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In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about warranties on new build homes.

What is a New Build Warranty?

A New Build Warranty is also known as a new home warranty or builder warranty. It is an insurance policy that protects homeowners against any structural issues or defects in the workmanship of their newly built home. The policy is typically effective for 10 years. The coverage can vary, but most warranties cover the cost of repairs due to structural defects or issues with the workmanship. The warranty aims to give homeowners peace of mind while they are living in or buying a new home.

What is the LABC Warranty?

The LABC Warranty is a specific type of cover in partnership with Local Authority Building Council for newly built homes in the UK. When you purchase a new-build home that comes with this warranty. It serves as your safety net against a range of potential problems and provides you with peace of mind.

From the moment your property is registered with LABC, certain protections kick in. During the first 2 years after completion – known as the builder responsibility period – your builder is legally obliged to fix any issues that don’t uphold LABC standards.

If any defects come up during those initial two years, you should contact your builder directly. They are responsible for putting right any damage or faults caused by their failure to build to LABC standards.

From years 3 to 10, things shift slightly. Here, coverage becomes more specific and applies to what’s called structural or weatherproofing faults. This includes elements like the roof, walls, floors, stairs etc.

But remember: not all parts of your home are covered under this warranty. It doesn’t cover general wear and tear or issues resulting from lack of maintenance or neglect.

By understanding how this warranty operates and what exactly it covers, you can make sure you’re using it to its fullest potential if ever required.

Part 1 – Structural Warranty

The structural warranty, also known as the structural insurance period, is a significant part of the LABC Warranty. It covers years 3 to 10 after the home’s completion.

During this period, protection is provided for any physical damage to specific parts of your home. This typically includes key structural elements such as:

  • The foundations
  • External and internal walls
  • Roofs
  • Ceilings
  • Stairs
  • Floors
  • Windows and doors

Essentially, it’s about keeping the ‘shell’ of your property secure against faults or defects that may occur due to a failure to build to LABC standards.

Remember though, this doesn’t cover everything. For instance, non-structural components like kitchen units or central heating are not included. It also excludes issues resulting from normal wear and tear, lack of maintenance or weather conditions.

You should contact LABC directly if you notice any potential problems during this timeframe. They will assess the situation and arrange for repairs if they agree that these are due to the builder’s failure to meet their standards.

This cover can be transferred if you decide to sell your home within the 10-year period, which can be an attractive proposition for potential buyers because it gives them assurance about the quality of construction.

Part 2 – 2-year Defect Insurance Period

The Defect Insurance Period is an important aspect of the LABC Warranty. This cover pertains to the first two years following your home’s completion, which is often referred to as the builder responsibility period.

During this time, the builder is responsible for fixing any issues with your home’s fixtures and fittings that do not meet LABC standards. The fixtures and fittings typically refer to non-structural elements of your home which could include:

  • Kitchen units and worktops
  • Bathroom suites
  • Internal doors and joinery
  • Tiling
  • Built-in wardrobes

If you encounter defects or damages to these elements due to poor workmanship or materials within the first two years, it’s your builder’s responsibility to rectify them.

Remember though, it doesn’t cover everything. Damage caused by wear and tear, neglect or failure to carry out proper maintenance are not included in this warranty.

If you come across a defect during this 2-year period, get in touch with your builder directly. They should resolve the issue promptly as per their obligation under the LABC Warranty.

It’s important that you understand what is covered under this part of the warranty so that you can take full advantage of its benefits if necessary.

What Does the Warranty Not Cover?

While the LABC Warranty provides comprehensive coverage for many aspects of your new home, there are certain exclusions. It’s crucial to be aware of these so that you can manage your expectations and plan accordingly. The warranty does not cover:

  • General wear and tear or deterioration over time
  • Damage caused by failure to carry out proper maintenance
  • Weather conditions or acts of God such as storms, floods, etc.
  • Problems resulting from alterations, extensions or conversions carried out after the completion date
  • Issues with non-structural fixtures after the initial two years (the builder responsibility period)
  • Any minor faults or cosmetic issues that don’t affect the property’s structure or habitability
  • Consequential loss – this means additional costs you might incur because of a defect e.g., temporary accommodation charges

It’s essential to familiarise yourself with these exclusions so that you understand the extent of your protection under the warranty. Always refer back to your policy document for full details. If you have any queries about what is covered, it’s usually best to contact LABC directly for clarification.

Do You Still Need Home Insurance?

Yes, you absolutely still need home insurance. The LABC Warranty and home insurance cover different things and are designed to work alongside each other.

The LABC Warranty primarily covers issues relating to the construction of your home, such as defects or damage arising from failure to build to LABC standards. It doesn’t cover accidental damage, theft, fire, flood or personal liability – these are typically covered by a standard home insurance policy.

Home insurance is usually split into two parts: buildings insurance and contents insurance.

  • Buildings Insurance: This covers the structural part of your property against damage. It will generally pay out if your house is damaged by events like fires, storms or subsidence.
  • Contents Insurance: This protects all the belongings in your house. It can replace everything from clothes and furniture to electrical items like TVs, laptops and kitchen appliances if they’re stolen, lost or damaged.

Remember that it’s essential to maintain both types of coverage while also benefiting from the protections offered by the LABC warranty on new builds.

What Other Providers Offer New Home Warranty Cover?

As well as Local Authority Building Council (LABC) there are other warranty providers that provide new build warranties, these include:

  • National House-Building Council (NHBC)
  • Local Authority Building Control Warranty (LABC Warranty)
  • Premier Guarantee
  • Checkmate
  • Build-Zone
  • CRL

Summary

  • New build homes come with a 10-year warranty to provide homeowners with protection against structural issues and defects in workmanship.
  • The LABC Warranty is a specific type of warranty provided by the Local Authority Building Council for new build homes in the UK.
  • The warranty covers different aspects of the home depending on the time period: during the first 2 years, it covers builder responsibility for fixing issues that don’t meet LABC standards; from years 3 to 10, it covers specific structural and weatherproofing faults.
  • The warranty does not cover general wear and tear or issues resulting from lack of maintenance or neglect.
  • Homeowners should contact the builder directly within the warranty period if they notice any defects, and LABC will assess the situation and arrange for repairs if necessary.

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