Building a new home in Alberta means more than putting up some walls and a roof. It’s a significant financial commitment into crafting a place for yourself and your loved ones to live out treasured new memories, possibly for an entire lifetime.
That’s why home warranties are so crucial here in this province. They’re your shield against the unexpected for years after you first move in. They provide homeowners with financial protection and support against defects or issues, ensuring you’re not left bearing the full burden of a wide range of issues and repairs.
Facts about Alberta new home warranties
The New Home Buyer Protection Act states that every home built in Alberta since February 1, 2014, must have a prerequisite amount of planned warranty coverage in order to secure permits and build the home. These warranties are attached to the home, not its owner, which means that it remains in effect even if the home changes hands through resale. On both the buying and selling side, this can be a boost to the overall value and desirability of the property.
When does an Alberta new home warranty begin?
For legal purposes, the start date of a new home warranty begins when the first of the following events occurs:
- Occupancy: Coverage begins when you move into your newly built home, making it officially yours to enjoy.
- Permission to Occupy: Alternatively, coverage can also start when the permitting authority officially gives permission for occupation.
- Title Transfer: Coverage beings when the title of the new home is transferred to the owner.
Who provides home warranties in Alberta?
There are 7 warranty providers in Alberta:
They will all have slightly different criteria and regulations, and ultimately it is up to your builder to choose which one to use. For example, to get approved with the National Home Warranty Group, a builder must provide a retainer (which is held on deposit) and prove a minimum net worth to even be considered. That’s why selecting the right builder is so important for peace of mind.
Here is a basic “performance guide” for new builds, which lays out the core requirements of warranty coverage across the province.
How much coverage is included in an Alberta new home warranty?
The minimum new home warranty coverage limit is set at $265,000 for single-family homes and $130,000 for units in condos or multi-family complexes (which can also have some additional coverage for public areas). You can boost this amount by purchasing additional coverage when you set it up for the permits. The minimum limits are based on average rebuilding costs for the home’s structure, excluding land, contents, and landscaping.
Builder responsibilities on new homes in Alberta
During the first five years of any warranty, the primary responsibility for addressing any issues lies with the actual builder of the home. The warranty company only steps in when the builder fails to respond or take appropriate action to resolve a particular issue.
This is why it’s important to find an honest builder with integrity and a good reputation. It will cause a lot less headaches overall and keep your premiums lower if anything requires attention after the initial build.
Who to contact for home warranty work in Alberta
If you do unfortunately find defects in materials, construction, or systems around a new home, you can file a claim with your warranty provider. Warranty providers are responsible for working with builders to correct the defects. Here’s a great warranty resource to find more information and start the process.
Alternately, you can connect with the Residential Protection Program between 8:15 AM and 4:30 PM, Mon-Fri (excluding holidays). They can be reached at 1-780-644-1010 (within Canada and the USA), toll-free within Canada at 1-866-421-6929, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s covered in a 1-year warranty on a home in Alberta?
This phase of the warranty covers many of the decorative parts, materials, and installations on a home.
Defects in materials
The one-year warranty covers defects in materials used during construction. This means that if any of the wood, railings, trim, hardware, flooring, etc. exhibit signs of poor quality or breakage within the first year, they are covered by this warranty.
Defects in labour
This warranty also extends to defects in labour or workmanship. If any aspect of the construction process was poorly done (paint jobs, improper sealants, carpet lifting, etc.), they can be addressed without penalty for a year after moving in. The responsibility would fall on the builder to return and fix the issues.
2-year warranties on Alberta homes
Anything covered by the second year of warranty still comes back on the builder rather than the full warranty provider. While the labour and materials are no longer included, the home’s utility distribution and delivery systems are.
- Electrical systems: faulty wiring, malfunctioning outlets, improper power supply, and so on
- Plumbing: leaking pipes, poorly sealed faucets/drains, loose fixtures, water heaters not working
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning: malfunctioning furnaces, fans, ductwork, and other parts of the HVAC systems
If you have more questions about a 2-year home warranty, reach out today!
What’s covered in a 5-year Alberta home warranty?
The builder’s responsibility lasts up to the fifth year, and after this, the home warranty provider will take over. From here, the coverage focuses more on the structure and shell of the building, rather than the relatively small details and systems within it.
The building envelope
The building envelope forms the protective shell of the home, encompassing the roof and walls. It’s a barrier between inside and outside, keeping the elements out and heat and cool air in.
The integrity of the building envelope is crucial to the integrity of the overall building, which is why it stays a priority longer than the basic materials. Alberta’s regulations mandate a minimum of five years of building envelope coverage, with the option for builders to extend it by an additional two years.
Is there a 10-year Alberta home warranty?
This warranty addresses the underlying structure’s longevity and durability. Nothing cosmetic is covered here, and it focuses strictly on the areas that keep the home standing strong.
The frame and roof
The house’s frame – joists, beams, roof structures, and walls – is one of two main areas of coverage for the 10-year warranty. The focus is on ensuring these parts remain steady, supporting the entire structure and providing protection against the elements.
The foundation is what keeps the house level, upright, and free from outside moisture. So, it’s also included in the 10-year warranty coverage, which helps protect and repair concrete, parging, and other lower structural components necessary for the home’s safe occupation.
Building a Custom Home in Alberta
Custom homes can be one of the most rewarding undertakings of your life – but also one of the most stressful if you’re trying to handle everything on your own.
With Thomas Built Homes, you can find the joy in planning and perfecting a custom home build in Calgary, Rocky View County, small towns like Carstairs and Olds, and many other places around southern and central Alberta. We’ve got years of experience creating exceptional bespoke homes for local families, and we proudly stand behind each and every one as a member of the National Home Warranty Program.
See the lifestyle you’ve been missing – reach out and let’s see what we can build together!