Virginia State Law dictates that a new home must be warranted by the builder that builds it.
That is all well and good but a warranty on a home is far more complex than a warranty on a toaster and to understand what protections come with the purchase of new home, you need to do some reading of some fairly small print. Once you begin to do your homework, you quickly realize that each component of a new home is warranted differently.
A breakdown of the basics is below:
Structure – The Commonwealth of Virginia the law mandates that the foundation of your home is warranted for two years and that every builder warrants his material and workmanship for a year. Many builders offer a 10 year warranty on the structural items (foundation, framing, roof systems, floor systems). This warranty decreases over the time it is in force meaning a decreasing level of coverage exists each year over the life of the policy.
While the coverage decreases over time, it is still a warranty over and above the Virginia mandated minimum. Most reputable builders offer this coverage.
Systems – HVAC, appliances, garage doors, all have warranties on performance of the individual system that is provided by the manufacturer. A refrigerator typically has a warranty on parts that lasts some period of time. Your air handler for your conditioner unit will also have a warranty on its parts that lasts some period of time. These system warranties need to be registered (typically) and usually a ‘qualified dealer’ needs to perform any warranty work.
Materials – As mentioned above, the laws of Virginia require a warranty for at least a year on workmanship and materials. This can also be confusing if there is a failure as it is sometimes a challenge to determine whether it was a failure of a specific product or if the installation was the cause. Regardless, if it happens within the ‘Builder Warranty’ period, the homeowner is covered. If it happens outside of the warranty period of workmanship but within the product’s warranty, there can be some finger pointing as to who is responsible for the remedy.
Most builders offer a brief overview of their warranty policies and procedures at the walk thru several days before closing. While this meeting is helpful, to truly understand the warranties, you need to do your homework. I have even seen this topic discussed prior to a client writing a contract.
Regardless of the length of time or the level at which a system or the structure is warranted, it needs to be noted that resale houses offer nowhere near the warranty protection that a new home does.
Other Articles on New Home Values
- Examining the Dollar Per Foot Metric
- Beware the 'Unique and Expensive'
- What Does the Lot Offer?
- The Popular Plans
- What Does it Cost to Build a Home?
- Hardwood Floors
- Aging in Place
- HOA/POA or Civic Association? Does it Matter?
- Track Versus Custom Builders
- Which Comes First? The Purchase or the Sale?
- What Does 'Stick Built' Mean and Why Does it Matter?
- EarthCraft Homes and Appraisals...Friends or Foes?
- Lot Pricing in the Metro
- Grey Oaks and Nuckols Road
- Look at Models
- Bad Lots
- Investments versus Expenses