• Field Notes 31.08.2011

    The warranty on this blog is seven days. That’s standard (see the small print). When did the warranty period start? From the moment the blog was submitted for posting, or from the time you read it? If this is written on Monday, and you’re reading this on Wednesday, the warranty’s already 31 percent expired if we pick the “from when it was ready to ship” date. Want a longer period? There will be a charge. All kidding aside, this is an issue the glazing industry wrestles with all too frequently.

    Most glazing manufacturers and suppliers offer standard warranties for their products. Inevitably, specifications call for periods longer than the standard warranty. A typical fall back is to charge more for an extension. Is what’s being sold a bit more peace of mind to the end-user, the building owner? Probably that’s a large part of it. It’s the reason many in the industry offer extended warranties when asked, or will build them into initial proposals.

    Recently, one of our suppliers wanted their warranty to start when it shipped from their plant. It was a pass-through warranty to the owner, who wanted it to start at project substantial completion. Problem: there was a 14-month difference in the two dates, and therefore, in the warranty end date, as well. We eventually resolved this issue to the owner’s satisfaction, but only after a lot of effort on the part of all parties concerned.

    When should warranty periods start? As a manufacturer ourselves, we do everything in our power to control the quality of our goods up until they ship. After that, if/when the goods arrive in decent shape on the project, they are out of our control. Other companies install them, hopefully per the installation instructions we provide.

    The industry as a whole seems divided on this, and individual companies sometimes compare their warranties to “the industry standard” – what Company A or B might offer for similar products. That’s one thing. I don’t know the answer to this, and feedback would be most welcome. Does the industry need to educate architects to change the specifications? On the surface, that’s not an easy task or one that’s likely to meet with success. Any suggestions?

    Hurricane Commentary

    Irene’s passed through most of the East Coast as I write this on Monday morning. Having family in that neck of the woods, one pays more attention to the weather. My brother and his family spent last week on the Outer Banks in N.C., and didn’t evacuate with the rest of the tourists (“I’ve been here all week, I’m not a tourist anymore!”) Thinking better of it, he packed it in on Thursday night before they ordered the permanent residents to leave on Friday. Only to drive home to Parkesburg, Pa., (between Harrisburg and Philadelphia), and was without power for about 12 hours on Sunday. Fortunately, it wasn’t any worse than that for most of the region struck by the hurricane. Thankfully, most people did the prudent thing. Now this morning, everybody’s asking whether or not Irene was “over-hyped.” Kudos to the folks in the industry who did do that, suspending ops early Thursday and giving people a chance to hunker down or get outta Dodge. Prudence (once again) being the better part of valor???

    Posted by Blogger @ 3:43 pm

  • One Response

    • Bid the project per the plans and spec. It’s pretty simple, if the specification requires a substantial completion clause, call your suppliers, get their position (price for the extended warranty) and put it into your bid package. And… most importantly, put your mark up on top of this “all in” supplier price. Geesh, is it really that difficult?!?

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