Monthly Archives: January 2022

 

31 
Jan

Can you get a retrospective warranty for a completed house?

completed house structural warranty

Whichever type of property your development may be, structural warranties are essential if you want to protect your investment. It’s best to have such a warranty in place before construction even begins, but here at Architects Certificate, we know that isn’t always possible.

This leaves many homebuyers wondering: can you get a retrospective structural warranty after completion? If construction has already finished and you’re looking for the answer to this question yourself, have a read through our completed house warranty blog below.

Is a retrospective PCC the same thing as a structural warranty?

Though you may have heard of a retrospective Professional Consultants Certificate (PCC), these aren’t the same thing as a retrospective structural warranty. If you want a higher level of financial protection, you should opt for a 10-year structural warranty rather than a 6-year PCC.

Not only does a PCC have a shorter period of cover, but it also doesn’t guarantee compensation in the event of a structural defect. You’ll have to go to court and prove that the builder, developer, or architect is at fault. However, a structural defects warranty allows you to make a direct claim.

You can have both a PCC and a structural warranty at the same time, with concurrent periods of cover, but this isn’t really necessary. If you want to save money upfront, a PCC will be cheaper – and you can always apply to upgrade it to a structural warranty later if you want further coverage.

How is a completed house warranty different?

A completed house warranty is more of a generic term that can apply to either a retrospective PCC or a retrospective structural defects warranty. It depends on the type of cover that you choose to apply for. In any case, the same legal limitations apply to both types of architects’ certificate.

The issue with leaving your application until after the building is already finished is that the warranty provider won’t be able to carry out progressive inspections throughout the duration of the build. There will normally be at least six inspections from the start of the project to completion.

If it’s only possible to perform one post-completion survey, and the surveyor finds any structural problems at this stage, it may be too late to address them – at least not without even more work and increasing expenses. They cannot issue a completed house warranty if it fails this survey.

How does a completed property warranty work?

The limitation of a post-completion warranty is that the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), now UK Finance, only allow providers to issue these warranties retrospectively if the contract doesn’t vary from the original CML-prescribed terms.

This means you cannot change the wording, so the level of liability won’t change, either. The warranty will exist and be enforceable as though the property was inspected from the very start, holding the contracted parties liable from the outset.

Since a full building condition survey after completion must be much more intensive, and the provider is accepting a higher degree of risk, a retrospective warranty will also come with higher costs than if you engaged their services at the beginning or even partway through.

If your completed house fails to comply with the required technical standards, you won’t be able to get a warranty. Even if the property passes the inspection well, your contract will apply from the actual date of completion, not the later date when the certificate is issued.

In summary, a completed house warranty will apply in exactly the same way as an original PCC or structural defects warranty would. For this reason, it’s not actually possible to get a retrospective architects’ certificate that applies from a date beyond the building completion.

Get a quote for a completed house warranty today

Now you know all about structural warranties for completed houses, why not contact us to request a completed house warranty quote? As providers of Professional Consultants’ Certificates and structural warranties for all types of properties, the Architects Certificate team could help you.

Whether you just want the peace of mind that your home is as financially protected as possible, or you’re completing home renovations and need a new warranty, we can supply transferable certificates for eligible properties. Call 0161 928 8804 or email info@architectscertificate.co.uk for more details.

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Published Date: 31st January 2022
Category: ABC+ warranty, building warranty, Home warranty, retrospective certificate, structural warranty


 

20 
Jan

What does a builder’s warranty cover?

A builder’s warranty should offer homeowners and buyers peace of mind for ten years. Otherwise known as a structural warranty, this type of insurance ensures that any defects that are found, even several years after construction, will be fixed.

What’s covered by new home warranties?

If you buy your property off-plan (before construction begins), your new home warranty will offer slightly different cover than if you purchase your property once building work is complete. Should your developer become insolvent at any point before your property has been finished, you’ll have your deposit reimbursed by the provider of the structural warranty.

Aside from this, the same level of cover applies as if you bought the property after construction work was completed.

A 10 year structural warranty is usually split into two periods. The first period lasts for two years, and the builder must correct any issues that arise during this time. These could include your windows leaking or your heating system breaking down.

