Home renovation warranty: what can I expect?
When we talk about warranty for a home renovation project, we have to differentiate the warranty provided by law with the warranty offered by the contractor. The legal warranty is an automatic warranty that applies after the payment of your home renovations: it is free and general contractors must honor this warranty by law, which extends over a period of one year. The warranty offered by the contractor can be considered as an "extension" of coverage over time (in addition to the legal warranty). It is used for certain specific installations, for example the installation of a new roof. The warranty offered by general contractors is not free and not all of them provide it.
The warranty for quality and durability.
The good installed in your home must be able to serve the purpose for which it is intended with a reasonable span life. For example, if you just changed your faucet and break it after one month under "normal" usage, then the installation probably does not comply because a faucet is an object that is NOT known to only last one week! Of course, the span life of a good usually depends on the level of quality chosen. Products with premium quality tend to last longer.
The warranty for compliance and security.
By law, the good or service provided must be in accordance with the general contractor’s description in its quote or as per verbal statements. Also, the good served should be safe and should not endanger its users. If it is a product with some risks related to use, you must be informed. Attention, this warranty does not apply if the consumer uses the good in a careless way.
The warranty for hidden defects
This warranty applies if the product has significant defects that have been hidden from you and these defects prevent the good from working properly or that you were informed of their existence, you would not have the acquisition of the product.
Use your rights
If you wish to use one of the warranties provided by the law, the first step is to make a denunciation, i.e notify the general contractor in writing. In the event of agreement, the general contractor will carry out a repair of the deficiencies, to replace the defaulted good, in part or in totality and at his expenses. In case of a disagreement, you can contact the Office of Consumer Protection if you wish to make a complaint against the general contractor. In parallel, you can also contact the Régie du bâtiment (RBQ).
- Regardless of the amount of your project, it is important to document your contractual relationship with the contractor. Always ask the contractor to provide you with an offer of service (or quote) with the description of the services and goods provided.
- Document also all change orders to your original contract by keeping all communications in writing!
In Quebec, you have access to a legal free warranty of one year following the completion of your renovations.
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