Why NOT to get a ‘Single-Source’ Warranty

Every now and then contractors try to offer a ‘Single Source’ warranty. In other words, they offer a warranty where they are solely the full supplier and backer of the roofing system installed. Rather than following a roofing industry standard of having a “third party” roofing manufacturer’s warranty, some contractors promote only a document with their name on it as a level of protection and security for building owners. Although this may seem great to a building owner, many are regretful of having a roofing warranty which is only covered by the contractor. Roofing contractors who offer their own warranties often pitch to owners that their warranties and repair process’ are simpler, quicker, or better quality on a few accords. One key note for commercial building owners to remember is that warranties are there to protect the building owners but also the roof warranty providers to a certain level as well. Contractors who offer “single source” warranties typically offer the same time lengths of 10, 15, and 20+ year warranties as that of roofing manufacturer’s (“third party” warranties). There are not a lot of reputable contractors who offer these ‘sales pitch’ type warranties but below are three reasons why to stay away from a contractor who DOES NOT provide you with a true commercial roofing manufacturer’s warranty.

  1. Proven and Long-Term Tested Installation Details – When a contractor is installing a new roofing system to meet warranty requirements of a specified roofing manufacturer, they are held to a much higher status than a contractor who is providing their own warranty. Being that the roofing manufacturer is a “third party” and will be the responsible party holding the warranty, they are going to ensure that the details of the roofing system installed are made in the highest degree with proven long term installation standards. It can be common place for contractors who do not provide a manufacturer’s warranty to simply ‘cut corners’ to make the roofing work or be a lower price. At the end of the day, those types of contractors pick and choose what they do and do not install rather than being held to high quality proven methods.
  2. Quality Inspection and Performance Reviews – When a roof is either in progress or going through its final inspection process, a good quality roof inspection process is key. After all, this is what is testing the roof to make sure it will up-hold to long term performance. When working with a roofing contractor who is providing a manufacturer’s warranty in lieu of just a contractor’s warranty (even if it is a contractor’s 20 year warranty), a “third party” roofing manufacturer’s field inspector is going to come out to every job and complete a thorough inspection of all of the details installed, often do probe testing of seams in a roof, and evaluate the newly installed roof system to make sure it will hold up against “Mother Nature” for the course of the long term roof warranty. Often times, contractors who provide only their own warranties, skip the roof inspection process’ or become very slack on them just to get past the project and move on to the next one.
  3. Larger Contractor Coverage – Sometimes there are problems that come up between owners and contractors and for a building owner to know they are backed by a larger parent company other than the original contractor of choice can give the said owner peace of mind. There are instances where contractors who give only their own warranties go out of business, get bought out, etc and their warranties become void to the building owners. Also, building owners may experience bad treatment by their roofing contractor and may want a new contractor to serve them. If the owner is tied down to a contractor who provided ONLY their own warranty and NOT a roofing manufacturer’s warranty, they only will be stuck dealing with ONLY the original contractor who they may not prefer anymore. At least in the instance of conflict, a building owner has access to a variety of quality approved roofing contractors if they have a roofing manufacturer’s warranty to go with their new roof system.

The common expression used among building owner and contractors when it comes to warning owners of “single source” roof warranties by the contractor is that you never want the contractor to play “judge, jury, and executioner” when it comes to making and upholding the decisions and performance of the roof system. By partnering up with a quality commercial roofing contractor who is providing a manufacturer’s roof warranty on any roofing project, building owners can receive the proper “third party” benefits to ensure quality, performance, and service for the life time of their roofing systems.


Some leading manufacturer’s to ask your roofing contractor about for warranties: Johns Manville, Carlisle, Firestone, GAF, Sarnafil, Fibertite, Versico, GenFlex, etc.