Understanding The "Preferred Warranty"

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

Warranties can be confusing. Not all warranties are created equal. Some contractors sell a "lifetime" warranty, but is it really? The term Lifetime could be very misleading. We will discuss what standard lifetime warranties and the Preferred Warranty does and does not cover.

What is a Manufactures Warranty?

A manufactures warranty covers material defects. This covers the product if something were to go wrong with the roof that was directly caused by the manufacture. It doesn't cover things like hail or lighting. Manufactures have different versions and lifespans of warranties. They agree to cover their product for the allotted time period, from 20, 25, 30, 50 years or all way to Lifetime. We will only be discussing Lifetime Warranties.

Standard Lifetime Warranty

This is a brief overview of a collection of general rules from many different manufactures. We have studied and read many different manufacture's lifetime warranty policy's. This overview doesn't reflect any particular manufacture's warranty, but rather a general overview of many manufactures.


What we found was that the term lifetime applies to the length that the average person would live in that house. Which in America is on average only about 13 years. These lifetime warranties are very limited in what they cover. It is important to understand that roofing systems are made up about 8 different components. The standard lifetime warranty only applies to the shingles, not the other components.

- Pro-Rated

Lifetime doesn't mean 100% forever. Standard Lifetime Warranties are pro-rated. This means only for the first 10 years does the warranty cover 100% the cost. The cost of what?. After the pro-rated period ends the warranty only covers 80% and it continues to drop after that. But what is actually covered?

- What's Not Covered

As previously mentioned. Standard Lifetime Warranties only cover the shingles, if the shingles were defective and the roof needed to be replaced because of that. The warranty does not however cover the tear off of the defective roof. It does not cover installing the other products that would been damaged during tear off, such as the felt or ice and water shield. It also doesn't cover the cost of a dumpster. It may not even cover the labor to reinstall the new roof. This could leave a homeowner out thousands of dollars because of defective shingles. So the manufacture would pay the homeowner for the cost of the new shingles and that's it. The homeowner would be left paying the rest of the bill.

- Summary

Lifetime Shingles have a blanket empty coverage warranty. They aren't what they seem to be and not very good coverage. Let's look at a better type of warranty.

Preferred Warranty

Warranties such as these are extended add on warranties. Most Contractors can not offer these extended warranties as you much have a relationship with the manufacture to offer them. They require a lot of different qualifications. To learn more about preferred contractors, Read here

- Coverage

This coverage is pertaining directly to The Preferred Warranty. This Warranty covers both manufactures defect and issues related to the workmanship of the roof installer. We will first discuss the manufactures defects. If The roof was to have defect from the manufacture then they would pay 10% for all the roofing components.

- Pro-Rated

Preferred Lifetime Warranty is 100% For 50 Years. If is non-prorated for 50 Years This means only for the first 10 years does the warranty cover 100% the cost. But what is Covered?

- What is Covered?

Basically everything is covered. The Shingles, all the components, the tear off, the labor for install, the dumpster. 100% for 50 years.

- Summary

The Preferred Warranty is a great warranty that gives you peace of mind.

- Bonus

Even workmanship is covered in the Preferred Warranty. For 10 years if the roof leaks due to the labor and workmanship, the manufacture will pay someone to come out and fix it. The manufacture backs up the work of Preferred Contractors.


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