A building warranty is designed to give an owner or home buyer peace of mind. It shows that the structure was built according to the standards set by the warranty provider. You can take out building warranties for residential buildings, custom-builds, or commercial premises. Building warranties are usually taken out on newly constructed properties. But can you get a building warranty for an extension or renovation? Let’s find out.
Do You Need a Warranty for a Renovation?
You don’t have to take out a building warranty when renovating your house, but you will have to comply with building regulations. This ensures that the building is structurally sound. Although you don’t have to get a warranty for renovations, it is advisable to speak to warranty brokers before you start the project. You may find building warranties useful for many types of renovations. Also, many mortgage lenders will require you to take out building warranties if you carry out major renovations to the property.
A building warranty will cover the following:
- Structural defects in the building
- Defects in the drainage system
- Ingress of water
- Landslip or heave
- Threats of imminent collapse
- Insolvency or loss of deposit
- Removal of debris
- The cost of alternative accommodation
- Loss of rent receivable
- Physical health and the safety of occupants if these are related to non-compliance with building regulations
The provider of the warranty will usually need to know the estimated cost of the project, as well as a description of what it will entail. You will also have to provide information on the type of contract in place, as well as the occupancy of the building.
How Long is a Warranty on an Extension?
The warranty on an extension lasts for 10 years from the date of practical completion of the structure. It is also possible to get a retrospective warranty cover on an extension or renovation that was completed within the last ten years.
Do Conversions need a New Build Warranty?
You have to take out a new build warranty for conversions. This warranty may be referred to by several other names, including latent defects warranty and inherent defects insurance. It simply protects the homeowner in case the structure has defects that arise from poor workmanship, wrong materials, or poor design. The provider of the new build warranty will have to sign up for a consumer code, and this protects the homeowner during the sales process. The consumer code also helps with dispute resolution in case things go wrong. New build warranties are valid for 10 years, but they can be extended to 12 years.
It is important to remember that new build warranties do not cover natural wear and tear in the conversion. You will have to undertake proper maintenance of the building, as failing to do so may void the warranty. Weather damage is also not covered under new build warranties.
When buying a new build warranty, you should check the rating of the company. Always choose an A-rated warranty provider as they have high levels of financial stability, give you the security and reassurance you need, knowing that they will be able to honor their claims. It is best to avoid working with unrated warranty providers since they may not have the financial ability to honor the claims. In a recent case, an unrated insurer went into liquidation and left many homeowners uninsured. You can avoid such issues by only buying policies from companies with A ratings or higher.
It is important to constantly inspect the conversion to determine whether there are any defects. You could be in breach of the warranty if you let a defect get worse and cause more damage.
Do I need Structural Warranty?
It is advisable to take out structural warranties when carrying out major renovations on your home. These warranties cover defects in the construction or design process of the extension or renovation. It also covers the materials used and the actual workmanship itself. Like building insurance, structural warranties run for a period of 10 years. The warranty provider will check the design of the building using a series of technical audits, and this inspection is meant to minimise the potential of defective construction or materials. If any defects are noted during the inspection, the builder will have to fix them before the warranty is issued. To avoid this inconvenience, it is better to arrange the warranty before the builder starts working on the renovation.
It is worth noting that mortgage lenders require homeowners to take out structural warranties when they carry out major renovations to the building. This is because lenders need to know that they are providing finance on a safe investment. Even the best builders can’t give you a complete guarantee that there won’t be any issues with the materials or quality of work.
You should also note that a Building Control Completion Certificate doesn’t work as a substitute for a structural warranty. This certificate only confirms that the building meets the construction health and safety regulations, but it doesn’t provide financial protection for in the case of something going wrong. Fixing defects in construction can be costly, and structural warranties help to cover the cost of rectifying such issues.
With a structural warranty, the builder will have to cover defects in the first two years after the renovation is completed. For example, they will have to fix faulty pipes or window sealings at no extra cost to the homeowner. From the third year, the warranty provider will cover all costs of rectifying defects in the property.
Why Choose Buildsafe for your Building Warranty for an Extension or Renovation?
Our experts have over 40 years’ experience in the property sector so you can be assured that we will handle your project with the expertise and care that has been successfully developed over this time.
We take away that pain by managing the process for you and ensuring you receive the best price and the most appropriate cover to meet your requirements whilst having an easy to always reach team of experts on hand. Do not hesitate to get in contact with us.