MasterFormat includes 00 63 36−Warranty Form. Rarely seen in use by this author, this number and title is allocated where a specific form or special language for a warranty is required. This number and title, however, is probably more-commonly used in project filing systems rather than as an actual document bound into the construction documents.
MasterFormat also includes 01 78 36−Warranties. In this section (or its parent, 01 78 00−Closeout Submittals), one would specify the general procedural and administrative requirements for warranties. This is an alternative location where a specimen warranty form with mandatory language for special warranties may also be bound. Specifiers may use 01 78 36−Warranties, to:
- better-define the types of warranties required by the construction documents, such as suppliers’ standard warranties and extended or special warranties;
- indicate the contractor’s general warranty and guarantee and the correction period run in addition to and concurrent with suppliers’ warranties for materials and equipment;
- indicate limitations of suppliers’ warranties do not limit the contractor’s obligations under the contractor’s general warranty and the correction period;
- state the provisions of warranties do not limit the owner’s rights under the construction contract documents;
- present generalized requirements for special warranties; and
- indicate the time at which supplier-furnished warranties are required to commence running.
Such language would serve as a mechanism for the design professional, when reviewing warranty submittals during construction, to enforce the required warranty start dates, because many manufacturers’ standard warranties are written to commence running at a time earlier than many owners and design professionals would like. In some cases, the standard warranty may be expired before the item is even installed into the construction.
In individual specifications sections, SectionFormat (2007) indicates warranties should be listed as a required submittal in the article titled, “Closeout Submittals” in “Part 1–General.” For this provision, SectionFormat advises:
Describe submittal of warranties, without repeating the terms of the warranties (which should be specified elsewhere in Part 1). Warranty documentation may include a sample warranty, which may be an action submittal, and the final executed warranty document, which is usually not an action submittal, although it usually does require A/E review for accuracy.
−Coordination: Conditions of the Contract; Section 01 78 00–Closeout Submittals; Section 01 78 26−Warranties.
Specific requirements for special or extended warranties should be indicated in the applicable specifications section(s), in an article titled, “Warranty” or “Bond” (the latter referring to a manufacturer-furnished bond such as a roofing bond, which is rarely backed by a surety and is therefore typically little more than a fancy-looking manufacturer’s warranty), which is typically the last article under “Part 1–General.” For this provision, SectionFormat requirements are summarized below:
Of course, there is no substitute for clarity. To effectively specify useful warranty requirements, one must use appropriate language, grammar, and writing style that is easy to understand and interpret, and is well-coordinated with the warranty provisions of the General Conditions and the other construction documents.