Home builder warranty that is gold and gray

Do you know that REAL Warranties can vary substantially between Home Builders?

     The one or two year warranties that home builders give you are to cover most any problems you have that are related to workmanship or materials during that time period. What happens after that?  After the initial warranty period the home builder provides is when you should be concerned with issues. If you bought a new home because it was “a good deal” or “It was a steal” you should probably be very concerned and definitely keep reading! When building a new home if your home builder uses cheap or inferior products or construction methods it can mean real problems. The best case scenario is that it will cost you more in utility bills and maintenance. The worst case scenario is that you have major water damage from a leaky roof or mold growing in your walls because the windows and exterior weren’t properly sealed by your “professional home builder”. This is just a couple of possibilities and here is why.

     Most home builders try to build a new home as cheap as possible believing that they will have the upper hand on the next home builder. You can make a home look really attractive inside and out using cheap products.  I’ve seen it done time and time again.  Don’t get me wrong they will throw in some brick, granite or maybe some fancy looking cabinets but those aren’t the real problem areas. The things I’m talking about are the products that most people can’t see or don’t know what they’re looking for. Things like the roof, subfloor, insulation, drywall, exterior wall board, floor trusses, roof trusses, and/or concrete. If your like most people you probably don’t know you should be concerned about these things. I mean you hired a professional home builder….right? I know one “home builder” that was working for UPS last year. I know another “home builder” that was an accountant a few years ago. There are home builders and there are HOME BUILDERS! 

     Let’s start with the roof. If your like most people, if the color is the right contrast for the other exterior products your good. Am I right? Did you know that the roof includes decking, felt paper, drip edge, plastic cap nails, 1-1/4 roofing nails, starter shingles, shingles, hip & Ridge shingles, ventilation options and numerous flashing options. Now let’s break that down so I can explain why your home builder should know what you need.

Decking – Did they use OSB, plywood, Zip System Board, 1x’s? THICKNESS? NOT THICK ENOUGH-NO WARRANTY

Felt Paper – 15lb, 30lb, Cheap synthetic, high grade synthetic, none? (I have seen builders that don’t use felt paper…no joke). NO FELT-NO WARRANTY

Drip Edge – The main concern here is whether it is installed correctly. It should be on top of the felt on the rakes of the roof and under the felt on the eaves.

Plastic cap nails – Pretty much any kind are fine. The main concern here is that they don’t use staples. Staples with corrode, rust and pretty much fall apart.

1-1/4 roofing nails – Just make sure they go completely through the decking 3/4 of an inch to properly fasten the shingles down. Also depending on the shingles they should use 4-6 nails per shingle. EITHER NOT ENOUGH OR NOT DEEP ENOUGH – MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY-VOID

Starter Shingles – Do they use 3-Tab shingles? or REAL Starter shingles or starter roll? Most contractors use 3-tab shingles for starter. There is a big difference! Make sure they use the right product! MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY-VOID if they don’t.

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 9.35.50 PMShingles – Owens Corning, Tamko, Certainteed, GAF, Malarky, Did you know that all the shingle manufacturer’s went from 20year. 30year, 40year, etc. to Limited Lifetime Warranties? Sounds good right? That was the intention, to sound good. In reality if it is done correctly which it more than likely is not the manufacturer’s warranty is prorated and really only protects you for a short period of time. And if it does cover you most of them only cover the materials. So what happens if you really have a problem? You pay OUT OF POCKET for tear-off, disposal and labor to reinstall the new shingles. In other words you practically pay for a new roof out of your own pocket! This is just one of numerous things that you should ask your home builder about. We only use Owens Corning Tru-Definition Duration Shingles and We provide a manufacturer’s 50-Year Platinum Warranty that covers their ROOFING SYSTEM for 50-Years! If something were to go wrong with our roof, the manufacturer covers labor, materials, tear-off and disposal. It also covers Workmanship! We care about our new homeowners and so should ALL Home Builders! We also provide similar warranties on all the other products I mentioned! Can your home builder say that! If not you should find a new home builder.

I’m sure you can see where this is going. The same consequences for each of the other items I’m referring to. And the damage that is caused by a defective product isn’t covered. I personally know a couple that bought a brand new home in 2011. Their home builder used an OSB board for the exterior board and didn’t properly install a water barrier. Now in 2016 they found mold in their walls, mildew in the carpet of an entire room, several rotted windows and a builder that said it met code when he built it and his warranty expired after the first year. They are now engaged in a lawsuit that is draining their bank account, they are missing time from work, their new home smells like mildew and they have to remove brick that covers the entire exterior of their home correct the faulty install and reinstall the brick to ensure no problems in the future. All because they decided it wasn’t worth another $8800.00 to use the home builder that insisted on using some of the very products that would have prevented ALL of their problems. Sound like a good decision? I don’t know about you but I would have paid substantially more if I knew I wasn’t going to have any problems remotely like theirs!

Those home buyers made that decision because they didn’t know any better. I am confident that if someone had taken the time to explain the difference in products and why they should pay a little more to use the correct products they would have done so with a smile! I know because we are building their new home!

The bottom line – Use a quality home builder – not a quantity or cheap home builder. It is not worth the money you will save!