When you purchase a brand-new home, it’s comforting to know your purchase comes with a number of warranties that protect your investment. However, it’s important to make sure you fully understand what the warranty means for you. Homeowners sometimes make mistakes that result in costly repairs – for this reason, we've put together a few do's and don'ts to help you.
Do Read the Details of the Warranty
Be sure to thoroughly read the information listed in your new home warranty as well as your manufacturer's warranties. They’ll give you details about how long the coverage will last and what types of repairs apply. They’ll also list any responsibilities you have as a homeowner. If you have any questions, be sure to talk to your builder as they should be happy to address any concerns you have.
Don’t Assume Everything Is Covered
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is assuming warranty covers everything. For example, new homes in Alberta benefit from very comprehensive coverage during the first year – but this only applies to defects caused by product quality and workmanship. For instance, the builder may not replace your flooring for free if it’s been damaged by a water spill you didn’t clean up. Or, during the second year, your plumbing may not be covered if you forget to shut off your outside taps in the winter or if you repeatedly flush unnecessary objects down the toilet. While a good builder will be more than happy to go above and beyond to help you, there can be exceptions.
Do Use the Builder’s Resources
Your builder should have resources to help you understand your warranties. Sterling Homes, for instance, shows their commitment to new homebuyers by providing 24-hour access to a homeowner's owner’s portal on their website. This contains valuable information to help owners have a great experience.
Don’t Forget to Save Dates on Your Purchase
Most warranties have deadlines based on when you purchased the product. While most homeowners never have to file a complaint, you’ll need to know the date of purchase if you do have to file a claim. It’s probably easy to remember the date of your home purchase, but if there are other smaller things you replace along the way, write those dates down on the warranties.
Do Put Your Warranty Papers in a Safe Spot
When you close on your home, you’ll get a binder with all of the information you need. This will include the warranties and product information. Keep this paperwork in a place where you can easily access it. Many people like to keep user manuals in this spot as well. If you ever have a question about the warranty on your products, you can easily refer to your binder.
Don’t Worry Too Much
Don't stress over the information. If you've misplaced your warranty papers or you're unsure what to do about something your builder has installed, they should have all the information you need either on file or accessible via the homeowner portal.
Do Ask Any Questions You Have
While Sterling does try to keep things simple, you might still have questions about what is and is not covered. Don’t be afraid to ask us! We stand behind the quality of our work and products, and we want you to feel confident with your decision. Understanding your coverage will help you feel better about purchasing and our customer care team is there to help you.
Don’t Forget to Schedule Regular Maintenance
Warranties on many products are contingent on you properly maintaining the appliance or materials. For instance, the furnace, water heater, and HVAC system require an annual cleaning and tune-up. By doing this, you’ll be making sure the unit is running efficiently, and you’ll be replacing some of the small parts that wear down easily. This small step prevents major breakdowns from happening. The maintenance requirements should be listed in the warranties, but don’t be afraid to ask. Once you know what you’re responsible for, make sure you schedule those appointments.
Warranties offer homeowners protection, but you have to do your part as well. When you have a solid grasp on what the warranty covers, you’ll be in a better position to purchase and maintain your home. It’s best to always keep the lines of communication open between you and your builder.