When you’re comparison shopping for new cabinets, one consideration should be the warranty. Obviously, various manufacturers will offer different warranties. However, manufacturers may also offer different warranties for their various product lines. Typically, the higher the quality of the cabinetry line, the better the warranty. Since your cabinets are meant to last, make sure your warranty will, too.
The first thing to consider when comparing warranties is the coverage period. Most warranties fall into one of three categories: one year, five year, or lifetime. High quality cabinets should always come with a lifetime warranty. If a manufacturer is not willing to stand behind its product, you should be leery. However, not all lifetime warranties are created equal. Some manufacturers consider 10 years a lifetime. Unless you are planning on moving or remodeling in 10 years, it is probably not what you would consider a lifetime. Instead, look for a warranty that covers the cabinets for the full period of time you will live with them. Both the Wood-Mode and Brookhaven Cabinetry lines offer limited lifetime warranties that cover your cabinets for as long as you own your home.
If the period of coverage is only limited by how long you own the cabinets, the next consideration is what exactly is covered by the warranty. It is standard to cover defects in workmanship or materials for the original owner at the original installation site. Some manufacturers will cover drawer slides and hinges, as well. Generally, any defects arising from misuse, neglect or modification of the product will not be covered by a standard warranty. Since even lifetime warranties differ on what will or will not be covered, you should carefully review the options with your sales person before deciding on your cabinets. As some warranties vary by state, your sales professional should also be able to tell you which exclusions apply where you live.
Ideally, you won’t have any claims. However, you need to make sure you know what compensation you will receive if you do make a claim. Most companies provide repair or replacement of the defective part. While the cost of replacement may be covered, additional costs may ensue if the workmen need to remove countertops or appliances during the repair. Always check with your dealer so you know their policies ahead of time.
Your manufacturer’s warranty is only as good as the company ensuring it. Should you need to make a claim, you’ll have to go through the company who initially installed the cabinets. Therefore, you should start by choosing a reputable, established dealer in your area. Make sure to ask as many questions of your salesperson to feel comfortable with the terms of your warranty and the people backing it. If your warranty is for a lifetime, you should want a relationship with the company to last as long.