Must-ask warranty questions for new home buyers
Choosing a home builder is an important decision that will determine the quality of your home. When you’re researching questions to ask a potential builder, you’ll find a lot of obvious questions: How long have you been building homes? Can I see your portfolio? Can you provide me with references? But it’s also important to ask the right questions to verify that you’re getting a home builder’s warranty that offers you the protection you need.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the most important questions to ask a home builder about their structural warranty:
Top 5 questions to ask your home builder about their warranty
To ensure you get a reliable contractor and the best new home warranty possible, it is essential to ask your builder a few key questions about the structural warranty they provide.
Do you offer a warranty?
While this may seem obvious, it’s the best place to start—because not all home builders offer warranties. Some only offer limited coverage, while others don’t provide any warranties at all.
A warranty from a home builder is different from the home warranties often offered as an incentive from home sellers. A new home warranty from a builder is designed to ensure that their work meets certain quality standards and will provide you with long-term protection if something goes wrong. It generally covers any defects that affect the structural integrity of your home.
What does the warranty cover?
It is important to get information upfront about the coverage offered so you are aware of what your policy will cover, along with your liabilities. Make sure you understand what is covered under the warranty, the term length of each type of coverage and whether any additional charges apply.
Not all home builder warranties are created equally. Some warranties are limited in scope and may only cover certain aspects of construction. However, others may provide comprehensive coverage for workmanship, materials, in-home systems, and structural integrity of the home.
How long is the warranty?
Find out how long the warranty lasts and how long specific coverages are offered. Most structural warranties on new homes will offer the most extensive coverage for the first two years, so you’ll want to understand what is covered the first year, the second year, and for the rest of the term.
While asking about the length of the warranty, a good follow-up question is whether the warranty is transferable. A transferable structural warranty means that the coverage can be passed on to future property owners, should you decide to sell.
Is your warranty backed or have a national underwriter?
A warranty is only as good as the backing. Make sure your home builder provides a warranty that is backed by a reputable company and is underwritten by a trusted national provider. A warranty from a known, respected provider will give you added peace of mind that your warranty coverage is secure and reliable.
If you’re not sure about the answer you’re given, you should be able to easily find more information with a quick internet search. If you don’t find any information online, it’s best to look for another builder who offers a more secure warranty backed by a name you can trust.
How are claims handled?
Finally, you should ask your home builder how claims are handled and if there is any dispute resolution process in place. Find out what kind of customer service they offer and whether they provide a dedicated customer service team to help with any issues that may arise.
This is a critical piece of information, as you’ll naturally want the claims process to be as painless as possible. If you don’t understand your coverage or have to jump through a lot of hoops to file a claim, it’s likely that you won’t have a very positive experience. In fact, many complaints about builders are related to the process of filing a claim with their home builder’s warranty provider.
The bottom line
All home buyers should be prepared to do their homework and find a builder that not only builds great homes, but also stands behind them. This means taking the time to ask all the right questions and focusing on finding a builder with a reliable new home warranty.
A home builder who offers a comprehensive warranty that is backed by an established provider like Quality Builders Warranty will help you to be assured of your purchase—and give you peace of mind. Doing your research will ensure that your home is protected and well taken care of for years to come.