New-Home Warranties – What You Need to Know

Are you aware of when your new home warranty expires?

If your home is new enough, it is protected by “2-5-10” Year Home Warranty Insurance, you need to be aware of when that coverage expires.  It’s up to you, the homeowner, to document any defects or deficiencies to the builder, BC Housing and the warranty-provider before your warranty expires.

Most homeowners can easily identify cosmetic deficiencies.  It takes a professional Home Inspector who is familiar with building codes & lots of experience to find the rest.  A good home inspector, who has helped  hundreds of home owners with their warranty coverage, will be able to produce a strong, powerfully written report of all defects in a home.  The best time to re-inspect a home is after you have started living in it, but before the one-year warranty expires – even if you already have had the home inspected.

2-5-10 New Home Warranty Program

Home warranty insurance is required for all new homes.  This mandatory insurance is known as the 2-5-10 Year warranty.  It protects homeowners from a range of construction defects, related to materials and labour, for designated periods of time.  Typical coverage under this program includes:

  • Detached homes and strata properties – one year for the interior (12 months)
  • Construction defects and BC Building Code violations – two years
  • Water leakage (basement, roof, exterior walls, windows and doors) – five years
  • Major structural defects – ten years

When does 2-5-10 coverage begin?

It’s important for homeowners to know when their home warranty coverage begins in order to determine when it expires.

Single Detached Dwellings (Non-Strata):

  • Contract or custom homes: date of first occupancy, date of occupancy permit, or date the home was completed and ready for occupancy, whichever comes first.
  • Spec homes: date of first occupancy or date of transfer of legal title to first owner, whichever comes first.

Strata Homes:

  • Strata units: date of first occupancy or date of transfer of legal title to first owner, whichever comes first.
  • Common property: date of first unit occupancy in strata building /complex or date of transfer of legal title to first owner in building /complex, whichever comes first. Regardless – this carries a 15-month warranty (not very well-known)…
  • NOTE: Strata owners are responsible for warranties for individual units as well as collectively for the common property they share with the other owners. It’s important for unit owners and strata corporations to understand the difference between the two and their individual expiration dates.

Repairs or Replacements:

  • Repairs or replacements made under home warranty insurance are covered until the first anniversary of their completion or the expiry of the original warranty, whichever comes last.

Limits on coverage

There are limits to coverage on claims:

Fee simple (primarily detached dwelling units):

  • The lesser of the first owner’s purchase price or $200,000.

Strata homes:

  • Strata unit: the lesser of the first owner’s purchase price or $100,000.
  • Common property: the lesser of $100,000 times the number of dwelling units in the building or $2.5-million per building.

Your professional, experienced Home & Property

Inspector can help

All of this can be difficult and intimidating for homeowners to deal with on their own.  Hiring a professional Inspector to re-inspect your home before the 1-year warranty expires will ensure that the home is thoroughly inspected for all defects and deficiencies and a well-written report will be produced for you to submit to the original builder, the BC Housing and the warranty provider.

For new home warranty assistance or to schedule a re-inspection of your home, in Metro Vancouver, contact Duxbury & Associates Building Inspection and Consulting Ltd. today.

Additional Home Warranty Resources

There is plenty more information and resources on new home warranties in B.C.:


About Glenn Duxbury

Duxbury & Associates Building Inspection and Consulting Ltd. has received the 2004 Douglas College Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the ‘Consulting’ category for persistence and pursuit of excellent service delivery to clients by providing very thorough and professional Inspection Reports and dedication to those involved in buying / selling / building / renovating and maintaining uncompromised customer focus.