If you move into a new build property, you would hope that everything would be shiny and new and, therefore, lower maintenance than an older property.
That's not always the case. New build warranties should give buyers reassurance that the developer will fix any defects or problems that crop up.
What is a building warranty?
A building warranty is an insurance policy for newly built homes. The warranty is taken out by the builder or developer, but protects you, the buyer.
Who provides new build home warranties?
There are three main warranty providers: National House-Building Council (NHBC), Local Authority Building Control Warranty (LABC) and Premier Guarantee.
These operate under the Consumer Code for Home Builders.
What do warranties cover?
Warranties cover different things at different stages.
If you buy a home off plan (before it is built), once you exchange contracts, your warranty protects your deposit. This means that if the builder doesn’t start or complete the property, your warranty provider will reimburse your deposit.
Once the property is built, the warranty covers two periods: the defects insurance period and the structural insurance period.
The defects insurance period (0-2 years)
If there are issues due to the builder's quality of work, the builder is obliged to fix them. This could be anything from faulty pipes to improperly sealed windows.
The structural insurance period (3-10 years)
From this point on, the builder is responsible for major problems with the structure of the building. This includes foundations, roof, ceilings, chimneys and load-bearing parts of the floor.
Have a problem with your gutters, for example? These are no longer covered by your warranty.
What don’t warranties cover?
Things like wear and tear or weather damage isn’t covered by a new build warranty.
Damp and condensation may be covered but only if it occurs because of shoddy workmanship from the builder.
Read the small print!
Warranty providers are insurers. As is always the case with insurance, the small print is important!
Make sure you read all of the documentation and ask questions.