly so much as you might think. The only thing that will genuinely protect you from being wiped out in court is to give your customers the very best roof work possible and to stay in a good relationship with them. Giving your customers great warranties will help you infinitely more than being fearful and tight-fisted.
If you remove your potential customer’s perceived risk of doing business with you, you have put him at ease. In other words, you have moved him away from pain and into pleasure.
Any call-backs or partial refunds you might have to make are microscopic compared to the increase in sales you will have by taking the risk on yourself instead of placing it on your customers.
I have learned from decades of my own experience that making good on a warranty is always to your advantage. Each time you do, you can ask for a letter from your customer stating how well you responded and took care of the problem.
Then, if you have a website for your company, you can include those letters on your warranty page. Those letters will win over your potential customers and give them the comforting knowledge that you will also take care of them in the very same way.
Your warranty page will show how extensively you cover your products and installations – and it will be backed up with testimonials of how well you respond to warranty calls. It will slam dunk one sale after another for you.
There is no real value to skimpy warranties, unless of course you plan on doing shoddy work and leaving people out to dry. Even then, your skimpy warranties and failure to correct future problems for your customers will do nothing more than turn them against you and land you in court.
So again, there is no real value in short, skimpy warranties. They will do you much more harm than good.
Suppose you offer your customer a ten-year service warranty. You will be linked to that customer for the next ten years – and that will be a good thing. You can add them to your list of references.
If your company uses quality materials and excellent workmanship, my advice is to pile it on in your warranties. Spell it out in detail. And include a coupon that says:
“Good for one free inspection and roof tune-up anytime in the next 20 years.”
And then spell out on the coupon everything you will check, repair, and touch-up.
Your warranty will cause your potential customer to heavily lean in your favor. It will alleviate his fear of the unknown, such as, if his roof will ever leak in the future. Your warranty will lower his “perceived risk” of doing business with you.
Your customers link your warranty to pain and pleasure – to pain if the warranty is short and skimpy – and to pleasure if your warranty encompasses their perceived needs and extends far into their future.
In reality, your warranties cost you nothing, because they will dramatically increase your percentage rate of getting the job. So, give great warranties and take the risk of the purchase away from your potential customer. He will feel good about you for doing it.
 

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I guess I have it easy on the Commercial side with Warranties.

Aside from a 10, 15, 20 and rarely 30 year manufacturer warranty we either provide 2 year contractor (for 10 &15 year) or 3 year contractor (for 20&30 year) projects.

We wont do a project without a manufacturers warranty.

Obviously commercial roofs are under much more stress than residential and its a totally different animal but I coulnt imagine offering a lifetime warranty! :no:
 

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Hi Ed,

This RoofingTalk forum is hot! You and Grumpy are doing a great service for the roofing community. High-five to both of you! I’ll swing by from time to time to learn more hot tips from you guys and to see if there is something I can contribute.

Keep up the good work!

Bro' Tim
 

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Tim,

Why don't you make an introductory post of your business experiences and talk about your program a little bit, without it being considered spam, as long as it is relative to sales.

I would be interested in hearing more. Chris had great things to say about you. So did Andy Schindler.

Ed
 

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I think he was complimenting your knowledge and willingness to share.

Personally, I would hope that all of my competitors would learn more and be able to raise the bar for quality and also pricing.

I am as close to an open book as it comes, when it comes to providing information to anyone who needs it, because that will help me and the entire industry strive for a higher plateau.

Ed
 
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