Building a home is a significant investment and a new home warranty is essential in making sure your investment stays in tip-top shape without having to sink more money into it. A new home build requires all-hands-on-deck – from construction workers to electricians, a real team effort is necessary to bring your dream home to life. Unfortunately, sometimes mistakes are made, and you could end up paying for these errors for years to come. Thankfully, with a new home warranty, you don’t have to!
What is a home warranty?
A home warranty is an insurance provided for all new home builds. A homeowners’ warranty covers the costs of damages and breakdowns your home experiences. Depending on the type of damage, this coverage could last up to 10 years. Alberta’s new home warranties are provided under the province’s New Home Buyer Protection Act which was implemented on February 1st, 2014. The Protection Act aims to maintain high-quality standards in the residential development industry, and ensure your home stands the test of time. Coverage provided by the Home Buyers’ Protection Act also extends to everything from single-family homes to condos.
Understanding your coverage
Under Alberta’s New Home Buyer Protection Act, home buyers receive a minimum of a “1-2-5-10” coverage. The first year covers the finishing in your home. This includes defects and damages in everything from trim to flooring. During the second year, your new home warranty extends its protection and covers defects in labour and material related to heating, electrical and plumbing systems.
The “building envelope” is covered for 5 years. This means you’re protected against defects on the exterior of your home. This includes defects in roofing and walls. Finally, defects in the key structural components of your home such as its foundation and frame are covered for ten years.
When is my coverage active?
Alberta has provided an easy to use public registry, and every builder is required to put every bit of information regarding your home warranty on it. To access information on the state of your warranty, just type in your address. On this platform, you should be able to access key dates and your warranty providers contact information. You can also use the registry to find out how much of your coverage remains.
What is your role as a home buyer?
As a new home buyer, your job is to be well informed. When choosing a builder, research the company thoroughly – search for references, and take their reputation and how many years they’ve been in business into consideration. You also want to get familiar with your warranty provider, and key warranty information such as dates and the necessary steps required to stake your claim. Don’t forget to read over your warranty agreement carefully.
Finally, as a homeowner, it’s your job to take good care of your house. Clean out your gutters, inspect your furnace when necessary, and adopt good landscaping practices.
With new home warranties being mandatory, homeowners can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they don’t have to spend a ton of money fixing damages that are a result of defects in materials or defects caused by human error.