Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Innovative Contracting, Warranties

Description, benefits, and drawbacks of warranties, includes specifications, guidelines and warranty projects

Orange barrels on a highway



Warranties require contractors to guarantee all or portions of a construction project to be free of defects in materials and workmanship for a period of time. Contractors must correct deficiencies that occur during the warranty period.


  • Quality and durability of selected work items guaranteed for a specific time
  • Longer timeframe for acceptance means agency can ensure contractor is performing high-quality work
  • Decreased inspection level on warranty projects allows states to allocate resources elsewhere


  • Owner must ensure that warranty guidelines are reasonable and enforceable
  • Warranty may not be collectable if guidelines are too restrictive or place undue burden on contractor
  • Requires additional staffing to monitor the warranty after construction

Advantages & Disadvantages (53 KB, Word doc)