Buying a new building is an exciting time for all involved. We’re not talking about purchasing something that’s been standing for a while, either. We mean a brand new building, constructed within the last two years and ready for use as you see fit. However, as with any other building, you’ll need certain assurances so that you’re covered in the event of structural or design issues.

This is why obtaining the best level of new build cover is crucial, keeping you insured in case the worst happens. Though you’d expect problems to be minimal with a new build, unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. By working with Architects Certificate, you can reassure yourself that you have extra protection.

With our builder’s warranty on new homes, you can enjoy using your new building with confidence. For a period of 10 years, you can benefit from our new build guarantee, keeping you covered during the early years of your building’s existence.

What does a new build warranty include?

It’s important to understand what’s included in this type of warranty, so you know exactly what your coverage allows you to claim for. The 10-year period is split into two parts, with the first two years of the warranty known as the defects insurance period. This holds the builder to account should there be any issues with the work completed. If any problems are discovered during this time, such as faulty pipes or windows, the builder is obligated to come and fix them, free of charge.

The remaining eight years of the warranty make up the insurance period. For the remainder of the new build warranty, the builder will have fewer liabilities, because any smaller issues are often due to general wear and tear rather than a fundamental structural problem. The warranty will only cover issues with structural elements such as the foundations, roof, ceilings, chimney, etc – and you’ll claim directly through your provider instead of contacting the builder.

How can I get a warranty for my new build house?

It’s fairly straightforward to find a new build warranty provider and get a quote for your property. However, the larger guarantee providers that dominate the market aren’t always the best choice for smaller builders, developers, and self-builders, because they usually:

  • Act on behalf of the contractor, not necessarily the developer or buyer
  • Won’t step in if onsite works have already commenced
  • Require a bond payment for unregistered builders
  • Request upfront payment whether they issue the guarantee or not
  • Use inspectors who aren’t chartered surveyors

If you’re investing in a warranty scheme, you’ll want to be certain that the providers are qualified to assess your building throughout its construction. Unlike an employee of a larger banking company, a chartered surveyor will have undertaken several years of study before receiving a licence to practice. Industry specialists like the team at Architects Certificate are therefore more qualified to provide reliable warranty service, frequently offering lower prices than our competitors.

How long is the warranty on a new build?

As explained above, a standard new build warranty is a 10-year insurance policy covering the finished property for 10 years from the date on the completion certificate. This includes an initial 2-year defects insurance period, followed by an 8-year period for the remainder. Fixtures and fittings are only covered during those first two years, so you need to remember the expiry date.

However, if you buy an off-plan new build home, the builder or developer should already have set up a structural warranty for you as the buyer. In addition to the ten years of cover from completion, the policy should also protect your deposit in case contractors go bust before finishing the build. Our detailed surveys could also help you with making a ‘snag list’ of faults that need fixing before you move in.

If you’re buying a home that’s less than ten years old, or you’re wondering what will happen to the policy if you sell your new build and move elsewhere before it expires, don’t worry. The structural warranty stays with the property for the ten years from its official completion date, so if anyone buys the home during that time, the policy will pass on to them for the remainder of its term (it doesn’t reset or renew).

Get in touch for more information today

Here at Architects Certificate, we are specialists in all kinds of structural warranties, being one of the top new build warranty providers in the country. If you’d like to know more about how our new build warranty can protect your building, then you’ve come to the right place. We can give you all the pointers you need, so you can be sure that you’re choosing correctly with us!

Give us a call on 0161 928 8804 to speak to one of our team directly, or email your enquiries to us at info@architectscertificate.co.uk. You can also fill out our online enquiry form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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Do I need to get a new build warranty?

From a legal standpoint, there is nothing that requires the developer of a new build home to provide a new build warranty for a property. However, most mortgage lenders won’t provide finance on a new build – or any development – without adequate cover.

This minimises the risk of losses by ensuring that financial protection is available to cover the costs of repairing any structural defects found in the property once the buyer has moved in.

For the most part, new build warranties are provided to reduce the risk of losing out on potential buyers who need a mortgage.

What does a new build warranty cover?

Despite the property being new, it’s still possible to experience some structural defects due to faulty materials or workmanship. A new build warranty – which is taken out by the developer – provides protection for the new owner for 10 years, and covers any defects found once the buyers move in.

If you’re buying a completed property, a new build warranty is typically divided into two periods with differing levels of cover. The first two years are often referred to as the defects insurance period, when the new build developer is required to fix and defects found in the property during this time. 

After this comes the structural insurance period, during which the developer or warranty provider will only be responsible for fixing any major structural issues, such as problems with the foundation. This period lasts for eight years, until the policy expires.

What doesn’t a new build warranty cover?

New build warranties are issued to protect buyers from the costs of fixing structural defects caused by faulty materials or poor workmanship during construction.

What they usually don’t cover is damage from general wear and tear over time, or damage caused by weather and natural events. They specifically cover structural defects caused during the building process.

You might be able to get cover under the new build warranty for damage caused by damp or condensation building up in the home, but typically this will only be if it’s provably due to the developer failing to comply with building standards.

A new build warranty also won’t cover any damage that occurs as a result of the buyer failing to properly maintain or look after the building.

Do I need a new build warranty to get a mortgage?

Not necessarily, but it is highly likely. Most lenders expect a new build property to have a structural warranty in place when a buyer applies for a mortgage. They’re investing in the property upfront, after all, and want to protect their funds against potential losses and devaluation.

On the off-chance that a lender agrees to providing a mortgage loan when you don’t have a new build warranty, they will probably lend a smaller percentage of the property value, and the monthly repayments are likely to be higher. It’s not really worth skimping on a structural warranty.

Always check what the mortgage provider’s definition of new build is before you apply, as they may have some exclusions. Similarly, avoid applying too early if you’re buying off-plan, as the mortgage valuation depends on the building specifications, and the mortgage offer will have a time limit.

What happens to the new build warranty if I move house?

Any structural warranty applies to the specific property only, not the owner/policyholder. Your new build warranty will last for 10 years from the date on the property’s completion certificate, so if you were to sell the home and move out before that, the policy would transfer to the new buyer/owner.

Having this financial protection can make your property more attractive to potential buyers, but this might not be a concern if you don’t plan to sell within the next decade. The policy term also doesn’t renew when it transfers to a different person, so they can’t expect it to last for another 10 years.

Bear in mind that if you carry out renovations that affect the structure, this can invalidate your original structural warranty. You may have to contact us to re-assess the property and discuss whether we can extend or upgrade your policy to cover the new work for the remainder of the term.

Is home insurance different from a new build warranty?

Yes – structural warranties and home insurance policies are not the same. Since they each cover different things, you’ll need both a structural warranty and home insurance for an adequate level of protection. You shouldn’t choose one or the other – in fact, many lenders expect you to have both.

Your new build warranty will cover the main structure itself against latent defects caused by poor design, workmanship, or materials. It won’t cover the building or its contents against damage or loss resulting from bad weather, theft, or fire, for example, which is where home insurance comes in.

Home insurance, specifically building insurance, will cover your property against other types of damage than latent structural defects. Another type, contents insurance, is usually taken out after you’ve moved your belongings in. They won’t cover structural issues, so you need a warranty, too.

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