Best home warranty for new construction
A builder warranty protects your brand-new investment
A home warranty on a newly constructed home is commonly referred to as a builder warranty or new construction warranty. These warranties are agreements between the builder and the homeowner.
New construction coverage typically includes workmanship, distribution systems and structural issues. If your new home’s roof caves in or a window falls out of place, the home warranty should cover the repair or replacement.
Our home warranty picks for new construction
- Our top pick overall: American Home Shield
- Our pick for combo coverage: Choice Home Warranty
- Our pick for low starting costs: Cinch Home Services
Our 3 picks for new-construction home warranties
To select our top picks, the ConsumerAffairs Research Team started with all 26 companies on our home warranties guide, comparing features like cost, availability, contracts and coverage, and analyzed reviews submitted by verified customers that mention “new construction,” “newly built,” “builder warranty” and similar phrases. We used this data to make our list of the top three home warranty companies for new construction.
- Number of plans: 3
- Average monthly cost: $60 a month
- Service fee: $75, $100 or $125
With a network of 17,000 licensed contractors, American Home Shield has been serving homeowners in the U.S. for 50 years. AHS offers three real estate coverage plans for buyers and sellers of newly constructed or newly purchased homes: ShieldSilver, ShieldGold and ShieldPlatinum.
ShieldSilver offers coverage for most of the home’s essential systems, such as heating and cooling and plumbing. The ShieldGold plan covers everything in ShieldSilver, plus appliances, including kitchen appliances and laundry appliances. ShieldPlatinum is the most comprehensive coverage plan AHS offers; it covers everything in ShieldGold, plus roof leak repairs and more.
- What we like
- AHS offers a 30-day workmanship guarantee, which means it will send a technician back at no charge to fix any issues that occur within 30 days of service. AHS also offers additional coverage for a pool or spa, septic pump, guest unit and well pump.
- What reviewers say
- Customers on our site seem happy with AHS’ contractors and coverage.
Darnell of North Carolina, who took out an AHS policy on a newly built home, said: “American Home Shield has a good product at a good price. Recently, the upstairs toilet had a leak on the line and it needed to be fixed. … The plumber gave me an explanation of what was going on, the type of material that was used and the material that was installed on the toilet. He … showed me what the problem was and what he was doing to correct it.”
- Number of plans: 2
- Average monthly cost: $54.75 per month
- Service fee: $85
Choice Home Warranty offers two plan options that include coverage for both appliances and systems: the Basic Plan and the Total Plan. The Basic Plan covers most appliances and systems, including the heating system, oven and ductwork.
The Total Plan adds coverage for the air conditioning system, refrigerator and clothes washer and dryer. Additional coverage is available for the central vacuum, sump pump, roof leaks and more.
- What we like
- Choice Home Warranty has covered homeowners for over a decade. It also offers 24/7 customer service and prompt dispatching of contractors and charges a simple $85 service call fee.
- What reviewers say
- Choice Home Warranty reviewers on ConsumerAffairs are often happy with the customer service and the immediate dispatching of technicians.
J of California said about their experience: “Just bought a new house and needed a locksmith. The claim process was very easy and prompt. I received a call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment. Once the locksmith arrived, he was prompt, friendly and explained the process. After the service, I immediately received a receipt and confirmation of service. It was all very seamless during an overwhelming time of buying and moving into a new home.”
- Number of plans: 3
- Average monthly cost: $50 per month to $62 per month
- Service fee: Starts at $75
Cinch Home Services offers an appliances plan, a built-in systems plan and a comprehensive “Complete Home” plan. The appliance and built-in systems plans each cover at least a dozen items.
Cinch’s Complete Home plan combines the two coverages and adds a reimbursement of up to $500 on one homeowners insurance claim per year. All plans cover unknown preexisting conditions, rust and corrosion. You can add coverage for a pool and spa, septic tank or well pump.
- What we like
- Cinch is a home warranty provider with over 40 years of experience. Customers have access to a digital dashboard to request service 24/7 and benefit from a 180-day workmanship guarantee. Plans also come with a $25 credit for an air conditioner or water filter.
- What reviewers say
- Several Cinch customers on ConsumerAffairs praise both the customer service and the technicians’ work.
Susana of Illinois told us: “The engine on the furnace system gave up for some reason. I'm so thankful for Cinch because I have got no time to be dealing with people on the phone. The technicians were fast and efficient. They were polite, which is something that sometimes you have no control of. I liked them. They had to replace a motor on the unit. I highly recommend Cinch. They're a lifesaver.”
How do home warranties for new construction work?
Builder warranty coverage typically lasts between one and 10 years.
New construction home warranties provide financial security in case an expensive system or appliance breaks down after the final inspection.
Builder home warranties offer limited coverage on materials and workmanship for a certain amount of time. The length of time is dependent on your home’s features and the specifics of your plan. Builder warranty coverage typically lasts between one and 10 years.
With these warranties, it’s important to submit a claim as soon as the issue arises; otherwise, you may be denied coverage. In addition to listing what’s covered and what’s excluded, the contract should specify how long you have to contact the homebuilder or home warranty company once you find a problem.
» MORE: What is a homebuilders warranty?
What does a builder warranty cover?
New construction home warranties cover things other home warranties don’t cover, like paint, siding and windows. Some issues won’t be apparent until the new home has been lived in for a while.
Standard builder warranties include coverage for materials, labor, certain home systems and the physical home structure, but these warranties also exclude some items, like small cracks in brick and tile. That’s why it's important to read the fine print — whether you’re getting a new construction warranty from a third party or from the builder directly.
The level and length of coverage vary by company and plan. For workmanship and materials used to build the home, a builder home warranty typically provides coverage for a year. Coverage for systems such as HVAC, plumbing and electrical usually lasts two years. Major structural defects are sometimes covered for up to 10 years.
» LEARN MORE: What is a home warranty?
What’s not covered
Builder warranties don’t cover components or parts that are covered under a manufacturer’s warranty. For example, if your new oven suddenly stops working and is still under warranty, you will contact the manufacturer, not the homebuilder.
Builder warranties also generally don’t cover minor defects in drywall, cement, brick and tile. They also don’t cover damage to your home due to a weather event like lightning, wind or hail — that’s what homeowners insurance is for.
» COMPARE: Home warranty vs. home insurance
What do the worst home warranty companies have in common?
The worst home warranty companies have a few things in common. These include bad customer service, long wait times for repairs, low coverage limits and frequent claim denials.
Do I need a new construction warranty?
Most new homes come with a builder warranty, according to the Federal Trade Commission, but a new construction warranty might be a good idea if yours doesn't or if the builder warranty isn't comprehensive. As part of choosing a homebuilder, you should ask about the new construction warranty that comes with the property and read over the terms carefully.
But do you need it? Jennifer Spinelli, a real estate professional in the Tampa, Florida, area told us: “Ultimately, whether or not a home warranty is worth it depends on your situation and budget. Be sure to research and compare the different plans available to find one that fits your needs and budget in order to get the best value."
Does a home warranty for new construction cover systems and appliances?
This depends on the plan you get. Some offer system and appliance coverage, but many offer one or the other. If you’re getting the warranty directly from the builder, it’s less likely that it will cover appliances and systems. However, if it does, the coverage might not last as long as you’d like.
- ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
- Federal Trade Commission, “Warranties for New Homes.” Accessed May 16, 2023.
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