An Introduction to Home Warranties

When you have a new home built, home warrants are automatic. That means that your builder will guarantee the work performed as well as several home systems. Are home warranties worth it? The answer to this question is yes. Without protection, you would be liable for the repair or replacement of some high dollar items.

What Do Home Warranties Cover?

Instead of asking if they worth the money, consider some examples of the things that home warranties cover. Under a standard home warranty, work performed by the builder as well as multiple systems have automatic protection. Following are the items that your home warranty would likely cover. However, because not all warranties are the same, make sure you check with your builder.

  • Cabinets and countertops
  • Comfort control
  • Concrete walls, stucco, and cementitious finishes
  • Doors and windows
  • Driveway and exterior concrete surfaces
  • Electrical
  • Exterior paint and finishes
  • Exterior siding and trim
  • Fireplace and chimney
  • Flooring
  • Framing
  • Interior concrete and foundation
  • Interior paint, finishes, trim and moldings
  • Plumbing
  • Pools and irrigation system
  • Retaining walls
  • Roof
  • Site drainage
  • Wood decks



As you can see, home warranties cover multiple aspects of a newly constructed home. Along with inclusions are several exclusions. The following are just a few examples of the things not covered by most new construction warranties.

  • Homeowner Damage – Obviously, if you cause any damage to the home or its systems, whether unintentional or not, you are liable. These include things like the lack of proper maintenance, failure to prevent damage from occurring, or damage that worsens due to a lack of response.
  • Cosmetic Defects – Issues like dented garage doors, scratched kitchen or bathroom countertops, and chipped tile and paint, among others, are only covered by the builder’s warranty if you point them out within 30 days of the completion of your home. Otherwise, the expense for repair falls back on you.
  • Homeowner Modifications – If you decide to make modifications to your newly constructed home, there is no home warranty coverage. This exclusion is not just for you but also for anyone working on your behalf other than the original builder.
  • Accidents and Natural Catastrophes – Damage, loss, or injury as the result of smoke, flood, lightning, earthquakes, mudslides, hurricanes, tropical storms, fire, windstorm, hail, as well as riots, thefts, vandalism, and civil commotion, do not have warranty protection. For those scenarios, you would have to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance for financial compensation.


Quality of Standards

Something else important to note is that the builder’s warranty on a newly constructed home lasts for one year. During that period, you have a guarantee from your builder that the construction of your home meets both company and industry high standards. Sometimes, the duration of a home warranty is less, so make sure that you understand what protection you have. As part of the warranty, your builder also guarantees that if something happens during that year, it will be fixed or replaced at no cost to you as long as the damage does not fall under the list of exclusions.


Common Problems:
  • Altered concrete flooring appearance or finish
  • Cracks in exterior concrete surfaces
  • Curled or buckled asphalt shingles
  • Exposed nails on interior fiber siding
  • Gaps between siding and trim
  • Leaks in downspouts or gutters
  • Mismatched stucco texture/color
  • Roof bowing or deflection
  • Roof tile color variation
  • Uneven interior concrete floors
  • Water leaks on the roof or flashing


Wrapping it up

Considering all of the benefits associated with home warranties, they are well worth having. However, as the new homeowner, you are obligated to provide ongoing maintenance and quality care to the home and its systems. At the same time, you are expected to take appropriate action to prevent damage and to ensure that your home’s systems function properly.

Having a home warranty is one of the many perks of building a new home. However, you need to remember that your builder has the discretion to make repairs, replace damaged systems or items, or pay you a reasonable amount of money to have things repaired or replaced. Not filing a claim under warranty in the allotted time is a common mistake that people make. All you have to do is notify your builder of a problem according to the terms and conditions of the home warranty.