Solving #Home #Renovation #Project Issues – Introduction

This article is an introduction to the four times when installation problems commonly arise and the different paths towards resolution.  There are many variables that can impact a home renovation so being prepared will help you to address them quickly.    Review our Article on Tips And Resources for Home Renovation Projects for more information.

During Installation 0-1  Month After Installation 1 to 12 Months Varies by Product Warranty
Review work at each milestone of project
Quality control review at end of project
You may notice defects during the warranty period You may notice defects after the warranty period
:: Address problems as soon as they are discovered :: Correct before you pay/close the project :: Refer to product warranty and installation policies :: Consider product warranty vs installer warranty periods

  • Determine the cause of the problem

Causes include:  Product defect, installation defect, accessory defect, environmental challenge, site preparation problem, product acclimatization issue, inappropriate product for installation conditions, excessive wear under normal use or natural wear and tear.  Installations can also fail after water damage (flood or standing water), stains or fire damage.  Depending on the product, there might be maintenance or sealants that can help your installation last.

  • Contact those involved with the installation

Work with installer first.  Even if the root case is a product defect, it will be better to have the installer aware that you are having issues.  It is very common for everyone involved to pass the blame to other parties (ie.  Installer says product defect, supplier says installer defect) without complete information.  Your goal is to collect required information, review the details and arise at a fair resolution based on facts.

Contact the product retailer / distributor / manufacturer (escalate in that order) to share details of the problem you are having.  Keep your description short and on point and include quality images (use a good camera and ensure lighting conditions are ok) so that they can see what you are concerned about and help you efficiently.  Most businesses have policies and departments that handle claims as they are, unfortunately, a reality when dealing with building materials.

  • Bring in a third party inspector

A third party inspector (from a nationally recognized association) can help to confirm the cause of the issue and their report is commonly required for warranty claims.

Product Defect:  The retailer can usually work with their manufacturers or distributor if a defect is the cause of your issue.  They usually cover materials replacement and you can negotiate the installation expense you will incur to replace the product.

Installation Issues:  Most installation problems begin with improper site preparation, moisture issues, or environmental challenges (outside the product specs).  The installer should address and document how they are dealing with these issues before they lay a single board, plank or tile.  In any case where site prep or improper installation is the cause of failure, the installer should cover the costs of the remedy.  If they don’t, you can file a claim with their Bond (or Surety) company to move towards a resolution.


Litigation is beyond the scope of this article as we hope most installation issues should be resolved through the steps above.  Consult legal representation if you believe that:

  • The installation issue was caused by negligence or gross misrepresentation,
  • The installation issue directly caused significant damage elsewhere in your home,
  • There was personal injury involved in your claims or
  • You don’t think you will be able to reach a negotiated agreement on your own.

Note: is an educational resource and directory service, but we are not directly affiliated with the installers listed on our site.  Conduct your own due diligence before hiring any installer.  Check out “How to Choose a TopInstaller” for more information.  While this article offers some advice on how to solve potential installation problems, work directly with your installer, retailer and product manufacturer to solve issues.

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