A home warranty is an agreement that covers the repair or replacement of certain home components and for specific periods of time. Warranties can be issued directly by your homebuilder or by an independent company. As a homeowner, you can also opt to purchase additional add-on service contracts on their own from third-party warranty companies to supplement the coverage provided by your builder.
For newly built homes, warranties generally provide limited coverage on the workmanship and material components in the home, such as windows, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, and electrical systems for specific periods. Typically, a warranty will also define how covered repairs will be made.
Warranty coverage varies, so before deciding whether something is covered, call your builder for details on your coverage.
The duration of warranty coverage varies depending on the component of the house. Contacting your builder is the best way to find out exactly what is covered under your warranty.
THE FIT AND FINISH WARRANTY
Typical coverage is provided for workmanship and materials on most components during the first year – much like a “bumper-to-bumper” warranty. For example, most warranties on new construction cover siding and stucco, doors and trim, and drywall and paint during the first year. To find out if these or other materials are covered under your warranty, contact your builder.
This warranty provides for the mechanical systems in the home – heating ventilation and cooling (HVAC), plumbing, and electrical systems. Contact your builder to find out what is covered under your mechanical warranty.
THE STRUCTURAL WARRANTY
Some builders provide warranty coverage for up to ten years for “major structural defects” – construction problems that make a home unsafe and put the owner in danger. For example, a roof that could collapse is a “major structural defect.” Talk to your builder to find out more about your structural warranty.
Typically, new home warranties do not cover damage that results from a lack of homeowner maintenance or natural disasters. New home warranties also typically do not cover manufactured products like appliances which are typically covered by a warranty issued by the manufacturer. If you own a new home or are not sure what your warranties cover, contact your homebuilder.
The quickest and most effective way to resolve a construction issue with your home is to contact the homebuilder or the warranty manager directly. Your homebuilder can walk you through what is covered, help you assess the issue and work with you on any issue covered under the builder warranties.
But what happens if you were not the first owner of a property or you are unsure of who built your home or what’s covered?
The most direct way to find your builder is to contact your local building or planning department. They are required to keep that information on file for ten years and are able to look up the homebuilder by your home’s address.
The Nevada Home Builders Association is committed to helping homeowners work with their builders and has developed a downloadable directory of these local departments by county to help homeowners quickly identify and reach out directly to their builder.