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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > May 2017 > Beginner’s guide to structural warranties

Beginner’s guide to structural warranties

Tim Doherty investigates what this kind of policy will cover and why it’s so important to have one for your self build project

Structural warranties (or building warranties) offer protection against any latent defects in your property’s design or construction. They aren’t mandatory or governed by any statute, but mortgage lenders generally insist you have one. So much so that, even if a relatively new house is sold after the warranty would have expired, not having had one in the first place can blight the property’s appeal and reputation. So, what are they and how do they work?

The basics

Structural warranties were originally set up to provide homeowners with an insurance-backed guarantee to protect them against their builder going bust during any subsequent guarantee period. In essence, they are fixed-term insurance policies. The responsibility that the house has been designed and built correctly falls into the hands of the warranty supplier, who provides protection for an agreed amount of time against a limited range of risks. Different policies cover different eventualities, each based on the supplier’s small print, but most will provide clear information detailing exactly what’s included.

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About Build It

The May edition of Build It magazine brings you all the inspiration & practical advice you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget, including: • A stunning light-filled contemporary bungalow transformation (page 20) • Discover the right build system for your project (page 60) • Choose a modern front door (page 71) • A complete guide to loft conversions (page 80) • Top tips for your lighting design (page 90) • Common plot issues and how to overcome them (page 97) • Dealing with damp (page 103) … and more!