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A guide to building warranties on new build property

Feb 13, 2018
A guide to building warranties on new build property

Buying a property is always exciting, but when your new home is a new build, it’s extra special. You’ll be the first to make the property a home, having everything exactly how you want it. But before you get settled in you’ll want to check that everything has been completed correctly.

Older properties aren’t covered by new build warranties. By buying a new build, however, you’ll have insurance against any structural damage or any other faults that happen after you’ve moved in. Here, we explain all about new build warranties to ensure you understand how you’re covered.

The paperwork

NHBC are the National House Building Council, the leading standard-setting body, warranty and insurance provider for new and newly-converted homes in the UK. They provide consumer protection for homebuyers, and set out the technical requirements for design, workmanship and materials in new homes. They inspect developments at key stages during their construction to make sure they’re up to standard. Around 80% of new build properties built in the UK, come with a NHBC 10 year Buildmark Warranty and many mortgage providers will only lend on properties with it. A Buildmark Warranty gives you a 10-year structural warranty and a two year fixtures and fittings warranty, which means you’re well covered should anything go wrong with your new home.
Within four weeks of moving into your new home, you should receive a Buildmark document and insurance certificate from your solicitor. An NHBC 10 year Buildmark Warranty covers you from:
  • Risks that could prove expensive to deal with
It doesn’t cover you from:
  • Genial wear and tear
  • Condensation
  • Minor faults which appear after the second year
You should have made an initial inspection before completion, but it’s important to do it again when you move in. Take some time, going from room to room. Has the plasterwork been neatly finished off around the pipes, electric sockets and light switches? Has all the paintwork been finished off, including the undersides of your windowsills? Are the cupboard doors hung correctly in your kitchen? Are banisters and handrails fixed securely? To help you do this, work through a NHBC checklist which you can  download here.  

Get faults fixed

If there are any issues, let your builder know as soon as possible. Whenever you speak to them, in person, over the phone or via email, make sure you keep records that you can refer back to, if needed. If they fail to put things right or dispute what should be done, you can use the NHBC resolution service for the first two years of owning your home. If there is any damage caused by defects after the first two years, then it will be covered by the insurance part of your building warranty. Rather than worrying about structural issues, which most likely won’t be a problem in a new build anyway, you’ll be well protected. Once you’ve moved in, you can think how you’ll turn your new property into a comfortable home for you and your family.