Remember, It is a One-Year Correction Period, Not a One-Year Warranty

By AIA Contract Documents

March 31, 2023

Your contractor just finished your project and left the site. Even though you have not seen it before, you notice that some of the completed work does not conform to the contract. So, now what? If you discover the non-conforming work within the first year, your facilities maintenance contract may include a one-year correction period. This article explains the one-year correction period.

Not a Warranty

Importantly, the one-year correction period should not be referred to as a one-year warranty. Contractors often have legal warranty obligations that extend long after the project’s completion. The one-year correction period is a separate and distinct contractual obligation for the contractor.

Notice and Timing

Your notice to the contractor is necessary to initiate corrective action. If you fail to notify the contractor or provide written acceptance of the condition, then you may waive your rights to have your contractor correct it, or to make a claim against your contractor.

Timing is important when providing notice of non-conforming work. Because of that, the one-year correction period includes a prompt notice from you to the contractor after discovery of the condition and requires a prompt response from your contractor. Timely notice allows the contractor an opportunity to investigate the issue, assess the impact, and take corrective action before further complications arise. This process benefits you, because it is likely your contractor will be able to correct the work at a cost that is less than what another contractor would charge for the correction. If the contractor does not make the correction within a reasonable time after your notice, then you should have the right to correct it.

Other Remedies

As stated above, the one-year correction period is not a one-year warranty. If you discover a condition in the work after the one-year correction period, you may still be entitled to a legal remedy. However, your right to such a remedy varies depending on the jurisdiction and nature of the claim. If you discover a condition in the work to which you believe the contractor’s warranty may apply, it is best to consult an attorney to evaluate your options.

AIA Contract Documents has provided this article for general informational purposes only. The information provided is not legal opinion or legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind. This article is also not intended to provide guidance as to how project parties should interpret their specific contracts or resolve contract disputes, as those decisions will need to be made in consultation with legal counsel, insurance counsel, and other professionals, and based upon a multitude of factors.