Building your own home is likely the largest investment you’ll make, both financially and emotionally. And a builder’s warranty is part of that peace of mind, knowing that your dreams won’t come crumbling down. So, what’s covered by the contractor’s warranty? What’s not covered? Read on to find out.
More Reading: The 1-Year Builder’s Warranty Home Inspection
A Builder’s Warranty is not a Home Warranty
Since you’re probably bombarded with ads on home warranties, we need to point out that what we’re talking about here is a warranty right from your builder, covering new home construction defects in materials and workmanship. This is not the same as a home warranty, which is a monthly or annual fee that covers some appliances and other areas of the home. Different warranties. So, let’s take a look at the builder’s warranty coverage.
The Builder’s Warranty
So, what’s covered in a typical builder’s warranty on a new home? The first answer is, not everything. The builder’s warranty will have a very detailed list of what’s covered or what’s excluded. Here’s a sample warranty from the National Association of Home Builders. So, read yours carefully. Here is a list of items covered by your routine builder’s warranty:
- HOME COMES AS A TURN KEY, WHAT WAS INCLUDED WITH THE HOME IS COVERED
- The foundation and flooring
- Windows and doors
- The roof
- Plumbing, mechanical (HVAC) and electrical systems
- Landscaping (but not irrigation components)
- General carpentry
- Stucco and siding
- Garage doors
- Drywall cracks
- Tile (Change to Flooring)
- Irrigation System
What’s NOT Covered in a Builder’s Warranty?
Some things you might expect to be covered aren’t, and it’s a good idea knowing that going in. Most often, these items are not covered:
- Sprinklers and timers that were installed by your Landscape contractors
- Work done by you or your own contractors
- Anything caused by you
Does a builder have to offer a warranty?
Most, if not all, contractors will have at least a 1-year warranty on their work. While this is not required by law, there are implied warranties and governing bodies that enforce quality workmanship. For example, here in Arizona, the Registrar of Contractors can legally set such standards. Additionally, courts have established that contractors must do their work “in a good, workmanlike manner and in a manner befitting a skilled contractor.”
Is a Builder Liable for Their Work?
The builder is responsible to cover the items listed in the warranty and no more. The builder warrants their own work, so you also depend on the builder being around to do the work. A builder that closes their doors before your warranty won’t be around to do the fixes. Additionally, if you get your warranty inspection done before the first year and document any existing issues, that doesn’t mean the builder will fix them right away. It just means you have a paper trail, should anything more significant grow out of what were originally minor issues.
The 1-Year Warranty Inspection
Everything above leads to an obvious question: should you get an inspection on your new home before the warranty expires? Emphatically, yes. If for no other reason that to document any issues that have popped up in your first year in the home, a 1-year warranty inspection is a smart thing to do. You can give a copy of this to the builder, so that they know what you’ve found. At that point, they can choose what to fix and what to wait on, but again, you’ve got it recorded should anything turn into large, expensive repairs in the future.
Looking to schedule your 1-year warranty? Call (480) 507-2775 for a free estimate!