As with anything valuable in life, when it comes to building your own home, you should make sure that you consider insurance. As part of this process, you may be offered a quote for a structural warranty.
A structural warranty is an insurance policy that can cover the cost of rectifying defects in a self-build home. It is not compulsory under law, but if you think you might want to sell your home within ten years – or if your circumstances change and you find you need to sell your home in this timeframe – you might have problems selling it without a warranty. Plus, most lenders specify that you have a structural warranty in place before they lend.
Protek is an established structural warranty provider recognised by lenders for the self-build market and has been working with Frame Technologies for many years.
We’ve spoken to Simon Middleton, Protek’s Managing Director, about why a structural warranty is so important for your self-build home. Read on to learn more about structural warranties for the self-builder.
What are structural warranties for the self-builder?
A structural warranty is an insurance policy that covers defects in the design, workmanship and materials used in the construction of a property should they subsequently fail causing damage or the possibility of damage. At Protek, our structural warranties are issued for 10 years.
What does a structural warranty cover?
With a standard structural warranty, the structural elements of a property are insured, but at Protek the cover extends beyond this. Cover can include the weatherproof envelope of the building, drainage and contamination control measures, which is useful for if you’re building on a brownfield site.
Protek’s structural warranty also covers future owners of the property if it’s sold after the 12-month initial occupancy period.
Why do I need a structural warranty and are they important?
Many banks or building societies lending on the build insist on structural warranties. But beyond this, there are many reasons to have one in place.
A structural warranty product will include a series of technical inspections, which will check that the build is following the approved design and specification and is being constructed to a good standard of construction. For those who may be unfamiliar with good building practice, for instance if you’re a first time self-builder, incorrect applications of product or poor workmanship may be missed.
With a structural warranty in place you can have peace of mind. Protek will pick up on any faults during inspections and this avoids complications down the line as it allows any problems to be rectified on site as soon as they’re identified.
Protek will issue a report to you after each stage highlighting any issues and how they need to be remediated. The report will also include information about the next element of the project that needs to be inspected. Upon satisfactory completion of the audit process, cover will be issued.
At what stage should I get a structural warranty?
It all starts with providing information to us online so we can provide you with an accurate estimated quote.
You should get your quote before your building designs are submitted for building regulation approval. This is because as a warranty provider, Protek will incorporate the building control requirement into the inspection process using a partnered building control provider. This often can save you money!
Structural warranties are often provided alongside a site insurance quotation.
If you’ve already started building then it’s still possible to arrange a warranty. However, it’s important to note the premiums escalate relative to the stage of works the project has reached which makes it a very expensive solution. We always recommend making sure you have your warranty agreed before building starts.
What happens once I’ve accepted my quote?
Once you’ve purchased cover, a Protek warranty surveyor will get in contact with you to ask for your building regulation drawings, sections and any relevant calculations
After we’ve checked the designs, the surveyor will make arrangements to start the site inspection process. This ideally should be around two weeks before your building start date.
If the warranty comes with building control you cannot start works until the building control provider has served five working days’ notice on the local authority.
Do you have any top tips?
When looking into structural warranties for the self-builder, make sure you get quotes to compare, but remember – the cheapest solution isn’t always the best solution. Always check the cover offered as well as the financial limits and the number of inspections that will be carried out.
It’s also useful to consider a company who understands timber frame. Protek have been working with Frame Technologies for many years, so we really understand how this building system works.