Trying to learn more about the various types of roof warranties?

As a home or business owner, you don’t want to move forward with any work on your roof unless you know there’s a warranty to back it up. The last thing you want is to have a faulty roof just a few months after the installation and be left to foot the entire bill for the repairs.

Thankfully, established and trustworthy roofing contractors like The Heartland Builders offer roof warranties on all completed projects. Today we’ll compare the pros and cons of the three main roof warranties you may come across:

  • Standard manufacturer’s warranty
  • Workmanship warranty
  • Extended manufacturer’s warranty
manufacturers roof warranty

1) Standard Manufacturer’s Warranty

Roofing companies partner up with material suppliers who manufacture your roof materials like shingles, metal roofing, cedar shakes, and more. When you get a new asphalt shingle roof from a reputable supplier, the shingles will come with the industry standard “basic limited lifetime warranty.”

The definition of “limited” varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, so the level of protection on this warranty isn’t one size fits all. Most manufacturer warranties only cover the cost of replacing defective materials, not any labor charges associated with a new installation.

Additionally, standard manufacturer warranties only cover factory defects on the materials. They don’t cover any shingles that fail prematurely due to the roofing contractor or homeowner’s error. These shingles also aren’t protected by warranty if other roof components like underlayment, flashing, or ventilation negatively affect their performance.

What Do Manufacturer Roof Warranties Cover?

Most reputable shingle manufacturers cover the full cost of replacing defective shingles for the first few years. Usually, you’ll see a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty, then prorated coverage is offered from that point on. However, you can sometimes opt to upgrade to extended warranty coverage before you begin the installation— we’ll touch more on extended warranties later.

✅ Pros: 

  • Comes with any reputable shingle manufacturer
  • Keeps you protected from production errors
  • Possible to upgrade depending on the contractor

❌ Cons: 

  • Doesn’t cover workmanship errors
  • Doesn’t cover labor if new work is performed under the warranty

2) Workmanship Warranties

workers upholding roof warranty

The experience and skill of the roofing contractor who installs your roof greatly impact how well your roof will perform. Inexperienced roofers rarely offer workmanship warranties, but skilled, established, and reliable roofing companies do.

With workmanship warranties, the roofing company stands behind its installation job in addition to the manufacturer’s warranty on the materials. A workmanship warranty protects homeowners from roof failures that result from installation errors.

The length of coverage offered varies from contractor to contractor, but some roofing companies offer lifetime coverage because they are just that confident in their craftsmanship.

What is Covered Under a Workmanship Warranty?

Keep in mind that while workman’s errors are included in this type of warranty, the following issues are not covered:

  • Storm damage from wind or hail
  • Water damage from ice dams
  • Leaks caused by fallen tree limbs or other debris
  • Damage from foot traffic
  • Damage from homeowner error or a different contractor after installation

Even though lifetime workmanship warranties are great for your peace of mind, it’s still important to thoroughly vet roofing companies in other areas to ensure a good fit. Make sure the contractors you’re considering also provide excellent customer service, have good online reviews, and have been in business for a few years.

✅ Pros: 

  • Gives extra peace of mind about the contractor’s ability
  • Covers more comprehensive areas than just a manufacturer’s warranty
  • Covers labor if work is performed under the warranty

❌ Cons: 

  • Storm damage isn’t covered
  • Some workmanship warranties only last for 1 year

3) Extended Manufacturer’s Warranty

Finally, the third major kind of roofing warranty is the extended manufacturer’s warranty. Certain roofing material manufacturers have relationships with authorized contractors who are certified to install their specific roofing system. These relationships are typically formed when a roofing company has exclusively used a specific manufacturer for many years.

If your roofing contractor has a special certification with a shingle manufacturer, you may have the option to upgrade to an exclusive extended manufacturer’s warranty. For example, the standard manufacturer’s warranty may cover your shingles for 10 years, and an extended warranty may cover them for 50 years, depending on the manufacturer.

Keep in mind that you usually have to pay extra for an extended warranty, and you may only qualify if you get an entire roof system installed. Complete roof systems include:

  • Underlayment
  • Ice and water barriers
  • Soffit and ridge vents
  • Hip and ridge cap shingles
  • Starter and field shingles

Sometimes, manufacturers will offer promotions on extended warranties for no additional cost, so keep your eye out for those promotions if you know you’ll be in the market for a new roof sometime soon.

What is Covered Under an Extended Manufacturer’s Warranty?

Extended roof warranties can be a wise investment, but we recommend everyone to read the fine print on each one because every warranty provides slightly different coverage. The most comprehensive extended warranties provide benefits like:

  • Coverage for all roof system components, not just shingles
  • 50-year coverage for defective materials
  • Coverage for labor costs
  • Lifetime workmanship coverage for installation errors

✅ Pros: 

  • The most comprehensive coverage available
  • Gives confidence in the manufacturer and contractor combined

❌ Cons: 

  • May cost more
  • You’ll need to install an entire roofing system
two men agreeing to quality roofing warranty

3 Roof Warranty Pro Tips for Homeowners

  1. You’ll need to register your warranty for it to be effective. Be sure to confirm whether your contractor will handle the warranty registration, or if you need to do it yourself.
  2. Take time to familiarize yourself with storm damage insurance claims, as storm damage is not usually covered by warranties. Keep in mind that homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover floods or earthquakes— you’ll need separate insurance for that.
  3. Resist the urge to perform DIY roof repairs. Any errors that occur when you tamper with your roof will void your warranties.

Trust an Experienced Contractor With Your Roof

You deserve to feel confident in the work being performed on your home. When you make such a significant investment, you shouldn’t have to deal with paying for more work shortly after installation. That’s why roof warranties are great assets for homeowners.

At The Heartland Builders, we back all of our roofing work with warranties because we’re confident in the high-quality work we perform. If you need a new roof in Indiana, reach out to our friendly team for a free quote today!