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How can home construction warranties help protect me?

One of the best ways to protect yourself from the cost of unexpected construction defects in your new home is to buy a construction warranty. Even if your new California house looks perfect and an inspection turns up no issues, you have no idea how and when a problem might suddenly turn up. Forbes points out how to handle seeking a good construction warranty and what to expect.

Property owners who want a warranty should ask about one before a single nail has been hammered on their new home. While interviewing a contractor, owners should ask about warranties at the initial negotiating stage. In many cases, the construction company will take care of the warranty fee for the property owner. If not, the warranty will only cost a few hundred dollars for the owner.

It is also crucial that any property owner reads over the terms of the warranty carefully. Not all warranties will cover everything you are looking for. You do not want to sign on to a warranty only to find it does not cover, for example, the materials used to build your home. The goal of a good warranty is to cover the construction for a reasonable amount of time. Plumbing and electrical wiring, for example, might only be covered for the first few years of use.

Conversely, defects to your home’s foundation should be covered for much longer periods, like ten or twenty years. The reason for this is because structural problems do not usually manifest until residents have lived in the home for a good period of time. Should defects show themselves, the original contractor may not do anything about it unless their work is covered by a warranty. A proper warranty can compel the contractor to fix the problem or at least provide a refund for the services rendered.

Additionally, you should check a warranty to see what your maintenance requirements are. A contractor may not be willing to honor a warranty if they claim your actions or inactions contributed to the damage to the home. To prevent a possible dispute, check a warranty for your obligations. And while you are at it, also look for components of the home that may not be covered. Commonly, appliances are not covered by building warranties. Those will require separate coverage.

This article is written to provide information on construction warranties and is not to be read as legal advice.

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