The goods you buy to complete renovation work are covered by warranties provided by the law. These warranties apply automatically without charge.
Among these warranties are :
- the use warranty;
- the reasonable lifetime warranty;
- the warranty against hidden defects.
Warranties provided by the law: your rights
Legal warranties allow you to expect that the goods you are buying :
- will serve the purpose for which they were bought;
- will have a reasonable lifetime, given the price paid, the contract, and the conditions of use;
- will not contain hidden defects––that is, important defects that were present before the sale, but that were not mentioned to you and that you could not have noticed, even if you were observant;
- will conform to the description written in the contract and the advertising, and to the merchant’s statements.
A warranty could apply, for example, if a contractor installed cabinets in your kitchen and the paint or stain on the cabinets end up fading or flaking prematurely.
What is a “reasonable lifetime”?
The reasonable lifetime warranty provides that a product must serve for normal use for a reasonable period of time. However, the law does not provide, for example, that kitchen cabinets must have a lifetime of 20 years. Why? Because several factors must be taken into account to determine the reasonable lifetime of products. Those factors include the price paid, the contract's details, and the conditions of use. Thus, $10,000 worth of kitchen cabinets cannot be expected to last as long as would other cabinets with the same features but that cost $25,000.
In short, it’s a question of facts and common sense.
How to assert your rights
If the product you had installed cannot serve its purpose, inform the merchant (and manufacturer, if applicable) of the problem. They will need to :
- repair the materials or have it repaired without charge;
- exchange it;
- refund your money.
You may also have suffered damages from using a defective product. If that is the case, the merchant may also have to compensate you.
To help you resolve your problem, the Office has made various tools available to you. First, refer to the Resolve a problem with a merchant section, which presents the various steps to follow. Among other things, you will find suggestions on negotiating with a merchant in order to reach an agreement.
The Office also makes available information kits tailored to problems of an exclusively civil nature. They cover reasonable durability of goods, deliveries, warranties and non-conformity of goods or services. The Download an information kit page provides all the information you need.
Last update : October 16, 2020
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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.