Custom Homes
In addition to “green” building products, another important consideration is waste disposal. Reducing waste at the jobsite benefits the environment. The materials used and wasted during construction and demolition account for an estimated 28 percent of municipal solid waste. Waste disposal also can account for a significant portion of building fees. By simply reducing and recycling job-site waste you can save an outstanding amount of money.

HOME WARRANTIES
As with any product, your home should come with a warranty that will prevent any unpleasant surprises in the first years after you move in. When having your home built, whether in a residential development or on your own land, you will need to be familiar with builders’ warranties. Other warranties associated with a new home include contractors’ warranties, manufacturers’ warranties and third-party insurance coverage to back the builders’ warranties. The following information from Custom Home Key (www.customehomekey.com), a custom building resource, focuses on builders’ warranties.

— What’s Covered and For How Long?
Generally, builders’ warranties cover workmanship, materials, structural defects and the like. When having a home built, the warranty will take effect either when you close the sale or when you move into the home. The majority of builders’ warranties cover workmanship and materials for one year; however, some builders offer warranties for two years or longer. Structural defects, such as uneven floors and cracks in the foundation, usually are covered for up to 10 years.

Choosing a reputable builder will make your warranty period a much more pleasant experience. Even the most skillful builder can make some mistakes during the construction of your home, but a reputable builder will be sure to fix any problems that are covered by the warranty and while it is still in effect. If you are experiencing minor defects, your builder probably will address them only at scheduled times.

In addition, most manufacturers provide a warranty for the products or appliances used in new homes. At the time of closing, you will receive these warranties and owners’ manuals.

— What Isn’t Covered?
Builders’ warranties generally leave out problems caused by adverse weather, negligence by the homeowner or failure to conduct proper maintenance. Basically, damage caused from lightning, floods and earthquakes as well as animal damage are not covered. Furthermore, if you forget to change your furnace filter or repaint your home’s exterior, your builder is not held responsible. Any defects that were not part of the original home will not be excluded under the warranty coverage.

— Warranty Claims
When problems arise, the builders may prefer that you call them so the specific needs can be addressed; however, in some cases, your builder may give you a list of contractors and their telephone numbers to call directly in the case of an emergency.

Emergencies may include plumbing leaks, gas leaks and the total loss of heat, air conditioning, water or electricity. Roof leaks also are sometimes considered emergencies, but they only can be repaired in dry weather. Severe storms may cause roof damage, but that should be reported directly to your homeowners insurance company because weather-related damage isn’t covered under builders’ warranties.

Report all defects that aren’t emergencies to the builder so they can schedule the necessary repairs and use the complaint to monitor product quality and customer satisfaction. On the other hand, if you notice major structural problems, such as uneven floors, cracks in the foundation or drywall or ill-fitting doors and windows, contact your builder immediately to arrange an inspection as these problems can be costly and time-consuming to fix.

   
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