Being a new home buyer comes with a lot of perks, especially in Alberta. Aside from stylish designs, beautiful features, energy efficient appliances and the most up-to-date building materials, new homes are also back by some pretty substantial warranties. This includes warranty for both your home (new home warranty) as well as many of the systems and appliances within (manufacturer's warranty).
There are some differences between the two; however, that you'll want to know as you take possession of your brand new home. Here's what we mean.
As of February 2014, all new home builds in Alberta are required to have new home warranty. Builders are also allowed to find their own preferred providers as long as they offer the following coverage:
One Year: Labour and Materials
For the first year, you have coverage for any material or labour related defects. This could include items such as a light that isn't working properly, nail pops, or faulty paint, to name a few examples.
Two Years: Distribution Systems
For two years you are covered for defects related to your home's mechanical systems such as the heating, electrical, and plumbing.
Five Years: Building Envelope
The home's building envelope can be defined as what separates the interior from exterior air. This would include the roof, windows, and framing. As well, warranty providers may offer a two-year extension of this coverage.
Ten Years: Structural Integrity
Structural coverage applies to the load bearing parts of your home. For example, this would cover the frame and foundation should there be any warrantable defects.
In short, the builder's warranty is meant to cover homeowners in the event of faulty labour and materials. While a quality home builder will go above and beyond to ensure no such issues arise, you'll have peace of mind knowing that if something does go wrong, you're protected.
Unlike the builder-specific warranty which applies to the home as a whole, manufacturer warranties apply to specific products within the home - such as appliances.
A manufacturer's warranty is the coverage a company offers on their products. While this type of coverage is generally for a year, it will vary by manufacturer. For this reason, you'll want to ask your prospective builder who their suppliers are. The most common choices are Samsung, LG, Maytag, and Whirlpool.
While different builders offer different kinds of appliances, their relationship with their suppliers and familiarity with their products means they should be able to help you understand your manufacturer warranties. Some companies will also offer extended coverage which is an added bonus in terms of protecting you from servicing costs. Be sure to learn the details in advance because there have been instances where the parts were covered but not the labour.
Now that you know your new home is covered inside and out, you'll be able to move ahead with your purchase confidently and with peace of mind. Be sure to read your warranties thoroughly so you understand the coverage being offered and approach your builder with any questions or concerns you may have.