Best home warranties for new construction
A builder warranty protects your investment in a newly built home
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 3 top picks for new construction home warranties
Methodology: To select our top picks, the ConsumerAffairs Research Team started with all 24 companies on our home warranties guide, then eliminated all companies with a star rating below 3.5, leaving 16 companies. To narrow it down further, we analyzed 5-star reviews submitted by verified customers over the past year (Nov. 15, 2020, through Nov. 15, 2021) that mention “new construction,” “newly built,” “builder warranty” and similar phrases.
We used this review data to ultimately select the top three home warranty companies for new construction. To make our final rankings, we scored companies based on their percentage of 5-star reviews and the difference between the number of 5-star and 1-star reviews.
- Number of plans: 3
- Average monthly cost: $29.99 to $69.99
- 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 has several home warranty plans specifically for new homes, with additional coverage options you can add on.
It 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. Overall, reviewers on ConsumerAffairs are very satisfied with the company.
Coverage: American Home Shield 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. AHS also offers additional coverage for a pool or spa, sump pump, guest unit and well pump.
Cost: With American Home Shield, as of publishing, you can expect to pay from $29.99 a month to $69.99 a month — or $360 to $840 yearly — for warranty coverage. A combo (systems and appliances coverage) plan runs $60 a month, on average, based on a quote for a house of under 5,000 square feet in Austin, Texas. Depending on the plan you choose, you’ll have to pay a service call fee of either $75, $100 or $125.
- Number of plans: 2
- Average monthly cost: $46.83 to $54.75
- Service fee: $85
Choice Home Warranty has covered homeowners for more than a decade. It offers 24/7 customer service, prompt dispatching of contractors and a simple $85 service call fee. Choice Home Warranty reviewers on ConsumerAffairs are often happy with the customer service and the immediate dispatching of technicians.
Coverage: 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 and roof leaks.
Cost: Choice Home Warranty’s plans cost from $46.83 per month to $54.75 per month, or $532 to $627 per year at the time of publishing, based on a quote for a house of under 5,000 square feet in Austin, Texas. The service call fee is $85. At the time of publishing, you can get a free month of coverage when you sign up.
- Number of plans: 3
- Average monthly cost: $27.99 to $62
- Service fee: $100, $125, $150
Cinch Home Services is a home warranty provider with more than 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 free water sensor to detect leaks and a $25 credit for an air conditioner or water filter. Several Cinch customers on ConsumerAffairs praise both the customer service and the technicians’ work.
Coverage: 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 pool and spa, septic system or well pump.
Cost: Cinch Home Services has the lowest starting price of our top picks, with plans starting as low as $27.99 per month at the time of publishing. The Complete Home plan averages $50 per month to $62 per month. Overall, you can expect to pay from $335.88 to $743.88 per year, based on a quote for a house of under 5,000 square feet in Austin, Texas.
Cinch’s service call fees are $100, $125 or $150.
How do home warranties for new construction work?
New construction home warranties provide financial security in case an expensive system or appliance breaks down after the final inspection.
Builder warranty coverage typically lasts between one and 10 years.
Builder home warranties offer limited coverage on materials and workmanship for a specified 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 builder 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.
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.
With builder warranties, it’s important to submit a claim as soon as the issue arises; otherwise you may be denied coverage.”
What’s not covered
Builder warranties don’t cover components or parts that are covered under a manufacturer 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 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.
New construction warranty FAQ
- 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, excessive coverage limits and frequent claim denials.
- Do I need a new construction warranty?
- Most new homes come with a builder's warranty, according to the FTC, but a new construction warranty might be a good idea if yours doesn't or if the builder's 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.
- 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. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page.
- Federal Trade Commission, “Warranties for New Homes.” Accessed Nov. 18, 2021.
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