Understanding Your Home Warranty
To provide protection for new home buyers, the Homeowner Protection Act regulations were implemented by the BC Provincial Government on July 1, 1999. As a result, new homes in British Columbia built after that date must be constructed by builders licensed with the Homeowner Protection Office and covered by provincially approved home warranty insurance.
- Do not be misled by the 2-5-10 terminology. The 2-year warranty includes a number of defects on which the warranty expires after a period of only one year. For example, the degree to which interior doors may warp, the size of gaps developing between strips of hardwood flooring, de-lamination of laminated countertops, and the bleeding of resin through paint on trim are covered for only 12 months.
- The 2-5-10 minimum standard of warranty coverage generally includes between 1 and 2 years on labour and materials, 5 years on the building envelope, including water penetration, and 10 years on structure.
- There are a number of exclusions including items such as landscaping, non-residential structures (except parking structures, recreational and amenity facilities in multi-unit buildings), drainage, septic tanks, water quality, etc.
- Defects excluded also include results of normal wear and tear, normal shrinkage of materials, use of the home for non-residential purposes, owner installed items and damage caused by insects or rodents among others.
- Coverage is generally limited to a maximum of $200,000 for detached homes and $100,000 for individual strata units.
The details of what is and what is not considered a claimable defect are very specific. Meadowvale Developments and Inspection Services has previous experience as a residential builder licensed with the Homeowner Protection Office and we are very familiar with the requirements of the Homeowner Protection Act regulations. This experience enables us to inspect your home focusing on those details that should be dealt with under warranty. If the warranty period has passed, then the homeowner will be responsible for the entire cost of any repairs that could have been made earlier as a warranty claim.
The 2-5-10 New Home Warranty covers not only the original purchaser, but all subsequent owners of the property. Any portion of the warranty that is still in effect at the time of transfer of ownership applies to the new owner. It is not necessary to inform the insurance company about the transfer of ownership.
All new owners should familiarize themselves with the terms and conditions of their new home warranty. Subsequent owners should request a copy of the warranty documents and become familiar with them. It is important to make any claims within the timelines, so homeowners would be wise to inspect their homes on a regular basis. If homeowners wish to employ Meadowvale Inspections or any other inspection service, they are advised to contact the inspector well in advance of the expiry of their warranty.
Homeowners can check exactly what defects are covered, and for how long, either by visiting the BC Housing website and entering “Residential Construction Performance Guide” in the search box, or by downloading it directly.