Maintenance is an ongoing chore that homeowners have to keep on top of. There is maintenance that is ongoing but basic, such as simply having the gardener mow the lawn, weed your garden, and cultivate your flower beds, or hosing down the driveway so excess dirt from wind and bad weather is washed away. And there are the many small jobs around the house that homeowners accept as part of everyday living, jobs that tend to the house and property.
General repairs, though not undertaken as often, must also be considered part of the routine of home maintenance: fixing or changing windows, cleaning and securing gutters and leaders, checking the chimney periodically for cracks and missing bricks, caulking cracks around windows and doors, as well as arranging for sidewalk, walkway, and steps repairs when needed.
For the most part, when hiring a professional to take care of any of the many maintenance or repair issues that may crop up over time, most people focus their priorities on getting the most reliable and responsible vendor — with the most competitive price — to take care of the repair or maintenance under consideration.
Sometimes, though, another crucial element of facilitating that repair or maintenance issue slips through the cracks after satisfactory completion of the job, and that is a written warranty from the vendor for the guarantee of the vendor’s work for a given time frame.
Depending on the work, I wouldn’t say that every job requires a warranty from the vendor, but many large or long-term fixes should carry some kind of warranty in writing from the person or company doing that repair.
For instance, if you install a new boiler or water heater, even though it is working beautifully at the time of installation and has a warranty of equipment from the manufacturer, you still are entitled to a warranty in writing from the installer of that equipment, guaranteeing the proper installation and function of that equipment for a period of time. What if a month after installation there is a problem? How are you going to get that installer to come and take care of it if you do not have a warranty for a set time period?
If you bring in a roofer to repair or replace a roof, a warranty should be given to you in writing for a set period of time (usually years), guaranteeing the work and the soundness of the new roof. (A repair or patch on the roof might only get you a short warranty.)
Hardwire appliance installations such as wall ovens, over-the-stove microwaves, or other similar installations should be done with some kind of written warranty on the installation, in addition to the usual manufacturer’s warranty.
I am only providing a few examples of situations where warranties should be requested and provided in writing by the technicians or vendors taking care of these types of repairs or installations. In order to protect yourself when having the work done, hire reputable technicians who will give you some kind of warranty on the work they have provided, which you should file away like insurance.
With respect to larger jobs, such as heating equipment, roof, chimneys, or large masonry projects, these longer term warranties are vital to protect the homeowner. Also, if the homeowner decides to sell, these warranties will be necessary not only to show the work actually done but to transfer the warranties to the prospective homeowner.
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa@AVCrealty.com.