Monday, April 14, 2014

Home Warranty vs. New Home Warranty in Orlando

A home warranty is a one-year service contract that helps protect home owners against the cost of unexpected repairs or replacements of their home’s major covered systems and appliances that breakdown due to normal wear and tear.  A home warranty offers a network of prescreened contractors and qualified technicians, who work in conjunction with the warranty company.

A new home warranty that comes with your new home maybe comfort for your thoughts, but take heed of the fine print. The home warranty is purchased by the builder; the happy feelings of security can quickly turn into a nightmare when something goes wrong.  Many times your builder and the home warranty company insist your particular problem isn’t covered.

As a home inspector, I have seen many situations in which home claims are denied because of one year builder warranty and new home warranty regulations, and even contractors that have gone out of business only to open under a new company name.  A new home warranty is more of a service agreement than an insurance policy.  Be proactive; safeguard yourself by comprehending the policy. When making a home warranty claim, reread your policy thoroughly and be persistent when dealing with the warranty company and builder.

New home warranties cover, workmanship and materials related to a home’s systems and components, including HVAC, the electrical system, plumbing and windows. Most likely it will not cover appliances or components accompanied by a manufacturer’s warranty.  It also usually will not cover alternative accommodations if you have to move out of your home while repairs are being made. 

A new home warranty can last for as long as ten years, but includes shorter coverage terms for certain systems, workmanship and materials. Doors, drywall, and trim are only covered for only the first year; other major structural items may be covered for years longer.  Home warranty coverage only takes effect when severity of defect meets the specified terms covered by the warranty.  A builder will usually warranty workmanship for up to a year.  Make sure you have submitted all claims prior to the year. Schedule a new home warranty inspection to evaluate and document any concerns prior to end of the builders warranty or items limited by a new home warranty.

Get a professional home inspection before you close on the home.   Not only can the home inspection ensure the home is properly constructed, it can also establish the situations of the home at the date it was moved into.  It is always prudent to document as much information as you can before filing a claim.

Frank Carr is the Owner / Inspector at First Choice Home Inspections in Deltona, FL. Formerly in the building trades, Frank’s focus is a safe home and building FCHI. We believe that consumers have the right to expect the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness and effectiveness from their home inspector and that is exactly what we provide. Http://