The second period lasts from years three to ten. During this period, the builder or developer is only obliged to rectify major structural problems. These include the foundations of your property, external rendering, load bearing floors and walls, and your roof. If any smaller complications arise during this time, such as issues with guttering, fixtures, and fittings, you’ll need to fix these yourself. The same goes for any problems occurring due to wear and tear, weather damage, or lack of maintenance.

For more information on what a 10 year structural warranty covers, read our guide here.

Are damp and condensation covered by a builder’s warranty?

Issues such as condensation and damp are only covered during years three to ten of a builder’s warranty if they are caused by the developer failing to comply with the standards set by the warranty provider. If this is the case, you should expect the builder to fix these issues.

What should I do if I’ve spotted a problem with my property?

It’s important to contact the builder as soon as you notice any defect in the construction work they’ve completed.

You should also keep a record of all your communications with them and the name of the person you spoke to, as well as the dates and times of any call-outs and the details of any work done. Ask them what the next step will be and make a note of it. This way, you’ll always have a record of what was agreed and who it was agreed with.

Who should take out a structural warranty?

The builder or developer of the property should take out a 10 year structural warranty. Under this warranty, the builder is the insured party and the owner of the property is the beneficiary.

If you’re a homeowner and your builder or developer does not take out a structural warranty, and you’d like to have one in place, it’s possible to take one out yourself.

Is a builder’s warranty worth buying?

A home builder’s warranty is absolutely worth buying, as it protects builders from ongoing liability as a result of any structural damages. It also gives homeowners and investors peace of mind, knowing that their investment is protected.

Get a free no-obligation quote today for a 10 year structural warranty for your new build, or for building work on your existing property. Call Architects Warranty on 0161 928 8804 or send us a message and a knowledgeable member of our team will get back to you shortly.

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Published Date: 20th January 2022
Category: structural warranty


 

17 
Jan

What is a structural warranty?

A structural warranty is a type of insurance policy that is designed to protect investors and homeowners from underlying structural defects that may arise following the completion of building work. Structural warranties are also known as latent defects insurance.

Here at Architects Certificate, we provide 10 year structural warranties to suit all types of projects.

Why do I need a structural warranty?

Whilst all might seem well immediately following the completion of your building work, structural defects can be made evident at any time in the years after the construction work finishes. It’s therefore best to have at least 10 years of structural warranty cover to assist with the expense of fixing any issues.

Whilst there is no requirement by law to get a structural warranty for any building work, the majority of mortgage lenders won’t sign off on a mortgage without one.

This will cause a delay to the sale of the property. Additionally, not having a structural warranty in place can make it very difficult for you to sell a house that’s under 10 years old.

Who needs a structural warranty?

The main reason that you should invest in a 10 year structural warranty is so that you will be able to sell your property once the building work is completed. Whether you’re a homeowner or a developer, having this insurance in place is the best way to ensure that your investment is protected. Here we explain how each of our types of clients could benefit from investing in a 10 year structural warranty.

Builders

From renovations and conversions to new projects, ABC+ 10 year structural warranties are designed to protect all potential risks.

Housing Associations

ABC+ have many years of experience working on large-scale housing association projects, making us your first choice for industry expertise and professionalism.

Developers

A 10 year structural warranty will help you to build your development efficiently and securely, whilst also developing consumer confidence in your company.

Self-Builders & Homeowners

Our personal service and industry expertise make us the ideal choice for structural warranties for self-builders and homeowners.

How long does a structural warranty cover structural damage?

You can get structural warranties that cover various lengths of time, but we recommend a 10 year structural warranty, as this will give you peace of mind that the cost of any defects will be covered for years to come.

What is covered under a structural warranty?

Getting a 10 year structural warranty for your building project will ensure that you’re covered against a number of problems that could occur in the future. These include:

  • The cost of fully or partially rebuilding as a result of structural defects. This includes the costs of fixing any defects within a property that arise as a result of defects in the designing and building of a property. It also includes any defective materials used for the building work.
  • The cost of rectifying damages caused by water egress as a result of problems with the design, building or materials that were used in a project.
  • Any costs associated with fixing issues that are caused as a result of the drainage system being built as part of the construction project.
  • Insolvency of the developer (only if this is requested at the quotation stage).
  • Defects insurance covering a period of 24 months following practical completion.
  • Structural insurance after 24 months have passed following practical completion.
  • The cost of alternative accommodation whilst repairs are conducted.
  • Contaminated land cover.
  • Fees.
  • Removal of building debris.

