By Charmaine Simmons
Warranties provide peace of mind to buyers of many types. Whether it’s a warranty to cover your phone, computer, furniture or car, having that confidence that your stuff is protected puts you at ease.
Buying a home is likely the largest purchase many of us will ever make, so why not include a warranty to protect your largest purchase? Home warranties are available for both new construction and resale homes. New homes can come with a builder’s warranty or a third-party warranty. The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requires builders to provide third-party warranties for newly built homes with FHA and VA loans.*
As with any warranty, it is important to understand what is and is not covered for your new home. This knowledge allows for better communication and less frustration if a warranty situation arises.
Builder and third-party warranties typically cover the same items for your home. Generally, warranties cover material and workmanship of the home. The duration of warranties can vary from one to two years and all the way up to 10 years. The best bet to find out what is covered by the warranty is to ask for a copy of the warranty. Most builders have defined guidelines on what is and isn’t covered.
One way to think of your home is as a living object that expands and contracts as the seasons change and settles over time. So it’s important to keep in mind that your home will not stay pristine for the whole time you live there. You will have to maintain the home. Caulking and grout may separate, hairline cracks may appear in your drywall and paint and soil may erode as the weather changes. These are all normal events and are considered homeowner maintenance.
Homeowner maintenance is a whole other animal that we’ll cover later.
While homeowner maintenance items are not included in most home warranties, builder and third-party warranties will cover defects in materials and workmanship for new homes for one year. Most builder warranties stop there, but some third-party warranties such as the 2-10 Home Buyer’s Warranty Program offered by McKee Homes will additionally cover your home’s systems for a full two years and the structure for a full 10 years.
Systems coverage includes wiring, piping, and ductwork in electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, ventilating, and mechanical systems. Structural overage includes all load-bearing components. View an interactive information page showing what is covered under the 2-10 Home Buyer’s Warranty Program. You can also download a copy of the 2-10 Warranty to get more detailed information.