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Addressing Your Building’s Warranty

Every building that is built, renovated or repaired, generally has some type, or various types of warranty.

BCS strongly recommends that after a project is completed, the building owner document the expiry dates in a digital calendar that will remind the Building Owner that they are approaching a warranty expiry date.

The typical home owner’s warranty dates are (and may vary between Provinces):

  • One Year Warranty on Workmanship (Some Builders offer a Two (2) Year Workmanship Warranty.) This is a general warranty for interior items like flooring, baseboards, trims, millwork, interior doors, etc. And, for the exterior: Painting, caulking, flashings, the installation of items ensuring there are still anchored solidly, downspouts, eaves trough, etc.
  • Two Years Warranty on Delivery and Distribution Systems, for plumbing, heating and electrical items.
  • Five Years Warranty on the Building Envelope, for roofs, walls, and prevention of ingress water. With an option for the homeowner to buy an additional two years of building envelope coverage. Many people don’t know this.
  • 10 Years Warranty on Structural, for major structural components of the building like foundations and framing.

BCS recommends the building owners complete a building review of their property for the various scopes of warranty, prior to those expiring warranties. Start the reviews around 2 to 3 months in advance of the expiry date of the warranty, as it takes time to complete the building review, document any deficiencies in a report, issue the report to the building owner, owner’s review of the report, and if required, then the building owner submitting a warranty claim to the warranty provider. 

From past experiences, BCS knows it is significantly easier addressing issues prior to the expiry of a warranty, that chasing compensation for failures after a warranty has expired. So, BCS strongly recommends that building owners be aware of their warranty expiry dates. 

1 Year or 2 Year Warranty on Builder’s Workmanship

Every building that is built, be it a condominium, a warehouse, an office building, renovation or repair, generally has a 1 or 2 year Builder’s Workmanship Warranty. There are other material or components warranties that come from the manufacturer’s of their products, like windows, roofing, siding, etc. But we are referring to the Builder’s Workmanship Warranty.

The Builder’s Workmanship Warranty, is a general blanket warranty for all the items of the building and how it was put together, for the first year after completion of the building. This is a Workmanship Warranty for interior items like flooring, baseboards, trims, millwork, interior doors, etc. And, for exterior items like, painting, caulking, flashings, the installation of items ensuring there are still anchored solidly, downspouts, eaves trough, etc.

This Workmanship Warranty is often over looked by building owners and Condominium Corporations, as the building is still very new and the building owners have had no issues. But, that does not mean that things are all good. BCS recommends that building owners complete a review of the building just prior to the expiry of this warranty to ensure that everything is still good for those expiring items.

BCS recommends completing a 3rd party building review 2 months prior to the expiry date of the warranty, so that the building review and report can be complete prior to the expiry date.  BCS provides this review and report service.

 

 

2 Years Warranty on Delivery and Distribution Systems

The two (2) years warranty on Delivery and Distribution Systems is for plumbing, heating and electrical items.

BCS recommends completing a 3rd party building review 2 months prior to the expiry date of the warranty, so that the building review and report can be complete prior to the expiry date. BCS does not provide review services for delivery and distribution systems.

5 Year Warranty on Building Envelope

The Building Envelope Warranty is for roofs, walls, and prevention of ingress water. With an option for the homeowner to buy an additional two years of building envelope coverage. BCS recommends purchasing the Building Envelope Warranty extension when possible.

This is the most important warranty with respect to your building and the prevention of ingress water. Our experience indicates that the majority of building envelope failures are not detected until after the Building Envelope Warranty expiry date. 

This does not mean that the failure occurred after the expiry date. It just means that the failure was not discovered until after the expiry date. The truth about many early building envelope failures is, these failures generally started to fail immediately after the completion of the building, bit by bit, hidden, getting worse and worse, until the point the deteriorating condition has failed to the point that it is discovered.

The reality about many of these early building envelope failures, is that they often present evidence of failure, and are detectable prior to the expiry of the warranty by a trained eye. Not every failure will be detectable, as the building is not taken apart in this review to review hidden conditions. But there is often evidence to the trained eye.

BCS strongly recommends engaging a Building Envelope Consultant for a building envelope warranty review 5.5 months after completion, allowing 6 months to complete a building envelope review, provide report, owner’s review and consideration of the report, and if required, the owner’s filing of a warranty claim. BCS provides this review and report service.

10 Year Warranty on Structural

The structural warranty is for major structural components of the building like foundations and framing. Structural failures are usually very evident and more dramatic than the slowly occurring drip-drip building envelope failures.

Early structural failures are often related to rot, due to building envelope failures, and are often discovered through the repair of a failed building envelope.

It may not be as critical to complete a structural review prior to the expiry of the Structural Warranty, because structural failures are usually more evident. But not always! So, with that stated, if you are not that familiar with buildings and their structures, BCS recommends that building owners have the structure of their building reviewed 6 month prior to the expiry of the Structural Warranty. 

Remember, this is the last change at any warranty, after the expiry of the Structural warranty, building owners are generally on their own for the cost of repairs. BCS, or one of our Project Team Consultants can provide this review and report service, pending the scope of the building.

Be AWARE of your Warranty Expiry Dates

Over the years, BCS has seen many properties where the repair costs of significant building envelope failures has cost building owners, and condominium owners 10’s and 100’s of thousands of dollars, up to millions of dollars in Special Assessments and repair costs to rectify their failed building envelopes. This is tragic! And, in many cases, many of these failure could have been identified prior to the expiry of the Building Envelope Warranty.

So, please be AWARE of your building’s warranty expiry dates, and have someone knowledgeable compete a review of the scope of the building with respect to that expiring warranty.

BCS can assist with the warranty review and reporting service.

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