For more information about what is included in a structural warranty, read our guide here.

Contact us today about our 10 year structural warranty

If you need a structural warranty for your building project, get in touch with us today. Don’t delay until after your project has started, as the quote for the warranty will be less expensive if you appoint us prior to commencement. This is because the building inspectors will want to sign off on the drawings and materials from the concept stage. 

For a free, no obligation quote, give us a call on 0161 928 8804 or send us a message and we will get back to you shortly.

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Published Date: 17th January 2022
Category: structural warranty


 

13 
Jan

Is latent defects insurance necessary for commercial developments?

A latent structural defect is a fault that appears in a building after completion. This is usually due to a flaw in the design, materials, or workmanship during construction. When the issue isn’t discovered until much later, this can cause problems for everyone involved in the lease or sale of the property.

Repairing structural damage can be expensive, which is why it’s important to have a latent defects policy in place. Latent defects insurance is also known as a structural warranty, and this type of warranty offers invaluable protection for all building projects – including commercial developments.

Why would a commercial development need a structural warranty?

Structural warranties aren’t just available for residential new builds and self-builds, but also for a range of commercial properties. Larger-scale developments for commercial use, like offices, retail units, warehouses, schools, leisure facilities, or healthcare centres will require specialist cover.

A structural warranty protects the developers and investors by covering the costs of correcting latent defects, should they occur down the line. This is especially important for a commercial development, because it’s likely to involve much bigger investments than the average house.

Even residential apartment complexes can count as commercial properties if you’re renting them out for profit, so these developments will need a commercial structural warranty, too. If you plan to sell the development on, buyers are likely to insist on having a structural warranty as a safety net.

What does a commercial structural warranty cover?

Commercial property warranties are specially designed for new-build and converted commercial developments, including mixed-use properties (e.g. a building with a flat above a shop). A good commercial warranty should cover all the structural elements of the build for at least 10 years.

The original builders/contractors will be held responsible for any structural defects that become apparent in the first 2 years of the policy. After that, from years 3 to 10, the warranty provider will be responsible for paying claims. To get the most out of your cover, you might try to negotiate for:

  • Loss of rent/accommodation
  • Land contamination
  • Mechanical/electrical defects

Always check the small print of your offer, as there will be exceptions that the policy won’t cover. For example, accidental damage or further construction work, which would normally be covered by your building insurance/home insurance instead. Make sure you agree on the qualifying structural defects, and that the policy will cover both partial and full reconstruction costs for a valid claim.

How will a structural warranty help my commercial project?

There are plenty of benefits to securing a commercial structural warranty, not least the peace of mind that you’ll have financial protection for 10 years. Structural defects aren’t always visible or immediately noticeable, so it’s best to be prepared, just in case a problem does develop later on.

This peace of mind also applies to prospective tenants or buyers. Re-sales especially can be more attractive with a structural warranty, as lenders usually require such a policy before granting a mortgage. The warranty reassures people that the property has been built to a high standard.

If you do sell your commercial development on, the structural warranty stays with the building. This means that it’s transferable to the new owners for the remainder of the policy term. The duration is still 10 years from the date of completion – it doesn’t reset when it’s transferred to someone else.

The biggest advantage of commercial structural warranties is that they save you money over time. The last thing you want is to deal with litigation costs if a structural issue occurs without a warranty. You won’t have to worry about establishing liability for the fault or financial settlement delays.

How much does a commercial structural warranty cost?

As a general rule, you should set aside about 1% of the value of the commercial property’s building costs for the structural warranty. The cost of the warranty will depend on the specific circumstances of your development, including your financial status, developer rating, and the construction and sales price estimates.

It’s best to find a structural warranty provider at the very start of the project.

For example, if you contact us before construction work begins, we can carry out inspections as the build progresses, reducing the risk of unnoticed flaws. Just give us a call on 01619 288 804 or email us at info@architectscertificate.co.uk to get a quick commercial warranty quote for your property.

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Published Date: 13th January 2022
Category: commercial, structural warranty


 

 

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