There is no blanket approach to weathertightness warranties. In fact, the “standard warranty” of years gone by could end up leaving the warranted individual in the lurch. It is imperative that architects understand that with a manufacturer’s standard 20-year weathertightness warranty, manufacturers are not responsible for ensuring proper installation. If one wants to do everything within his or her control to ensure the roof gets installed properly, specifying a “Day One” (also known as a “Single Source”) warranty will be more beneficial.
The biggest stumbling block that architects encounter regarding this issue is the tendency to view the standard weathertightness warranty as an insurance policy. Unfortunately, it is a misconception that the standard warranty holds the manufacturer responsible for defects in installation. Instead, a Day One warranty is better at protecting the owner, as it stipulates that the installer has a certified person on site during installation and that the manufacturer will conduct inspections throughout the installation process.
This paper will examine some of the basic differences between the two main types of weathertightness warranties and will identify some of the key caveats for architects to consider when specifying this critical piece of the building plan. First, let’s take a brief look at the evolution of weathertightness warranties, which go from non-existent to extremely common, and from very simple to quite complicated.
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