What to know about your builder’s warranty

Having an inspector detect home deficiencies, before your warranty expires can save you thousands of dollars down the road. Many of these warranties guarantee that the builder will provide an inspection before the warranty is up. Hiring a third party inspector can give you the reassurance that your investment is inspected properly.

Local town, city, or municipality will usually provide an inspection and issue a certificate of occupancy. This certificate does not guarantee that you home is in complete working order.

Defects covered by Builders Warranty

Typically, one year is needed to test a new house against seasonal changes. Most builders warranties, typically called a “limited warranty”, within either the sales contract or on a separate document. The maximum term is divided into one, two, and ten year terms based on the type of work needed. Pay attention to your specific responsibilities. Knowing what is covered and when the coverage expires will save you in lost expenses.

Typical exclusions include:

  • Personal neglect, abuse, or failure of you or your homeowners association to provided maintenance.
  • Expected deterioration of construction materials due to weather, natural disaster, settling or within industry expected standards.   
  • Damage caused by outsiders or “Acts of God”.
  • Damaged caused by people hired to perform other work on your property.
  • Housing costs or expenses related to repairs causing you to vacate the property while they are performed.
  • Home appliances or consumer products.



If you have repairs that need to be reported under the builder’s warranty, follow the procedures under the warranty to file a claim. Send written notification via certified letter to the builder while also calling any hotline number supplied by the warranty. Save copies of all documentation.  Do not use a third party to make repairs until notified by the builder.