Service after Mobile Home Installation: The Good, Bad, and Unavoidable
What’s Included in a One Year Service Warranty?
When you purchase a brand new manufactured home, the factory itself issues a one year service warranty for specific areas of maintenance on the home. Some dealers might tout this as a sort of special bonus only provided when you buy from them—it’s not.
The home manufacturers know that inevitably after a home travels hundreds of miles over the road there will be some cosmetic defects that need to be repaired.
So, let’s get into what exactly is included with the service warranty and the process we have in place to make this time after moving into your new home as low stress as possible.
The Cosmetic Warranty
Here is where we will be gentle, but firm. After your manufactured home has been installed, all utilities have been hooked up, and you have moved into the home, we ask that you live in the home for 30 days before submitting what is called a “punch list”.
Why? Well, part of the factory guidelines for the warranty is that cosmetic defects with the home need to be addressed during one visit. If you live in the home for at least a month, marking little dings or mistakes here and there, you will most likely get it all.
Now I have you worried. I’m not talking about a hole in your roof or a broken window, I’m just talking about little touch-ups that may be easy to miss, but aren’t something you expected in your brand-new home.
Chipped paint, loose trim, maybe a crooked light fixture or a door that’s not shutting smoothly.
These items are normal occurrences after a home has been shifted around—and the factory is more than willing to fix them. But not if you miss adding them to the punch-list for the first cosmetic service repair. After that, any cosmetic defect will be considered your responsibility. So keep your eyes open, use sticky notes if you want to, and try to be patient. We know you don’t want to look at that piece of loose trim for 30 days, but, we promise, it’s for the greater good.
How to Create a Punch-List
Here’s how it works:
- You make your list
- Submit your list
- Needed parts are ordered from the factory
- Once parts are received, repairs will be scheduled
- All reported defects and repairs are made together at one time
But how are we sure we get the right stuff? Pictures!
In our mobile app, we have a section created specifically for this part of the home buying process, where you take pictures of your needed repairs through the app and they are sent directly to us to review and make a parts order from.
The alternative to this is a hand-written list that tends to be unclear and often results in the wrong parts being ordered and service items missed. Using the app and pictures, we have been largely successful in ensuring that our customers get their cosmetic warranty items covered the right way—the first time.
We have to be clear, as our goal is always trust and transparency, although we want our customers satisfied with their home purchase, we do make it your responsibility to be thorough during this 30 day time. If the factory will not cover the repair, we cannot provide the service. We keep our prices low, and part of why we are able to do that is efficiency in this aspect of the home buying process.
The punch-list needs to be submitted within 90 days of the home installation. This requirement protects the factory from repairing a defect that was really customer damage or normal wear and tear of home use (i.e. stained carpet, scuffed floor, wall scratches from furniture). Hey, we all try to get the most for our money, but it’s important to remember that everyone must maintain their part of responsibility in order to keep our homes affordable.
But What About My One Year of Service?
Structure and safety are another matter entirely. Leaks, electrical, sub-floor, roof, windows, and appliances are where that one year warranty will apply. These matters are taken very seriously and it is our goal to provide a repair technician within 24-48 hours. Any cosmetic damage that results from one of these issues will be repaired as well. Additionally, the air conditioning unit purchased through us comes with a 10 year parts and labor warranty. This is Texas, we don’t play around with a/c!
By all means, use your warranty, but remember there is a difference between routine homeowner maintenance and structural defects.
A Warranty only Works if the Company Does
Some buyers receive a lot more lip service than they do home service once their sales center gets paid. All the sudden the promises that were made, guarantees, and hand-over-heart pledges are nothing more than ringing words in your memory.
The “30 year roof warranty” turned out to be a shingle in the mail you had to install yourself. The “10 year service warranty” was actually a banner on the wall but not written into your contract.
A motto I have in life is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I know this may seem cynical, but it’s important not to be suckered by pretty words, you need the truth.
Here is an excerpt taken from our Braustin Home Buyer’s Guide on choosing a company that will keep their promises:
You’re secret weapon will be searching a company’s social media pages to see what real customers think about a manufactured home company. Usually Facebook is the most helpful.
Don’t just look at the ratings though, take the time to go through the reviews to see what the customers had to say and what their reasoning was for their review. What you are really looking for are the negative experiences and just how “bad” they really are.
If you see a review with a low rating that states that the customers didn’t like the brand a company carried or a company was too far away then you can just ignore these because it will have nothing to do with your purchase experience.
However, if you see a bunch of reviews stating that the company never responded to service issues after the sale or they did not deliver what they promised, than be sure to pay attention.
If you ever get the feeling a company is making a few too many promises, it’s time to read the fine print, and hold tight to your wallet.
Ultimately, if you can trust the people you bought your home from, you can trust they will do what they promised, because they didn’t over-promise, but they didn’t over charge either!