What does a new-build home warranty cover?

Nov 29, 2022
New Build Home Warranty UK
When it comes to buying a home, organisations like the HomeOwners Alliance point out that you’re likely to encounter fewer problems if it’s a modern, new-build apartment rather than an old Victorian end-of-terrace house1.

However, even with a brand-new home, knowing that the developer is committed to fixing any problems that might crop up will give you real peace of mind. That’s why it’s important to have a new-build home warranty.

But what is a warranty? And how does it work?

what is a new build home warranty

What is a new-build warranty?

First and foremost, a new-build warranty is put in place to protect you (and your mortgage lender). Provided by the builder or developer, it typically covers you for the cost of fixing any structural defects caused by design problems, faulty materials or poor workmanship during construction. Crucially, it covers any issues discovered after you’ve completed the purchase of your home.

How long does a new-build warranty last?

If you’re buying an old property you wouldn’t really expect it to come with any guarantees or warranties. But that’s not the case with brand-new homes. Most will come with a warranty that lasts for 10 years.

There are many different warranty providers, with one of the leading names being the National House Building Council (NHBC). All Barratt London homes come with a 10-year NHBC Buildmark warranty that includes a 10-year structural warranty and a 2-year fixtures and fittings warranty.

This warranty is also your guarantee that Barratt London has complied with NHBC Standards which lay down the technical requirements for the design, materials and workmanship that go into building a new home.

What does a new-build warranty cover?

New-build warranty policies may differ slightly, but most offer comprehensive cover that protects you against the cost of major structural defects. Generally speaking, the structural elements covered include foundations, roofs, ceilings, load bearing walls and stairs, plus glazing in outside walls. Looking at things a bit more closely, a warranty can usually be broken down into two parts:

1. Two-year builder warranty period – during this phase, the builder or developer is responsible for putting right any problems caused by issues during construction.
2. Eight-year structural insurance – during this phase specific parts of the property are covered against structural defects.

In addition, some warranties may also include contaminated land cover and deposit protection should your builder or developer become insolvent.

Do all new-build homes come with a warranty?

You might think that all new-build homes should come with some form of warranty. After all, it’s standard practice with almost every big ticket item we buy, like a car or a laptop computer. However, from a strictly legal point of view, developers aren’t actually obliged to provide a warranty.

In reality though, reputable developers recognise the need for secure and attractive warranties. It’s also worth bearing in mind that most homebuyers will rely on a mortgage to secure the home they want. And most mortgage lenders won’t even consider providing finance unless proper cover is in place.

What isn’t covered by a new-build warranty?

Understandably, a new-build warranty doesn’t cover every eventuality. New homes are complex constructions. And once they start being lived in, they can be affected by a number of factors, such as minor movements and cosmetic cracks as the home naturally dries out and settles.

Other things you won’t be covered for include:
- General wear and tear to your home
- Damage resulting from bad weather
- Problems caused by inadequate home maintenance

On the other hand, damp and condensation may be covered, but only if this has happened as a result of the builder or developer failing to meet the warranty provider’s standards.

Do I need home insurance if I have a new-build warranty?

A new-build home warranty is a reassuring thing to have, but as we’ve seen it doesn’t offer universal cover. For instance, if your home were to flood or be damaged by fire you’d be liable for the cost of repair. So, to protect your investment, it’s important to take out buildings insurance. In fact, if you’re buying a home with the help of a mortgage, your lender will almost certainly expect you to have it in place.

Finding the right insurance can take a bit of time and effort, but websites such as moneysavingexpert, comparethemarket and MoneySuperMarket are good places to start.

And while you’re investigating, don’t forget to think about contents insurance to make sure your prized possessions are protected too.

Find your brand-new London home today

If you’re looking for a brand-new home that’s designed for modern city living and is well protected, it’s good to know that all Barratt London homes include a 10-year NHBC Buildmark warranty. So you can buy with complete confidence.

1 New Build Home Warranties – What they do and don’t cover, HomeOwners Alliance.