Building a new construction home is exciting. The feeling of having everything new in a house is like no other. As a homeowner of a brand-new home, you shouldn't have to worry much about systems and mechanicals breaking or needing repairs within the first few years. You should be able to feel confident that your new home will retain its home value because everything is new. However, there's no promise that issues won't arise. New appliances can break. New HVAC systems may have glitches. Perhaps plumbing or electrical systems weren't installed perfectly. This is where a new construction home warranty comes in.
The New Construction Warranty Coverage Period
All new construction homes come with warranties. Every builder's new home warranty will be a little different. Some builders will provide an all-encompassing warranty covering your new home, from roof to foundation, for a year from the date of closing. This will include workmanship and materials. It is a fact that houses settle. Builders should repair any settlement defects, such as nail pops and wall cracks, during the first year. Some builders will cover mechanical systems, such as heating and cooling systems, plumbing systems and electrical systems a little longer. It's common for builders to cover these mechanical systems for two years. One of the larger homebuilders in the United States, Pulte Homes, covers water intrusion for 5 years. Some builders will cover structural elements for up to ten years.
Negligence and Improper Maintenance
It is important to remember that it is your responsibility to take good care of your new home. Negligence and improper maintenance will not be covered by a builder's new construction warranty. For example, do not flush anything down the toilets that should not be flushed. Be sure to change your furnace filter according to the manufacturer's recommendations. In the freezing winter months, be sure your hose is removed from the spigot to keep your pipes from freezing and bursting.
Requesting a Warranty Repair
Many new construction home builders have systems in place for requesting repairs. Some builders will ask you to request a non-emergency repair online. Some will have a phone number to call. Be prepared to explain the problem thoroughly. Sometimes they may ask for you to submit photos of the defect or issue. If the issue you are reporting is not an emergency, it may take some time for them to make the repair. They may need to order parts, for example. There are certain issues that are considered emergencies which they should attend to right away.
What's Considered an Emergency
Emergency issues are those that can be considered harmful to your health or safety. They are also defined as an issue that will cause great or further damage to your home if not taken care of right away. For example, if it is a cold winter day and your furnace is not working, the builder should have this repaired right away. If you do not have hot water, this is also considered an emergency. If you notice sewer water coming up in your toilets, tubs or through floor drains, it could be a partial or total plumbing blockage. Sewer water can be harmful to your health. A foundation crack leak is another emergency that the builder should attend to as soon as possible.
It is important to keep your new home in good repair by performing home maintenance on a routine basis. This will also retain your home value. Use your new construction home warranty when necessary.