In the excitement that comes with making a major purchase – whether you’re buying a couch, a toaster, a fence, or a railing – it is easy to overlook the details of the warranty. In essence, a warranty is a promise made by the manufacturer or seller to stand behind the product. The coverage offered by a warranty varies dramatically from product to product, so you will need to take some time to compare contenders’ warranties just as you would compare their products’ design, cost, construction, and durability. Once you understand why warranties are important, you won’t ever accept a subpar warranty again.
Why Warranties Are Important
You probably don’t need us to tell you why warranties are important, but regardless, today we would like to emphasize their importance so that you take the time to carefully consider a fencing/railing product’s warranty before making a purchase.
Basically, a warranty provides peace of mind and protection. If your fencing or railing product fails in some specific way (as defined by the warranty), the company will take responsibility and attempt to right the situation. Each warranty contains numerous details stipulating the warranty’s coverage, conditions, limitations, length, and more. So although we can agree that warranties are important, we also must note that many warranties fail to provide reasonable and reassuring coverage. To protect yourself, you need to seek out an excellent fencing/railing product with a strong warranty.
In addition, consider that when a company stands by their product with an excellent warranty, you know that you can trust in the product’s integrity. Chances are, the company produces high-quality products with durable materials and fantastic craftsmanship. Their warranty reflects their faith in their top-notch products.
What Makes a Strong Warranty
So what items and details (both good and bad) should you keep an eye out for when shopping for a new fencing or railing product? We recommend that you look for the following features in your system’s warranty to ensure the protection of your purchase:
- If purchasing a residential fence/railing, look for a lifetime warranty that can transfer to your property’s next owner.
- If purchasing a commercial fence, look for a warranty that lasts at least 30 years.
- You want a non-prorated warranty, which means that the seller/manufacturer offers full protection. Prorated warranties require the customer to incur some of the costs of repair/replacement.
- Especially if you don’t plan to live in your current home for the rest of your life, look for a warranty that offers hassle-free transfers to the next owner. For example, Digger Specialties gives the second owner 60 days to register their warranty card.
Even if you know why warranties are important, you might be tempted to skim through the details. Don’t give in to temptation. Always read through the full warranty before you purchase a fence or railing – even the fine print! Considering how much money you will be investing in this product, you should be willing to spend a little time reviewing its warranty. In addition, keep a printed copy of the warranty in your records in case you should need proof of its existence in the future. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask the manufacturer/seller questions about their warranty. Clarify any confusing or missing details, and ask for a written copy of any details absent from the original document.
As you compare different warranties, keep these crucial factors in mind:
- LENGTH: How long will the warranty last? When does the warranty begin and when will it expire? Do any conditions void coverage or disrupt the length of the warranty?
- CONTACT: Who will you contact when you need to use your warranty? Typically this will be either the manufacturer or the seller.
- COMPANY RESPONSE: What exactly is the company promising to do if the product fails? Will they repair it? Replace it? Refund your money? Or will they do something else entirely?
- COVERAGE: Which parts/services does the warranty cover? Are any parts/services excluded from coverage? For example, some companies will not cover labor or shipping charges.
- CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES: When a fencing or railing product fails, it can cause additional damages. For example, if a rail falls off a deck, any items leaning against the railing may also fall and require repairs/replacement. The railing could also hit and damage a car, say, sitting underneath the deck. However, most warranties will not cover these “consequential damages.”
- CONDITIONS/LIMITATIONS: Many warranties stipulate that the product must be used or maintained in a certain way in order to qualify for coverage. For example, a warranty for a fence/railing might have conditions regarding installation and maintenance. If you don’t follow the rules outlined by the company, your product will become ineligible for warranty coverage. In addition, some fencing/railing warranties will differ depending on whether the product is purchased by an individual or a commercial customer (a non-living entity).
Written vs. Spoken Warranties
When it comes to warranties, make no mistake: you need to get it in writing. A written warranty offers stability and reliability that a spoken warranty cannot match. It serves as proof of the promise made by the manufacturer or seller. So when a salesperson makes an oral promise regarding your purchase, don’t accept their word as a warranty. Ask for the promise in writing, so that if you need to take them up on the offer someday, you can.
Ready to Purchase a New Fence or Railing?
Now that you know why warranties are important, if you’re looking for a new fence or railing, be sure to check out MMC Fencing & Railing. All of our aluminum products from Digger Specialties Inc. (DSI) come with a lifetime limited warranty, which protects against defects in workmanship and materials. The warranty also promises that DSI products will not crack, peel, blister, flake, rust, or experience extreme weathering when subjected to normal and proper use. Our vinyl products from DSI come with a transferable lifetime limited warranty, which is good for the lifetime of the original owner as well as an additional 20 years (upon the property’s sale to a new owner). For more information regarding DSI products and warranties, please visit their website.
We aren’t afraid to stand behind our fences and railings, because we trust in their solid construction and reliable design. To learn more about our fencing and railing systems, please check out the MMC Fencing & Railing online store or give us a call at 1-866-931-5002.