Holding Your Builder Responsible for Defects in Your New Home
Using Your Home Builders Warranty Coverage
You’ve recently moved into your new home, and you’re so excited to finally get settled in. Everything looks perfect at first, but what happens if you begin noticing defects in the workmanship?
This scenario isn’t uncommon, especially since it can take a year or so for defects to become visible in a new home. If you discover something wrong in your home, here’s how you can use your home builders warranty coverage to remedy the situation.
Read Your Warranty
Before you contact your builder, dust off your home warranty documentation and read through everything thoroughly. You want to find answers to these questions:
- What are the terms of the warranty? Many home builders warranties come with different terms for different things. For example, 2-10 HBW’s 1-year warranty provides surety coverage against defects in workmanship and materials. Our 2-year warranty gives you systems surety coverage for defects in wiring, piping and ductwork in electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, ventilating and mechanical systems. Our 10-year warranty provides coverage for structural defects to load-bearing components.
- Who is supposed to handle problems? Your warranty documents will also outline who is responsible for fixing things (it could be your builder, or it might be a third-party).
- What are your responsibilities? Most home builders warranties require maintenance on the covered components. If damages are due to your own misuse or neglect, those repairs and replacements won’t be covered.
- What is covered, and what’s excluded? Your warranty documents will also specifically outline what’s covered and what isn’t. Typical exclusions include repairs or replacements due to normal wear and tear, or due to a lack of maintenance or overall negligence.
Filing a Claim Using Your Home Builders Warranty
Don’t hire any outside contractors just yet — that could invalidate your warranty coverage. Once you clearly understand the specifics of your coverage and have concluded that your issues fall within the scope of the warranty, it’s time to file a claim.
The exact procedures will vary from one company to another. Some mandate that you contact your builder in writing, while others have a phone number you can call to start the process. With 2-10 HBW, you can handle everything online. To place a new service request you simply visit the Homeowner Portal and log in to your account.
Keep Records of Everything
If you notice defects in your new home, it’s imperative that you maintain documentation of everything you see, and all contact you have with your builder. If you send your builder anything in writing, it’s best to use Certified Mail. That way you’ll also have a record of your complaint being received.
There’s a good chance you won’t need those records. But, it’s always best to demonstrate your awareness and concern, and having proof of issues and conversations can be very helpful when holding your builder responsible for new home defects.
Holding your builder responsible for defects is important, but you still need additional protection for your greatest asset. 2-10 HBW offers the most comprehensive coverage for homeowners. Let us help you get started with a Home Warranty Service Agreement today!