Community Meets Luxury
Sleight Farm’s blog about building a custom home and living in Dutchess County, NY.
What Is A New Home Builder’s Warranty?
May 4, 2020
A reputable new home builder should provide, free of charge, new construction warranties with each home. For instance, here at Sleight Farm, our homes come with a 1-year warranty for most of the house (a few items are excluded, such as nail pops, landscaping, and driveway), a 2-year warranty for plumbing and electrical systems, and a 7-year warranty for structure.
Keep in mind that a builder’s new home warranty is different from a home warranty you would purchase if you bought an existing home; those types of warranties cover household systems like heating and cooling, as well as appliances such as the oven and garbage disposal.
In contrast, a typical new home builder’s warranty will cover:
- Plumbing systems
- Electrical systems
- Heating and cooling systems
- Foundations and floors
- Clapboard and shingles
- Roofing and siding
- Thermal and moisture cover
- Doors and windows
- Garage doors
Most new home builder warranties will not cover appliances, insect damage, house shrinkage or expansion, normal paint fading, any problems that happen as a result of work done by the owner after the builder’s work is completed, and dampness or condensation caused by the homeowner not maintaining proper ventilation.
A warranty from your builder will clearly define the company’s obligations with regard to construction quality, and provide you with added financial protection and peace of mind.
However, as a buyer, you can protect yourself further by doing a bit of homework during the new home purchase process. Here are some tips:
- Make sure you read and understand your warranty agreement: what it does and does not cover, the length of coverage, the builder’s exact obligations, and the maintenance responsibilities on your end. It is completely within your rights to have an attorney review the agreement, if you wish to do so
- Ask what happens if something does go wrong during the warranty period. You may need to notify the builder according to certain contract terms, or risk voiding the warranty.
- During the final walk-through of your new home before moving in, create a thorough checklist of everything included in your builder’s home warranty. If something jumps out, you can address it sooner rather than later. Even if you miss something, having this record will help you settle problems with it down the road. If you want to be extra cautious, have an outside inspector do his or her own walk-through.
- Just before the 1-year warranty period runs out, complete another walk-through with an inspector to check for defects or possible problems.
A builder’s home warranty is one of many reasons why buyers choose to purchase new construction, and with a little bit of preparation and awareness, you can really make the most of yours.