When you buy a new home, you should look for one where the builder has purchased a warranty. These warranties can vary in their specifics, including what they cover and for how long they last. Ideally, you might look for a 10-year builder warranty, but again, the terms can differ depending on the company providing the warranty and what the builder buys.
If you’re going to buy a new home, the following are some of the general things to know about builder warranties.
1. The Basics
A warranty that’s offered by home builders is one that can protect them and a home buyer. These warranties can keep you, if you’re the homeowner, from having to pay for expensive repairs for defective materials or work not done correctly.
Most new construction homes will come with a home warranty. Sometimes, the builder will fund the warranty themselves, but more often, it’s through a third-party company.
The builder could include the costs of the warranty in the purchase price of the home, but if you’re the buyer and eventual owner, you won’t have any monthly costs.
2. What Do These Warranties Cover?
Policies can differ, but there are some general areas of coverage you’ll often see with home builder warranties. For example, they’ll often cover major structural defects.
These are things impacting the safety of a home, like the masonry arches, load-bearing walls, roof framing, or floor systems.
The warranty should cover the foundation as well, and overall, structural warranties are extremely important because what they cover tends to be the things most expensive to fix. They’re also the issues that can make your home unsafe to live in when there’s a problem.
Warranties will often cover exterior components, such as siding and windows, and home systems, including HVAC, plumbing, ductwork, and your electrical system.
If the construction of your home has workmanship that’s below the standards in the industry, a builder’s warranty could cover defects.
3. How Long Will A Builder’s Warranty Last?
The amount of time your warranty might cover your home depends on the contract and also on the components.
For example, while you may have a builder’s warranty that lasts for ten years overall, that might mean a year of limited warranty coverage for things like materials and workmanship when not covered by the manufacturer. Then, you could have two years of coverage on major systems, and ten years of warranty coverage for structural defects, like a problem with your foundation.
4. Builder’s Warranty vs. Homeowners Warranties
An area of confusion for some home buyers is how a builder’s warranty is different from a homeowner’s warranty. A builder’s warranty is usually included by your builder.
A homeowner can, if necessary, get a warranty from a seller or by contacting a warranty company. When the homeowner purchases the warranty, they pay a monthly fee, and they’ll also pay a service fee when they need repairs.
A home builders warranty is more similar to a traditional warranty than a service contract. A service contract is more like a home warranty. A service contract will cover appliances or systems that break down because of normal wear and tear.
5. What Would a Builder’s Warranty Not Cover?
Depending on the policy, some of the things a builder’s warranty might not cover include appliances, normal wear and tear, and anything that a manufacturer’s warranty covers.
A builder’s warranty might not cover damage from the homeowner’s own neglect or damages from the weather.
Also potentially not covered would be work done by an outside contractor, work that a homeowner does themselves, expansion or shrinkage of the home, and expenses that you lose indirectly because of the issue. For example, it won’t cover your expenses if you have to move out of your home while repairs are being done.
6. Having a Builder’s Warranty and a Homeowner’s Warranty at the Same Time
You don’t necessarily have to choose between a builder’s warranty and a homeowner’s warranty. You can have both types, and some builders will even offer both. There may be some overlap in the coverage, but some people like the peace of mind of knowing that they’re covered in the event of structural issues and also breakdowns of systems and appliances.
When you buy a new construction home, it can feel stressful, and you may be facing a sense of uncertainty, but a builder’s warranty can alleviate a lot of those worries and make a smoother experience for you. From the builder’s perspective, a warranty can also be a powerful selling point, which is why they’re willing to pay for them.
We hope you found this blog post on 6 Things to Know About Builder Warranties useful. Be sure to check out our post on Tips to Find Home Builders in Tacoma WA for more great tips!
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