Questions to Ask Your Builder about the Home’s Structural Warranty

Questions you should be asking your builder about the home's structural warranty.

There are many benefits to building a new house, including greater involvement on the part of the buyer. That said, there’s more to home construction than picking out cabinetry and fixtures. To protect your investment, you need to know the ins-and-outs of your structural warranty. Here are the questions you should ask your builder as they construct your new home.

What does the warranty cover?

While most warranties offer limited coverage on materials and workmanship, they can vary based on the provider. Make sure you understand the difference between a structural warranty and a traditional builder’s warranty, which covers various home components, including windows, HVAC, plumbing, electrical systems, heating and ventilation. Ask your builder to provide a detailed list that itemizes exactly what the warranty will cover.

What are my responsibilities as the warranty holder?

Most warranties include language outlining the responsibilities of the homeowner. This will usually include maintenance requirements, along with specific procedures on how repairs should be made. Make sure you understand these details, so you don’t accidentally void your coverage.

How long will the warranty last?

While a standard builder warranty usually provides one to two years of coverage, a structural warranty should provide ten years of coverage for foundations, floor framing, footings and columns, roof framing systems, girders and beams, load-bearing walls and partitions. Again, it’s important to make sure you don’t accidentally mistake a standard builder’s warranty for an extended structural warranty, or you could find yourself saddled with unwieldy repair costs down the road.

How do I make a warranty claim?

Make sure to ask your builder how you should go about filing a warranty claim if necessary. You should also ask whether the builder will be responsible for making repairs or if a third party will be handling these duties.

What is the cost of added warranty protection?

Many builders only back their homes with limited warranties that offer short spans of coverage. By adding ten-year structural warranty protection, homeowners are able to insure against exorbitant costs related to unexpected damage that might occur years after a builder’s warranty has expired. At the same time, this protection can increase the cost of a new home, while also adding to its value. Make sure to ask your builder about the costs of adding warranty protection and weigh this expense against the prospect of potentially unmanageable expenses down the road.

How will disputes be resolved?

If your claim is challenged by the builder, it’s important to know what will happen next. Some warranty providers may require mediation or arbitration to resolve warranty disputes. Make sure you know what to expect, so you can protect your long-term interests.

What are the potential limitations?

There are several key questions you should ask about warranty limitations, including: Will the warranty become useless if the builder goes out of business? Will the warranty cover the costs of your family needing to move out while repairs are being made? Will the warranty cover appliances and components damages as a result of structural defects? And, finally: Will the warranty be transferable if you decide to sell the property.

2-10 HBW offers the most comprehensive Home Warranty coverage for homeowners. Let us help you protect your home.


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