Construction Defects & Builder’s Warranties

Construction Defects & Builder’s Warranties

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Before you shift to your new home, the city, municipality or local town inspects it and issues a certificate that implies the home is livable. Unfortunately, many homeowners discover that that the certificate does not assure that everything is working properly and even complete. In such a case, you should know your rights under various warranties.

Does the Builder’s Warranty Cover the Defects?

Minimum one year is required to understand if a new house can successfully survive the seasonal changes. For instance, you may discover that water leaks into the basement or builds up along the window frame only when winter sets in. There may be many or different types of defects you may discover in different seasons. Adding to your worries is the fact that the homeowner’s insurance does not provide coverage for construction defects.

You may be in luck as most constructors issue a warranty to the new owners on the construction work. This kind of warranty is often called a “limited warranty” included in the sales contact or issued as a separate document. It is interesting to note that state law does not usually require such warranties.

The maximum length of time when the warranty will remain valid is usually divided into different terms depending on the type of required work. Usually a one-year warranty is provided for materials and labor whereas you are more likely to obtain a two-year warranty for mechanical defects including heating, ventilation system, air conditioning, electrical and plumbing and ten-year’s protection for structural errors. Though these sound good, the best parts of the protection expire in a short time. For example, tiles, carpeting, roofing and paint are usually not covered after one year.

Once you get a warranty, go through it to find out the length, who will deal with the issues and what are included and excluded. Take a closer look at the detailed list of your maintenance responsibilities. If you ignore those, the constructor will exploit the lame excuses to refute your protection as per the warranty.

Common Exclusions from a Builder’s Warranty

  • Damage due to your own use, misuse, abuse, negligence, failure in providing maintenance (either the homeowner or the homeowners’ association is in charge of maintenance). Maintenance work covers a wider area including draining the water heaters, cleaning the gutters, dealing with pests, maintaining adequate humidity levels and ventilation and many more.
  • Damages considered as an “act of God” or caused by the animals, airplanes, vandals and rioters
  • Damages caused by the hired workers
  • Your housing expense if you relocate to another place while the repairing work is going on at your property
  • Erosion of the construction materials within the expected limit, including shrinkage or warpage as per the industry standards, changes caused by natural disasters, soil movement or weather conditions
  • All kinds of consumer products at your home, including dishwasher and refrigerator, some of which came with their own warranties during the time of purchase

It is important for any homeowner to ascertain his/her rights once the person discovers any kind of defects in a newly built home. To be sanguine of whether going to court is worth the amount of time, consult a lawyer from Clearwater business law firm for valuable advice.

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