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The Sussex floor plan by AB Homes with gray siding white trim and purple door
The Sussex floor plan by AB Homes with gray siding white trim and purple door

On the Home Front Blog »

Navigating Home Repair Issues

Knowing who to contact – Warranty provider, Manufacturer, or Builder – can save you time and frustration

by Brandon Simpson and Dan Lawson

“Who should I call for a home repair?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive from homeowners. From their standpoint, it may be hard to tell if the repair is a warranty issue or the responsibility of the manufacturer. Maybe it’s time to call the builder? Most builder warranties (like ours) cover certain repairs for the first year or more. It depends on the exact issue and how long you’ve owned your home.

From time to time we receive calls about home repairs, so we thought the following information would help in determining who to call—and when.

Women wondering who what where when and how about home repair issues

When to contact AB Homes

At AB Homes, we partner with 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty®. This plan covers:

  • One year of surety coverage against workmanship and materials
  • Two years of surety coverage for defects in wiring, piping, and ductwork in electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, ventilating, and mechanical systems
  • Ten years of structural defect coverage for load-bearing components

Before calling AB Homes for any home repairs, check your 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty policy first to see if your warranty covers it. If it does, you can file a claim on our website at this link, and you can call 2-10 directly with any questions you may have at 1-800-811-8787. (Please note, AB Homes’ 2-10 builder warranty does not cover appliances; you should call the appliance manufacturer directly to file a claim.)

Let’s say your HVAC system stops working within the first year. First, call the HVAC emergency contact. They will connect you with their affiliated contractor, who will come out to assess, repair or replace your system. If it’s covered in your plan, you do not need to find an individual contractor on your own.

Not to be confused with homeowner’s insurance or the builder warranty, a home buyer’s warranty can be purchased separately and can cover the service, repair or replacement of your home’s major systems. It’s a financial buffer in case a big-ticket item malfunctions, and it can extend the protection of manufacturers’ warranties after they expire. To be clear, that extended warranty is between 2-10 and you; it does not extend or give additional coverage to the builder warranty.

When to call your Homeowner’s Insurance company

Homeowners insurance consists of coverages to repair or replace your home and belongings due to perils such as fire, lightning strikes, windstorms, hail, or theft. It may also help cover costs if you damage another person’s property or if a visitor is injured at your home.

You can buy more coverage for greater protection. For instance, most homeowners’ policies do not cover damage caused by earthquakes or flooding. A separate flood insurance policy is something to consider in our flood-prone area of Southeastern Virginia.

For compensation, you will pay your deductible before your home insurance benefits kick in to help cover a loss. Review your policy before contacting your agent. Regular home repairs and maintenance are not usually covered in a homeowner’s insurance policy.

When to call the Manufacturer or Repair Person for a Home Repair

From time to time, you will need to address minor repairs in your home, such as a stopped-up toilet, nicked walls, gouged floors, or a cracked window. Such incidents are not covered by your builder warranty or homeowners’ insurance; nor are they the responsibility of the builder. When accidents such as these happen, it’s the homeowner’s responsibility. Call a repair person or company to handle the job. Or, learn how to handle minor repairs yourself; it will save you time and money as long as you live in your home.

There are some repairs that the manufacturer should handle, such as malfunctioning appliances. Based on how long you’ve owned the home, these may be covered under your home warranty. In this case, you should call the manufacturer and file a warranty claim.

Finally, we can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining your property on a regular basis. To avoid larger issues down the road, make sure your home’s interior and exterior are in good shape. The New Year is the perfect time to schedule a walk-through of your home, using the checklist provided at this link: Home Maintenance Guide.

Here’s to a wonderful year for you in the months ahead, and many more happy years to come in your home!

All the best,

Brandon and Dan

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What to expect sticky note

What to expect as your newly-built home begins to acclimate

There are thousands of component parts involved in building a new home. Homeowners may see a few cracks in the drywall or caulking or a door that won’t close, in the months following their move-in. Do not be alarmed, says Brandon Simpson, owner of AB Homes.

“These are normal occurrences in new homes, due to humidity levels as products dry and as the home acclimates over the first year,” said Simpson.

The good news? Most of these repairs are covered by your builder warranty. But instead of calling them immediately for the first crack you spy, Simpson advises his homeowners to wait a bit. Like many warranties, AB Homes’ builder warranty covers one year of surety coverage against workmanship and materials—to be handled in one service call.

“If you see a minor issue, wait—because there may be a few others to come,” Simpson said. “Once we’ve made one service call, future repairs and calls aren’t covered under the warranty. It’s in your best interest to wait until you’ve been in your home for 11 months, to let the acclimation process run its course. Then, we can take care of everything at one time.”

Here is a list of common occurrences that may happen over time in a newly-built home due to acclimation:

  • Cracks in the drywall or the appearance of “nail pops”
  • Cracks in the trim or caulking
  • Doors that stick
  • Door latches that don’t work
  • Cabinet doors that don’t close all the way

An important note, Simpson added: Appliances are not covered through their builder warranty program. For repairs, homeowners should call the appliance manufacturer directly.

Seeing as most owners will be enjoying their home long after warranties have expired, it’s good for them to know how to handle simple home repairs, advised Simpson. “At some point, you’ll have to fix a leaky toilet or fix a broken cabinet latch,” he said. “It’s all part of being a responsible homeowner.”

To read more custom-built home news and tips, visit the “On the Homefront” blog.

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