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Protect your investment - Home Renovation Warranties

There can be a great deal of cost, time and effort entailed when managing a renovation. Home Renovation Warranties protects your investment as a homeowner as well as a contractor.

Most homeowners are unclear about what their rights are when it comes to warranties, particularly for renovations. Home Renovation Warranties protect homeowners in the event that a contractor fails to complete a building or renovation project for any reason.

Home Renovation Warranties will cover you for the extra costs involved in engaging another building contractor to complete your renovations, should your contractor be unable or unwilling to complete your renovations.

Be wary of any builder or tradesperson who says they do not need insurance if the value of work exceeds $20,000, or who suggests you obtain an owner-builder permit while they carry out the work for you.

home-warranty

Generally speaking, there are a few different kinds of warranties and protections in place during a renovation project namely,

Statutory warranties or implied warranties on building work

Statutory warranties are implied under state building acts and legislation. These statutory warranties are all consistant, and state that you have the right to expect:

  • All work done by your contractors will be carried out in accordance with all relevant laws and regulations
  • Work will be done in an appropriate and skillful way
  • Work will be done as specified in plans and specifications
  • Products and materials used or supplied will be good and suitable for the purpose for which they are used
  • Products and materials used will be new, unless otherwise agreed
  • Your home / the renovated area should be suitable for occupation on completion of contracted works

Manufacturer’s warranties and statutory consumer guarantees

Manufacturers usually provide warranties on products, fittings and appliances.  If you’re buying a new fridge, for example, it’s likely to be advertised with at least 12 months warranty. If anything goes wrong with the fridge during the warranty period, you should not have any trouble at all getting it repaired or replaced as spelled out in the manufacturer’s warranty documentation.

These warranties apply with certain conditions (ie. products are used and installed as prescribed, etc.). If a product does not last as long as the warranty states, there are processes you can follow to request a replacement, repair or refund.

Builders warranty insurance

Builders warranty insurance goes under many different names (depending on which state you’re in). In NSW, Queensland and the ACT, it’s home warranty insurance. In Victoria, it’s domestic building insurance.

Builders warranty insurance is to provide insurance protection for building work in case the builder you’ve hired dies, disappears or becomes deregistered at any time during your build or within the warranty period.

Builders warranty insurance is a bit controversial - while it’s mandatory on work above certain values in all states except Tasmania, in most places it’s quite difficult to get a successful claim. In fact, that’s the main reason why it’s no longer mandatory in Tasmania.

Queensland’s something of an exception – home warranty insurance is underwritten by the state in Queensland, and claims and disputes there are managed by the Building Services Authority (BSA).

To ensure that you’re protected as well as possible and to reduce the chance of any confusion, it’s always better to have everything you want written very clearly in your contract, down to brand and model names. Clear expectations always make things much easier both for the builder, and for yourself.

Owner builders and warranties on workmanship

For fairly obvious reasons, if you’re an owner-builder you are not entitled to many of the same statutory warranties  you would have when hiring a building contractor. However, you are still entitled to statutory warranty protection for the products you buy for your home.

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