What is a Structural Warranty?

Sometimes known as Latent Defects Insurance, a Structural Warranty is an insurance policy that protects you against structural defects in a new build, conversion, or renovated building.

This means that if your building develops problems due to poor workmanship or materials, you should receive financial compensation to help cover the costs of structural damage and repairs.

The Structural Warranty usually lasts 10-12 years from the date on the Building Control Completion Certificate. This Building Regulations certification does not offer financial protection itself.

Most mortgage lenders will not release funds without an approved Structural Warranty in place, to protect their investment as much as yours. This can delay property sales and purchases.

Structural defects can become apparent at any time in the years after construction finishes. It’s best to have at least 10 years of precautionary cover to help you with the expense of fixing such issues.

10 Year Building Warranty by ABC+

Our award-winning ABC+ Building Warranty covers all types of properties, whether residential or commercial. This includes new builds and conversions, single dwellings and mixed development schemes, self-builds and Housing Association homes, and more.

The ABC+ 10 Year Structural Warranty offers to beat any other genuine quote from an alternative provider (such as NHBC, Premier, LABC, Protek, Checkmate, BLP, or Advantage Warranty). When you appoint us prior to the commencement of works, your quotation will be lower.

It’s best to get a Structural Warranty in place as early as possible, so it can also protect your deposit during and after works if contractors or builders become insolvent at any point.

We can also provide retrospective Structural Warranties for completed properties, or ongoing projects if you appoint us partway through construction. However, retrospective warranties are likely to have higher premiums, due to reduced inspection opportunities.

Why choose us for your Structural Warranty?

ABC+ Warranty is a unique trade-marked system for Architects Certificate (2017). This is our own warranty product, and it offers some of the best value for money on the market. We do not require membership fees or holding bonds, and we can issue our certifications within hours, not weeks.

When you commence with our 6 Year CML Certificate, known as a UK Finance Professional Consultants Certificate, you also have the option to upgrade to a 10 Year Building Warranty. This allows you to save money with a PCC until a lender requires you to have a Structural Warranty.

Through key inspections, our chartered surveyors perform our due diligence to ensure that latent structural defects won’t occur down the line. However, even the best builders can’t always guarantee that nothing will happen, so it’s worth upgrading to a 10 Year Structural Warranty.

Many approved lenders accept our PCC and 10 Year Structural Warranty, so you can rest assured that your paperwork is in order. Get an indicative QUICK QUOTE in minutes, or call our offices on 0161 928 8804 to discuss your building project. Our team of warranty experts will be happy to help.

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Why do I need a Structural Warranty?

Even if the buyer of a new build pays in cash, it’s still advisable to get a warranty in place.

This is because if they ever come to sell the property, the new buyer may be reliant on a mortgage to fund the purchase, and if there’s no structural warranty in place it could cause delays or result in the purchase falling through.

Having a structural warranty provides reassurance to lenders that the property is financially covered for any defects, and reduces the risk of them losing money if problems are discovered.

These structural warranties are usually taken out by the builders or developers to cover the new owners.

What does a Structural Warranty include?

A Structural Warranty covers defects in the building and design of a construction project, as well as any defects uncovered in the materials used in the build.

An insurance provider will usually carry out scheduled checks of the build at different stages to inspect for any defects.

While the stages when these technical audits are carried out can differ, they’re usually done during the laying of the foundations, the building of the main structure, the pre felt and batten of the roof, the pre plaster of any interior walls, and finally at completion of the project.

Inspectors will be looking for any signs of degradation (such as cracks in the walls or structural issues with the foundation) to ensure the structure will be safe.

Our award-winning ABC+ Building Warranty covers all types of properties from residential to commercial, newly built to converted, mixed development schemes to single dwellings, housing associations to self-builders.

What does a Structural Warranty cover?

Getting a Structural Warranty for your project will cover you against a number of issues that could arise in the future, such as:

  • Costs to fully or partially rebuild a building as a result of structural defects, and the costs to fix any defects within a property that are attributed to defects in the design and build of a property, or any defects discovered in the materials used for the projects
  • Costs to rectify damage caused by water as a result of problems with the design, build or materials used in a project
  • Costs associated with fixing issues caused as a result of the drainage system built as part of the construction project
  • Insolvency of the developer (if requested at the quotation stage)
  • Defects insurance for a period of up to 24 months after practical completion
  • Structural insurance after 24 month have elapsed from practical completion 
  • Contaminated land cover
  • Alternative accommodation costs
  • Fees
  • Removal of debris

If you would like to find out more information about what structural warranty includes read our guide here.

As well as this it can also be used to cover the following (depending on the individual provider and policy):
  • Deposit protection in the event the developer goes bankrupt
  • The cost of removing contaminated land from the development plot
  • Cover in case the property (or parts of it) were not built in proper compliance with buildings regulations

How long does a structural warranty last?

Depending on the provider and level of cover provided, most structural warranties will provide higher levels of cover during the first few years of the warranty.

This is because during the first two years, the developer or builder is responsible for fixing any defects.

After this, the financial cover will still be available but the buyer will be responsible for sourcing the work.

It may also be required that you have the property inspected by an insurer on a regular basis to retain the warranty during the life cycle.

What doesn’t a Structural Warranty cover?

A Structural Warranty will protect you from risks caused by defective work or materials, but there could be building issues that arise after a project is completed that won’t be covered by a warranty.

