While new homes built in Edmonton are of the highest quality, one of the many benefits of purchasing a new home is the warranty that comes with it. You’ll be able to move into your new home comfortably knowing that should something not work properly, you won’t have to pay to have it fixed. However, whether you are planning on buying a new home, or are already a happy owner of one, it's important to understand your warranty.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about new home warranties to help you understand them better.
Are All New Homes Covered?
Under Alberta’s New Home Buyer Protection Act (NHBPA), all new homes must come with a warranty that covers the owner with protection against unpleasant surprises. Since the law was introduced in 2014, home builders must provide proof of warranty on ALL homes they construct in order to receive the proper permits to get started.
When you purchase a new home you will be provided with warranty documents that outline when your warranty began, as well as the terms of your warranty. If you’ve purchased a home that was built before February 1, 2014, and you’re unsure whether your home is covered, you can search the Government of Alberta’s New Home Buyer Protection Registry to find its warranty information.
What Does the Warranty Cover?
Buyers of new homes can take advantage of a very thorough warranty program if their home was built after the NHBPA was enacted. Homes built after this date are given “1-2-5-10” coverage; with each number representing how many years certain elements of the home are covered under warranty.
1 Year - Materials and Labour
For the first year of warranty, your home will be covered in case of defects in the materials used or the work that went into building it. This means that if any of the fixtures, flooring or trim were not installed properly or the product is proving faulty before the year is up, the builder and will come fix it.
Keep in mind that the warranty doesn’t include wear and tear from pets, kids, neglect or heavy usage by the homeowners.
2 Years - Distribution Systems
Homeowners in Alberta also benefit from having the vital systems in their home covered for two years after the warranty begins. This includes your furnace as well as the plumbing and electrical systems located throughout the home.
5 Years - Heat, Water, Electricity
Also known as the building envelope, this part of the warranty covers the parts of your home that keep the air inside separate from the air outside. This includes your home’s roof, windows, as well as wall framing and cladding.
Unlike the other parts of your home’s coverage, you can have an additional two years added the warranty for these items, giving you a 7-year warranty. This could provide you with some added peace of mind knowing that these important elements of your home are covered for as long a period as possible. For more information about this, consult your home builder.
10 Years - Home Structure
Saving the best for last, the structure of your home is covered under your warranty for ten years from the date it started. This means the materials used to construct your home, and the labour that went into building it, are covered.
Specifically, if your home experiences a structural failure due to materials or labour, which negatively affects your ability to live in your home, your warranty will cover the repairs. This includes load-bearing walls, beams and floor systems.
If you cannot live in your home because of defects or while your home builder is working on fixing the problems, your warranty will also cover the expense of living somewhere else temporarily. The coverage will pay up to $150 a day for these expenses, to a total of $15,000.
It may not be enough for a room at the Hotel MacDonald, but you’ll be taken care of while your home is repaired.
How Much of My Home's Value is Covered?
The value of your warranty will depend on what kind of home you purchase and how much you bought it for. If you purchase a single family home, you will be covered for the lower price between the purchase price (not including the price for the lot) or $265,000.
For a duplex or a townhome, homeowners can expect to be covered for the lesser value of the purchase price or $265,000. Condo owners will be covered for the lesser value of the purchase price or $130,000.
Buying a home is a huge investment, regardless of whether it’s your first or fifth. When you purchase a new home you have peace of mind knowing that should anything happen, your home builder will take care of any major issues that arise.
Since builders in our communities take the greatest care to build your home, placing great value in the work and materials that go into it, you may never need to use your warranty. But having it will help you enjoy your new home even more.
Remember, a truly great Edmonton home builder will be happy to help you with all your warranty questions or concerns.