Building a custom home is a significant undertaking, filled with excitement and challenges in equal measure. In part 1 of this series we went over the preconstruction process, part 2 we detailed the construction process, and in part 3 I want to talk about warranty and maintenance.
So your new custom home has reached substantial completion and you're moving in. Pretty soon you realize that no home is perfect and there are some mistakes in the construction that need to get rectified. But what's covered by most builder's warranty and for how long?
Most builders will offer some form of a 1-2-10 warranty, meaning 1 year, 2 years, and 10 years of varying coverage. In the first year, everything in your home that's not maintenance or a cosmetic issue is likely covered under your warranty, unless detailed otherwise. So if your dishwasher stops working, a light switch is going haywire, or your sink is leaking, all of those examples would be covered. If a light bulb goes bad, that's most likely a homeowner maintenance issue and you would need to replace the bulb. If someone has scratched your hardwood floors or put a dent in your wall, that's a cosmetic issue that's outside of the builder's control and is probably not covered. It's important to know that as the homeowner you need to notify your builder quickly if an issue arises. If you have a plumbing leak for several months and that leak causes additional damages because you took a while to let them know, those additional damages would not be covered.
Many, but not all, builders will also offer some form of 2 and 10 year coverage. In the second year, your home's main systems like plumbing, electrical, and hvac may also be covered, provided the home is being properly maintained. For the first 10 years you own the home, the structure of your house is also likely covered. That includes the framing and foundation. Again, assuming the home is being maintained.
As alluded to already, part of being a homeowner is maintenance, which doesn't just include mowing the grass and changing the air filter every once in a while! Even a Lamborghini needs to have its oil changed regularly, so your beautiful new home will need regular maintenance to keep it in top shape and working properly. Each system in your house will have something to maintain over time, most of which will involve keeping them clean and clear. For more information, check out our series on Home Maintenance Tips!
We hope you've learned something in this series about building your custom home. If you have more questions or there's somethign else you'd like us to address about the process, please let us know!