One of the great advantages of buying a brand new home is that it comes with a warranty. Purchasing a home is a significant investment, and you want to make sure it is well protected. As you look at homes and get to know the builders in your community, consider the warranty carefully.
Is a new home warranty mandatory? In British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, builders have to provide homebuyers with a third-party warranty. In the rest of Canada, the decision is left up to the individual builder. For homebuyers, the choice is easy—you want to buy your home from a professional builder with a solid reputation, excellent after-sales service and a third-party warranty.
What’s covered in a New Home Warranty?
As a minimum, a new home warranty generally includes deposit insurance and protection against defects in work and materials as well as major structural defects. Additional coverage may include defects in your home’s mechanical systems or building envelope. Some warranties include living expenses to offset the cost of temporary accommodations, moving and storage if you cannot occupy your home due to builder failure or warranty repairs. You may also be able to upgrade a “basic package” and get extended coverage.
Before you sign a contract with your builder
Know what you are buying in a warranty. Ask the builder to explain the warranty before you make a final decision—what’s covered and what’s not. Also verify that the builder is registered with a warranty provider; you can contact the provider by telephone or check their web site.
Before you move in
As your home nears completion, your builder will schedule a walk-through of your home, also known as a pre-delivery inspection. Together, you and your builder will go through the home together to verify that it is built according to plan, with the features and inclusions specified in your agreement.
At the same time, you should take note of any imperfections and defects that require attention, down to the smallest detail—a sticking drawer, a missing towel rack, a scratch on the wall and so on. Discuss with your builder how and when these things will be dealt with.
During the walk-through
The builder will explain how to operate and service the mechanical systems, and how to take care of the many components in your home. Ask questions as you go—it’s important that you feel comfortable with, and knowledgeable about, your new home.
After sales service
What if you have a problem with my new home. Keep in mind that “settling” is common during the first year and may result, for instance, in minor cracks or nail pops. If you have questions about your home, encounter any problems or need service, follow the process set out by your builder. Most builders have a ‘service’ department dedicated to correcting the problems that develop, and they are very good. If you do not get satisfaction from the builder, the warranty provider will ensure appropriate action, including mediation between you and your builder.
Expectations and responsibilities
What are the builder’s obligations and performance standards? What are the company’s after-sales service standards and process? What are you responsible for once you move in? What do you need to know in order to avoid problems in your new home?
Don’t hesitate to ask your builder for answers to these and other questions. Warranty providers also offer detailed consumer information, including home maintenance, online or you can request written publications.
New home warranty—another great feature of your brand new home.
Here are the New Home Warranty Program links for Canada;
Alberta New Home Warranty Program
Atlantic Home Warranty Program
Homeowner Protection Office BC
New Home Warranty Program of Manitoba, Inc.
New Home Warranty Program of Saskatchewan, Inc.
Ontario New Home Warranty Program