• Nicky Frost

Self-build warranties and insurance to protect your site

We always recommend purchasing your warranty at an early stage in the build process. Ideally, a couple of weeks before you start on-site so that the inspectors can audit the design drawings prior to the build going live on site.




If we are arranging the building control too, we will need to serve an Initial Notice on the local authority so that inspections can be sorted. Do note, however, that a structural warranty can be provided retrospectively (even once the build is complete), but the further into the build you are, the more expensive a warranty becomes.


"The longer you leave it organising a warranty for your self-build, the higher the costs will be. Whilst some warranty providers cover a self builder halfway through a project, others wont."

If you plan on carrying out any kind of construction work on your home, whether you are building from scratch, renovating or extending, then you will need to not only be aware of structural warranties and site insurance, but you'll also need to know when you require them and to what extent you are covered.


It’s important to have public liability cover in place from the moment you own the site as you could be liable if someone injures themselves on your land. As soon as works begin it’s crucial to have site insurance to cover you and those you employ while clearing the site, installing services or starting construction.


Our policies range in length from 3-24 months and will end at the date of Building Control sign off or at the natural expiration of the policy.


Self Build Site Insurance is highly recommended to protect you, your site, and your builders.


Site insurance policies differ from both building inspections and warranties, as site insurance looks to cover the risks from the building process itself. Site insurance covers you for accidents on-site, to people working or visiting. It may also cover for fire damage or theft, depending on the clauses and the exclusions.


What is the Difference Between Site Insurance and a Structural Warranty?


While site insurance covers the project during the construction phase, the structural warranty policy is designed to cover the reinstatement or partial reinstatement of the property and can be transferred to all future owners (if sold within a 10-year period). 


The warranty provides cover for major damage as a result of defective design, workmanship and materials, and the policy only begins once the property has received a Building Control Completion Certificate.

There are two routes through which the structural warranty operates:

  • the Technical Audit process whereby an approved inspectors carries out surveys at key construction stages solely for the purpose of issuing the warranty (Building Control is arranged with another provider) 

  • the Building Control process in which an approved inspector carries out the Building Control instead of the Local Authority, therefore combining both sets of required inspections and thus issuing the Building Control Completion Certificate and Warranty Certificate at the end of the project. 

It is worth noting that the longer you withhold from purchasing the structural warranty, the more expensive it will become. 


In today’s climate, a structural warranty is often required by mortgage lenders in order for them to lend against a self-build project, so it is very important to check that they accept the warranty provider you have chosen. 


The UK Finance Initiative has a comprehensive list of approved structural warranty providers. 


For more information on securing the right kind of cover for your self build, renovation or extension project, contact Self Build Zone.

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Self-Build Zone and Build-Zone are trading styles of Sennocke International Insurance Services Limited which is registered in England at 6 Pembroke Road, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1XR (Company Number 02489110). Sennocke International Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 309040).