It is difficult to develop a guarantee or warranty for a log or timber frame home. All of the ones we know about are just from third party warranty companies that are filled with legalese and loopholes. We can provide one of them just as easily as any other company. But, we want to give more than that to our customers. We at Hearthstone just don’t feel like those normal warranties do much for the client. In fact, a conventional warranty might actually detract from the value because they can provide legal cover behind which a manufacturer might hide. If something goes wrong, they can hope for a loophole or a restriction to help them. Let’s face it: their lawyers wrote the thing. Whom do you think it favors?
So, as is common at Hearthstone, we took a different route. A particular incident way back in 1986 prompted us to come up with an unparalled guarantee for our customers. We had a customer deep in the North Carolina mountains. He had been living in a 1950’s era mobile home for years saving — literally — cash in a coffee can for his Hearthstone log home. We delivered and erected the small cabin, but the next day we got word from our distributor that the customer was so unhappy that he was near a nervous breakdown after having saved all those years, then being disappointed.
The president of the company immediately went to the job site and was sort of surprised. There were, indeed, a couple of things that weren’t the best work we had ever done. We were relieved because fixing the job would be easily done in one day. But, the client was still genuinely distraught and couldn’t bear the thought of a “fixed” cabin. After a day of reflection, we decided to take his cabin down and deliver him a new one. It was unprecedented in the industry and the news of what we did spread throughout our organization and beyond.
After that, the then-president (and still owner), Randy Giles issued the guarantee you see below. He figured that what we did for that customer was, in fact, the ultimate guarantee. It really means something, and he wrote it without allowing the lawyers to even read it, much less dilute the commitment that each and every one of us at Hearthstone make to our customers.
Nobody in the housing business has ever matched this guarantee. We don’t think that anybody ever will. And, it is far more than a guarantee: it communicates in no uncertain terms how we feel about our business, our competence, and our customers.
Our guarantee was first issued on March 27, 1987 and was slightly modified to allow for our Timber Frames product line and re-issued on March 27, 1988, and that document is shown below. After all these years, our guarantee has evolved very little, and is still rooted in this 1988 document. Here’s a summary of the money-back part of the guarantee: if you don’t like it when we put it up, we’ll take it down and give you your money back. The details are in our Purchase Agreement, and include not only the money-back part, but also structural specifications and warranty. Talk to a Project Manager to get the exact guarantee and warranty details from our Purchase Agreement. We hope this little piece of Hearthstone history below helps you understand a bit more about our company and values.