Understanding new build guarantees

News at Stirling Ackroyd | 30/08/2019


Understanding new build guarantees

There are many benefits to buying a new build property. Unlike older properties, new builds are designed with the home owner in mind, which means you can expect added features such as modern fixtures and fittings.

One of the biggest benefits to buying a new build property are the guarantees that come with it. In this blog, we break down what they cover and how they could potentially save you thousands of pounds… 

What are new build guarantees?

New home warranties are designed to offer buyers peace of mind that any defects in their home will be fixed. Whilst buyers tend to encounter fewer issues with new builds, this isn’t always the case. Having a building warrantee will offer that extra layer of reassurance.  

There are three main providers of new home warranties; the National House-Building Council (NHBC) (the most common warrantee covering 80% of the new build market), the Local Authority Building Control Warranty (LABC) and the Premier Guarantee. These all operate under the Consumer Code for Home Builders.

What do they cover?

Most people who buy a new build purchase their home ‘off plan’. This means they buy it before it is even built. Once contracts are exchanged, the warranty kicks in straight away and will cover your deposit against the firm going insolvent. After build, the warranty is split into two periods – the defects insurance period, which covers the first two years, and the structural insurance period, which covers years three to 10.

If there are issues with the work the builder has done in the first two years, however big or small, the builder will need to come and fix them for you for free. Then, during the structural insurance period, the builder will only be responsible for more major problems, such as roofs and ceilings. At this point, any smaller problems are your responsibility.

What don’t they cover?

As you might expect, natural wear and tear will not be covered by any warranty. Nor is weather damage or because you simply haven’t taken care of the place. Often damp issues may be covered, but only if they have occurred as a result of the builder’s failure to comply with specific standards.

What if I need to claim?

If you do need to claim, always put this in writing. Keeping a record of everything (even the smallest conversation) will really help just in case there are any disputes. And don’t forget to check the small print too. For instance, both the LABC and Premier Guarantee warranty policies have a £1,000 excess, so you’ll need to consider if the job is worth it. If you make a claim and the provider won’t resolve your problem or doesn’t respond, try not to panic. The three providers of warranties mentioned above all adhere to the Consumer Code for Homebuilders. The code features a dispute resolution scheme which you can use during the first two years.

Our top tip

Don’t forget to keep a note of when your warranty kicks in so you know exactly when the initial two-year period will expire. In all the excitement of moving into a new home, people often forget and realise they are just outside of the two-year period to make a claim.

Talk to the experts

Our team understand new build properties inside out. If you’re looking for a new home, view all of our available properties today.