These include:

  • Alterations/ change in colour/ consequential loss
  • Defects in existing work/ humidity/ Japanese knotweed
  • Maintenance and use/ personal injury/ prior knowledge of defects
  • Radioactive contamination, chemical, biological, biochemical and electromagnetic weapons
  • Settlement/ sonic bangs/ special perils/ subsidence
  • Toxic mould/ vermin/ war and terrorism risks
  • Water table/ wear and tear/ wilful acts

As well as the above, defective workmanship in the first 2 years after completed works aren’t covered..

This is known as the Developer Liability Period.

During the first 2 years it is the responsibility of the developer/contractor to rectify defective workmanship.

When should I buy a Structural Warranty?

Ideally you should have a Structural Warranty in place before any building work takes place, this ensures that the project has been supervised through every stage of development and will cover you comprehensively.

However, it is possible to get a Structural Warranty once the building work has started, but this will make the cost more expensive.

If you don’t have a Structural Warranty in place, we’d recommend you get one as soon as possible.

If your property is for residential use, it can make it nearly impossible to sell or secure a mortgage against a building without a Structural Warranty.

This is because many banks require one to assess the integrity of the build before they’ll release any funds – at least for buildings under 10 years old.

Do you need a Structural Warranty for an extension?

If you’re just adding an extension to an existing property then you might not need to get a Structural Warranty – especially if the property is older than 10 years old.

You will still need to get a site survey and ensure the build complies with local building regulations – you may also need to get planning permission from the local authority.

Is Structural Warranty compulsory?

No.

Under UK planning and building laws there is no requirement to get a Structural Warranty.

But, having said that, the majority of lenders will expect you to have one before they’ll sign off on a mortgage.

It can also make it extremely difficult to sell a house that’s under 10 years old without a Structural Warranty.

This is typically the case regardless of whether you’re building property for commercial or residential purposes.

If you’re building commercial property on finance, lenders will usually require you to have a Structural Warranty in place before the start of the project.

How much does a Structural Warranty cost?

The cost of a Structural Warranty will differ depending on a few factors, like:

  • The type of build
  • The individual provider
  • The stage of development you get a warranty
  • The experience of the main contractor/developer

One thing that will immediately make your warranty more expensive, is delaying until after the project has started.

This is because inspectors will want to have oversight on the project from the concept stage. 

If they’ve not signed off the drawings or materials, they won’t have the same level of confidence.

ABC+ Building Warranty offers to beat any other genuine quotation that you may have received from another provider such as NHBC, Premier, LABC, Protek, Advantage Warranty, Checkmate, BLP, One Guarantee  or the LABC.

Why get your Structural Warranty from ABC+?

Your Building Warranty is an important piece of insurance when undertaking any type of construction and building project, so you need to get it from a trusted source.

At Architects Certificate we’ve worked on tens of thousands of residential and commercial property projects through the UK and can provide one of the most cost-effective Structural Warranties on the market.

Unlike other providers, we don’t require membership fees OR Holding bonds and, best of all, our certification can be issued within minutes.

Get our indicative QUICK QUOTE in minutes or call our offices to discuss your building project tel. 0161 928 8804

ABC+ Warranty is a unique, trade-marked system for Architects Certificates and Professional Consultants Certificate Ltd.

For a full list of Approved lenders please click here

This is our own Warranty product.

We don’t need to search the whole of the market for other providers’ products as we know that our ABC+ Warranty offers the best value for money.

Do you still need home insurance if you have a Structural Warranty?

A Structural Warranty is not the same thing as home insurance, so you do need to have both policies in place. The 10 Year Building Warranty only covers structural issues stemming from defective workmanship and materials. This also covers design and land inspection failures.

However, it doesn’t cover ordinary wear and tear, or damage from weather or lack of maintenance. Most mortgage lenders will require a building insurance policy as well, which covers the integrity of the building beyond just structural defects. Banks want to protect their investment as much as you.

Homeowners should also get a contents insurance policy, a separate type of home insurance which covers the contents of the structure. This means that your belongings are covered in case of fires, floods, accidental damage, or theft, even though this type is not required to secure a mortgage.              

Can you get a mortgage without a Structural Warranty?

It’s not mandatory to have a Structural Warranty, as they technically aren’t required by law. The main reason you need one is to protect your financial investment in the property. Similarly, banks are unlikely to offer you a mortgage loan if your property presents an unprotected financial risk.

Even if you find a lender willing to provide a mortgage without a Structural Warranty, they will probably offer you a smaller loan, meaning you’ll have to cover the rest of the property value yourself. It’s better to secure a 10 Year Building Warranty early on, and update it if required.

You’ll also find it much easier to sell the property, if you intend to so within 10 years. The Structural Warranty stays with the building and transfers to the new owners, making the property attractive to potential buyers. Bear in mind that further construction work can invalidate the initial warranty.

Can you get a Professional Consultant’s Certificate instead of a Structural Warranty?

A CML Certificate, which is a Professional Consultants Certificate (PCC) accepted by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), is a cheaper option than a Structural Warranty. However, they aren’t the same thing, so you can’t really substitute one for the other. A PCC is more of a temporary first step.

The PCC only states that your property complies with Building Regulations upon completion. It holds the builders liable for structural issues for 6 years from the date on the certificate. The difference is that it’s your responsibility to take them to court and prove that were professionally negligent.

As you’re probably aware, such legal proceedings can be very time-consuming and expensive. If the builder goes out of business before you can take them to court, or you don’t win the case, you’ll have to cover the costs yourself. A Structural Warranty offers more reliable financial protection.

Our Latest Reviews

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    I found the staff at ABC+ to be courteous throughout my engagement with them. They took on board my disability and were flexible in their approach in order to achieve a satisfactory outcome. I cannot fault their professionalism … More and their respond time was excellent.
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