What Is Covered Under Builder’s Warranty?

Builder’s warranty is a written statement by the builder assuring that the house was completed as per a stipulated set of standards. This provides a form of protection to buyer from latent defects.

This form of warranty is also called a Limited warranty and is issued by the builder on their work. This is done either within the sales contract or as a separate document. The period of duration of such contracts are usually between one to ten years.

Coverage

A Typical Builder’s warranty covers only the material and workmanship issues of various components relating to a new building. This includes

  • Windows
  • HVAC units
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Stolen construction materials are also covered in some plans.

As mentioned before, the duration is largely dependent on the component. For example, material and workmanship issues are covered for a year. This would include paint, drywall, siding and stucco, door and trim etc. HVAC, plumbing and electrical units are usually covered for two years. Major structural defects like a roof that may collapse or any other structural damage that pose danger to the residents are covered for a period of up to ten years.

These warranties do not cover the cost incurred by the owners as a direct consequence of material and workmanship issues. Eg, staying away or moving out temporarily while a repair is being conducted. They also DO NOT cover the following:

  • Household appliances.
  • Components that are still covered by the Manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Minor cracks in tiles, bricks or drywall.
  • Damages sustained as a result of your own abuse, outsider or people whom you hired to work on the property.
  • Deterioration of materials used in construction within an expected level.

Making a claim

If you wish to make a claim for your repair, first and foremost, refer to your warranty contract to ensure that the damage is indeed a covered one. If so, place a request to the builder informing them about the damage and requesting for a repair. It is recommended that you place this request in writing even if the company has a telephonic submission method. Ask for receipts and keep records of all correspondence. These records will help you if a dispute arises.

Things to keep in mind

The builder’s warranty cannot replace the Homeowner’s Insurance or Home Appliance Warranty. All three are very different and have their own unique features.

For your own safety, it is suggested that you ask the following questions about your warranty.

  1. What is not covered?
  2. Name some of your previous projects so that you can speak with some owners
  3. What is the extent of your liability?
  4. What do I do if I have a claim or dispute?

The laws related to enforcing these warranties vary in each state. Therefore it will be a wise step to check with your State’s attorney general’s office or contractor licensing board to ensure that your builder follows all the laws as required by the state law.

Make sure that the contract is thoroughly studied and preserved. Experts say that the longer the contract, lesser the benefits. Such long contracts indicate inefficient builders who use vague clauses to narrow down the possibility of you succeeding in filing a claim. Shorter the contract, better the builder.

You may be asked to sign a “Warranty document” at the time of closing the sales. This is often a way to impose more rules on you and thereby narrow down your chances of making a claim on your warranty. If you have already agreed to sign such a document on your sales contract, you can’t do much about it. But if you have not consented to any such thing, you can and you should refuse signing this.

Towards the end of the duration of your contract, get your home inspected by a professional home inspector. This will help you make the best out of your warranty.

Difference between Home Warranty and Builder’s Warranty

We stated earlier that the builder’s warranty cannot be used to replace a home warranty.  Although both these plans cover home and it’s components, they are poles apart on certain matters.

Home warranty Vs. Builders warranty

You can also read about Differences between Homeowner’s insurance and Home Warranty.

The builder’s warranty is always a good way to ensure that you won’t have to pay for any repairs caused due to faulty or badly constructed structures. Always remember to clear all questions you have prior to signing the contract. Once signed, preserve the contract and other documents carefully. Should you ever feel that the service you received is not up to your expectation, spread the word. You can visit websites like ours to read about warranties and other topics related to owning a home. Cheers!