Are Roofing Warranties Transferable?

Are Roofing Warranties Transferable?

When investing in a new roof, homeowners often consider the quality of materials, the reputation of the contractor, and the cost. However, an equally crucial aspect is the roofing warranty, a safeguard for this significant investment. This also brings up a key question: Can these warranties be transferred to new homeowners? Understanding the transferability of roofing warranties is vital, not just for current homeowners, but also for potential buyers and sellers, impacting the overall value and appeal of a property.

Understanding Roofing Warranties

Roofing warranties are designed to offer peace of mind, assuring homeowners that their investment is protected against certain defects and workmanship errors. To fully grasp their scope, it’s essential to differentiate between the two main types of warranties: manufacturer warranties and workmanship warranties.

Manufacturer Warranties

These warranties are offered by the manufacturers of roofing materials. They typically cover defects in the roofing materials themselves, ensuring that the products will perform as advertised over a specified period. The duration of these warranties can vary significantly, ranging from 20 years to a lifetime, depending on the quality and type of roofing material.

Workmanship Warranties

In contrast, workmanship warranties are provided by the roofing contractors and cover errors in installation. The longevity and specifics of these warranties can vary widely based on the contractor’s policies. While some may offer a few years of coverage, others might extend their warranties for much longer periods, covering various aspects of the installation process.

Both types of warranties play a pivotal role in protecting the homeowner’s investment. However, their effectiveness can hinge on the fine print, particularly regarding whether they can be transferred to a new homeowner. This transferability is a crucial factor, especially in real estate transactions, as it can significantly influence a property’s marketability and value.

The Concept of Transferability in Warranties

Transferability in roofing warranties refers to the ability to pass the warranty coverage from the original homeowner to a subsequent homeowner. This feature is particularly significant in the context of a property sale. A transferable warranty can be a strong selling point, offering potential buyers added assurance about the quality and longevity of the roof. Conversely, a non-transferable warranty may raise concerns for buyers about future costs, should roofing issues arise post-purchase.

Understanding the specifics of warranty transferability is crucial. It not only affects the immediate value of the property but also impacts long-term satisfaction for the new homeowner. A clear grasp of these details ensures that both sellers and buyers can make informed decisions during real estate transactions.

Factors Affecting Warranty Transferability

Several factors can influence whether a roofing warranty is transferable. These include:

Manufacturer and Contractor Policies

The specific terms set by the manufacturer or the contractor play a pivotal role. Some may allow a one-time transfer, while others may not permit any transfer at all.

Time Constraints

Many warranties that are transferable have a limited window in which the transfer must occur. This period is typically around the time of the property sale and may require prompt action from the homeowner.

Warranty Terms

Certain warranties may have specific conditions under which they remain valid. For instance, some might require regular maintenance of the roof, and failure to adhere to these terms could void the warranty, making it non-transferable.

Documentation and Fees

Transferring a warranty often requires completing specific documentation and may involve a transfer fee. Overlooking these requirements can lead to the warranty not being successfully transferred.

Manufacturer Warranties: Transferability Policies

Manufacturer warranties on roofing materials vary significantly in terms of transferability. Here are some general trends:

Major Manufacturers

Leading manufacturers often offer transferable warranties, but the extent of coverage post-transfer can vary. For example, a warranty that initially offered lifetime coverage might be reduced to 20 years once transferred.

Conditions for Transfer

Manufacturers typically require notification of the transfer within a certain period after the property sale, often 30 to 60 days. Failure to meet this deadline can result in the warranty becoming non-transferable.

Coverage Limitations

Post-transfer, some warranties may only cover material defects and not offer the same comprehensive coverage as initially provided. It’s essential for homeowners to understand these nuances to accurately convey the warranty details during a property sale.

Workmanship Warranties: Contractor Policies

Unlike manufacturer warranties, workmanship warranties are directly tied to the roofing contractor’s policies and practices. These warranties cover installation-related issues and are crucial since even the highest quality materials can fail if improperly installed. The transferability of workmanship warranties varies greatly among contractors. Some may offer transferable warranties as a selling point, while others might restrict the warranty to the original homeowner only. It’s important for homeowners to clarify this aspect with their contractor before beginning a roofing project.

When considering the transfer of a workmanship warranty, homeowners should be aware of the contractor’s reputation and stability. A warranty, no matter how comprehensive, is only as reliable as the company that backs it. Therefore, choosing a reputable contractor with a track record of honoring their warranties is essential.

The Process of Transferring a Roofing Warranty

Transferring a roofing warranty typically involves several key steps:

  1. Review the Original Warranty: Homeowners should thoroughly review their warranty documents to understand the terms and conditions of transferability.
  2. Notify the Manufacturer or Contractor: Most warranties require the homeowner to notify the manufacturer or contractor of the change in ownership. This notification usually needs to be done within a specific timeframe after the property sale.
  3. Complete Required Documentation: Homeowners may need to fill out forms or provide documentation to facilitate the transfer. This might include proof of purchase or installation and details of the property sale.
  4. Pay Any Transfer Fees: Some warranties require a fee to process the transfer. Homeowners should be prepared to pay these fees to ensure the warranty is transferred successfully.
  5. Confirm Transfer Completion: After submitting all necessary documentation and fees, homeowners should receive confirmation that the warranty has been successfully transferred to the new owner.

Legal Considerations and Limitations

The transferability of roofing warranties can also be influenced by local laws and regulations. In some jurisdictions, consumer protection laws might impact how warranties are handled during property transfers. Homeowners should be aware of these legal considerations and consult with a legal professional if they have specific concerns or questions.


Roofing warranties are an important aspect of protecting a homeowner’s investment in their property. The transferability of these warranties can add significant value to a home and provide peace of mind to both sellers and buyers. Understanding the specifics of both manufacturer and workmanship warranties is crucial in ensuring that these benefits are fully realized. By being informed and proactive about the terms and conditions of their roofing warranties, homeowners can make the most of this important feature.

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