What Is a Structural Warranty?

What a structural warranty means for you and your buyers

There is often confusion about the differences in home warranty types and the coverage they offer. With so many home warranty companies offering multiple product lines, it’s easy to see how builders and their home buyers might be confused. Quality Builders Warranty provides new home warranties, sometimes called structural or builder warranties, which are warranties that you, as a builder, extend to the buyers of your properties.

In this blog post, we’ll answer a number of questions you may have about our services:

What is a structural warranty?

Structural warranties, or builder warranties, define written expectations and obligations of quality and workmanship by a home builder to a home buyer for a period of time after the home closes. Often, a structural warranty has an insurance backed guarantee whereby the builder is the insured and the homeowner is the beneficiary. As their name suggests, structural warranties are designed to provide long-term coverage of specific defects that affect the structural integrity of the home. The length of coverage for a residential structural warranty can vary depending on the company, but it most often extends 10 years after the builder completes construction and is sold, and occupancy has been granted.

What is the difference between a structural warranty and a home warranty?

A structural warranty is different from a home warranty, in that a home warranty typically provides coverage for household appliances, like refrigerators and ranges, and systems, like heating and cooling. A home warranty is often associated with residential real estate transactions, where a homebuyer may be offered or may purchase a home warranty after closing on an existing home to ensure protection against breakdowns of their appliances or systems. However, structural warranties, or sometimes called new home warranties, are provided by a builder to a home buyer as a protection against major structural defects in workmanship and materials used in the construction of the home by the builder of the home.

A structural warranty is important for any builder who wants to protect their buyers against potential problems that could arise due to defects in major structures of the home. That said, many builders offer comprehensive warranty coverage to include the elements of a home warranty while also providing the structural warranty.

What does a comprehensive structural warranty cover?

A comprehensive structural warranty covers things like major defects in workmanship and materials used in the construction of a home. This coverage is transferable to subsequent buyers during the 10-year period, so if the original owner sells their home, the next buyer receives the same protection for the remaining duration of the warranty term.

Here’s a year-by-year overview of what a QBW new home warranty covers as defined in the Limited Warranty Agreement the home buyer receives at closing:

  • First year – lot grading and drainage, roofing, side and caulking, masonry and concrete, chimneys and fireplaces, windows and doors, interior walls and trim, flooring and covering, carpentry, cabinets and countertops, cooling and heating, plumbing, and electrical
  • Second year – Lack of water supply, septic system failure, pipe leaks, clogged drains and sewers, ductwork separation, wiring failing to carry specified electrical load
  • Years 1–10 – actual physical damage to and failure of columns, bearing walls and partitions, floor systems, roof framing members and systems, foundation systems and footings, load bearing beams, girders, and lintels that make the home unsafe and otherwise unlivable

Specific coverages are defined for a specified period of time after closing with the first two years offering more extensive coverage. It’s important to note that a structural warranty covers structural defects from construction, not issues caused by external factors. Damage from wind, hail, etc., would be covered by homeowners’ insurance, not a structural or builders’ warranty, even if the damage is structural.

Why is it important to warranty a structure?

Having a structural warranty in place is important for any builder who wants to provide their buyers with peace of mind and assurance that their homes are built to the highest standards. It’s also an excellent way to build trust and loyalty by showing your customers that you’re willing to stand behind your work.

By offering this coverage as part of the sale of your homes, you are assuring buyers that any major structural defects discovered within the coverage period are taken care of. This can help minimize costly repairs down the line and ensure your buyers have a positive experience with their new home—and that they’ll recommend you to family and friends when they’re looking for a home builder.

Having a warranty in place can also be beneficial for builders, as it helps them demonstrate quality workmanship to current and potential customers. In other words, it’s a great sales motivator! By providing this coverage, you can be sure that your customers are aware of the quality and care that you put into their homes. This is a factor that is often taken into consideration when potential buyers are looking for a new home.

QBW works with the finest builders in the nation, so it is a mark of quality to have the homes you build warrantied by us. Offering a QBW warranty shows that your workmanship is of the highest caliber. This helps differentiate your business from the competition in an industry where less conscientious builders fail to provide support after the home purchase, or offer low-quality construction to maximize their bottom line while offering little recourse to buyers.

Why is it important for a builder to offer a structural warranty?

Having a comprehensive structural warranty in place can provide many benefits to both builders and buyers alike. A QBW warranty is the best way to show your customers that you stand behind your work and are committed to providing them with quality homes they can be proud of. A QBW warranty outlines a clear set of standards and obligations for builders and buyers to define and resolve repair issues. QBW provides builders and buyers third-party assistance in resolving the most difficult warranty resolutions. And, QBW warranties provide new home buyers with peace of mind knowing that their warranty is backed by the strength and longevity of Liberty Mutual.

Learn more about Quality Builders Warranty

Find out more about Quality Builders Warranty 10-year structural warranties, and contact us today to get started.