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The Definitive Guide to Self-Build Structural Warranties

April 17th, 2019

The world of Structural Warranties can be complicated for self-builders. From choosing the right provider to fully understanding what your Structural Warranty does, there is so much to consider. But, understanding exactly what a Structural Warranty is and why you need one, will help you to choose the right cover for your self-build project.  

To help you, the experts at Self-Build Zone have put together a definitive guide to Structural Warranties that covers everything you need to know so that you can make an informed decision. This information should also help make sure that your project is fully covered, should the worst happen.

What is a Structural Warranty?

Simply put, a Structural Warranty is an insurance policy that covers any defects in building work, design or materials used in the construction process. Usually lasting 10-Years. This arrangement ensures that any defects that are discovered in a given time frame within the agreement will be covered if they lie within the builder’s responsibility.

Each policy will be slightly different, so it is always important to read the fine print. Generally, the more expensive the policy, the wider the cover is.

What does a Structural Warranty cover?

Typically, a Structural Warranty is split into two periods. The first period is the defects insurance period. This lasts for the first two years of the policy, which begins when the building receives its certificate of completion. Within these first two years, the developer is responsible for amending any issues that arise from their work or fail to comply with the provider’s standards. Faults of this kind need to be reported as soon as possible.

The second period of cover is the Structural insurance period. During this period, it becomes the responsibility of the Structural Warranty provider to deal directly with valid claims. This 8-year time frame involves defects being reported directly to the provider of the Warranty, and if the defect is valid and you’re covered, the provider is responsible for organising and paying for repairs etc.

Who needs a Self-Build Structural Warranty?

If you’re self-building, it is not required to have a Structural Warranty, but most lenders will need one. Structural Warranties are required for mortgages, so you will struggle to sell a self-built home within the 10-Year period, without taking out a policy.

If you purchase a Warranty and you sell your self-build property within the 10-Year period, the Warranty can be transferred to the new owner, for the remainder of the warranty period.

What is the Structural Warranty process?

Your experience with a Structural Warranty policy will differ depending on the provider. However, the process usually begins with the self-builder applying for the policy by registering with a provider and submitting plans, specifications and any application forms, plus an application fee if applicable. Then, the Structural Warranty provider will review the plans and calculate a quote.

Once the Structural Warranty is issued, documents are signed, and any necessary appraisal meetings have taken place, you will be provided with a technical manual and any other necessary documentation. When the building work begins, the warranty provider will carry out regular site inspections to ensure that the building work complies with their standards. As mentioned earlier, the policy will begin after completion of the build, when a certificate is issued.

How much does a Structural Warranty cost?

The cost of a Structural Warranty varies hugely project by project. It will all depend on the size and type of property, amongst other factors. Your warranty provider will carefully calculate you a quote, once you have filled in all the necessary details.

What are the benefits of a Structural Warranty?

There are many benefits that come with a Structural Warranty. The most obvious one is that a Structural Warranty gives you peace of mind. Of course, the hope is that nothing will go wrong, but a policy in place ensures you are covered should the worst happen, saving you stress and money.

When you purchase a Structural Warranty, the provider will carry out frequent inspections to ensure the building work meets Building Standards. Therefore, obtaining a Structural Warranty will help ensure your building work is of a high standard.

Also, as mentioned earlier, most mortgage lenders will not lend money for a building without a Structural Warranty, so having one in place will help you to sell what you have built more easily. During a self-build project, it can be tempting to try and save money where you can, but a Structural Warranty worth the investment.

Where can you get a Structural Warranty?

Obtaining a quality Structural Warranty is vital for protecting your building work, should you need it. With so many options available, you can get comprehensive cover for your project, no matter the scale. But, knowing all you can about this insurance policy could help things run a little smoother.

Self-Build Zone provides structural warranties for all self-build projects and developments.

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