16 March 2022

A Guide to Structural Warranties for Self-Build Homes

By Self Build Zone
NaCSBA report

New homes present some significant risks which usually appear in the first two years after completion, and a warranty is a normal method of covering these risks.

A structural warranty, like most insurance policies, is not compulsory under law, but it’s practically impossible to sell your home within 10 years without one and most lenders specify that you have one in place too.

Plus, a structural warranty is often a requirement for a self build mortgage. So while it might not be a legal requirement, you will encounter several hurdles if you choose not to take out a policy.

Check out our video with Homebuilding & Renovating – A Guide to Structural Warranties

When Should I Buy a Self Build Warranty?

TOP TIP… The longer you leave it, the higher the costs will be. Whilst some warranty providers cover a self-builder halfway through a project, others won’t. If a self-builder is at the poured concrete stage before contacting a warranty provider, expect to pay an extra 25%. This rises to 50% if at first-floor joist, 75% to wall plate (prior to roof), and 100% if structurally complete.

It is best to purchase your warranty at an early stage. It needs to be bought at least a couple of weeks before you start on-site so that the provider’s inspectors can audit the design drawings prior to the build going on site.

If your warranty provider arranges the building control too, they will need to serve an Initial Notice on the local authority so that inspections can be sorted. A warranty can be provided retrospectively (even once the build is complete), but the further into the build you are, the more expensive a warranty.

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