This is Part 1 of our series considering warranties in construction contracts. Product and workmanship warranties are a preoccupation of most construction contractors and owners. We have seen many disputes about whether a head contractor’s standard warranties match the warranty scope in the subcontract, the kinds of defect covered by existing warranties, warranty expiration dates, who is entitled to enforce a warranty and how, and many other warranty-related concerns.
However, what owners and contractors often don’t realise is that if there is a concern about the quality of materials or labour supplied in the course of construction works, the warranty is usually only one of several sources of legal rights. In fact, in many cases, compared to the owner’s or head contractor’s other legal rights, enforcing a product or workmanship warranty may not be the best option.
So what is a warranty? Essentially, a warranty is a supplier or contractor’s promise under a contract that the labour and/or materials that they supply under that contract will be of a certain quality and fit for certain purposes. If the warranting contractor’s or supplier’s labour or materials fall below the warranted standard, that contractor/supplier will be in breach of its contract and liable to compensate the other party for the breach, or to rectify the breach (by remediating the defective works or repairing or replacing the faulty supplies).
This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters please contact Daniel Morris or Murray Thornhill Freecall 1800 609 945 or email us now.