Your builder’s warranty will expire usually one year after closing on your new home. Many times the one-year warranty expiration marks the final opportunity to identify, document, and inform your builder of items that need repair or replaced. All safety hazards, repairs, and adjustments should be professionally documented BEFORE your Builder is relieved of their responsibility under the one-year warranty.
Warranties for newly built homes generally offer limited coverage on workmanship and materials relating to various components of the home, such as windows, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, and electrical systems for specific periods. Warranties also typically define how repairs will be made.
The duration of coverage varies depending on the component of the house. Coverage is provided for workmanship and materials on most components during the first year. For example, most warranties on new construction cover siding and stucco, doors and trim, and drywall and paint during the first year. Coverage for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems is generally two years. Some builders provide coverage for up to 10 years for “major structural defects,” sometimes defined as problems that make a home unsafe and put the owner in danger. For example, a roof that could collapse is a “major structural defect.”
Most warranties for newly built homes, however, do not cover expenses an owner may incur as a consequence of a major construction defect or warranty repair, like the cost of having to move out of one’s home while repairs are being made. Nor do they typically cover:
- Household appliances
- Small cracks in brick, tile, cement or drywall
- Components covered under a manufacturer’s warranty