A new home is not a guarantee that nothing will go wrong. That is why many owners of new homes purchase builder warranties. A builder warranty can vary in coverage, so take your time to read through the fine print.
What Is a Builder Warranty?
A builder warranty is a limited warranty relating to significant components of a house. Most warranties are backed by the builder; however, some builders purchase them from independent companies. Still, other homeowners get additional coverage to supplement their builder warranties.
What a Builder Warranty Commonly Covers
Usually, warranties on new homes have limited coverage for workmanship and materials. This includes windows, siding, roofs, doors, or plumbing and electrical material. These warranties usually cover one or two years, although some warranties have various time periods for specific components. For example, they can cover major structural elements for up to 10 years. The warranties also define how and who does repairs on the covered elements.
What a Builder Warranty Usually Does Not Cover
These warranties do not usually cover things like drywall or tile, household appliances, irrigation systems, or anything that is typically covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Builder warranties also tend to exclude extra expenses that are a result of repairs, such as storage fees during a renovation. Crucial questions to ask your builder include:
- What does the warranty cover?
- What does the warranty exclude?
- If I have to file a claim, what is the timeframe and what is the process?
- Can I dispute denials on a claim?
- What is the extent of your liability?
- Are there any owners whom I can contact as a reference for your previous work?
- Are there any owners whom I can contact to discuss their warranties?
Exploring these questions and your options with your builder should help you understand your warranty and coverage. You should also be able to determine if you need additional supplemental coverage. Before you sign anything, do a check with the Attorney General office in your state or the state contractor licensing board.