15 June 2022

What’s the difference between an Architect Certificate and a Structural Warranty?

By Self Build Zone

No, this isn’t a lead-in to a silly joke! It’s a question we get asked all the time. There is currently no legislation in place that requires you to have any particular cover for your new home after completion, however, there are requirements from UK Lenders. In the UK, most Lenders will require a guarantee for up to ten years. This means that even if you haven’t used a Lender or mortgage to finance your build, you would need this guarantee if you were to sell the property in the first ten years to anyone using a Lender.

The most commonly known and comprehensive cover is a 10-year structural warranty. Recently, more companies are offering a Professional Practitioner’s Certificate (PCC) or Architect Certificates as alternatives, however, these often do not offer the right level of cover.

What exactly are the differences? and which should you choose?

Using the table below, it becomes clear what is covered via a Structural Warranty and an Architect Certificate. It also reveals the distinct differences between the two types of cover available for your new home following completion:

An Architect Certificate does not offer the same level of cover as a Structural Warranty and runs for a shorter time. An architect certificate only lasts for a period of 6 years, only covers your new home against defects in design, and does not include workmanship or materials (where most structural claims arise).

A Structural Warranty is an insurance policy that protects your new build home for a period of 10 years against defects in design, workmanship, and materials. The Structural Warranty policy is what you will need to provide to any new owners of the property if you sell.

Self-Build Zone only use ‘A’ Rated insurers.

Self-Build Zone provides ‘A’ Rated backed latent defects insurance to suit the unique requirements of your development or project, including new home warranty and Structural Warranties for residential developments. This also includes social housing, mixed-use, commercial developments, and major projects. With the backing of an ‘A’ Rated insurer, you receive peace of mind from a dependable organisation that provides help when you need it most and for the full length of your policy.

As structural warranties provide cover for 10 or 12 years, it’s vital you choose a provider who you know to be financially strong. After all, in the event of a claim, it’s the insurer who will pay out – and if they’re not a highly rated company there’s always a risk they could go out of business before the end of your warranty, leaving you uninsured. This is a scenario that’s affected thousands of individuals in the last few years.

Further detailed information on the differences between an Architects Certificate and a Structural Warranty is here.

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