Regular readers of our Charlotte Civil Litigation Blog will recall a recent post in this space about warranties that can protect people who purchase a brand-new, recently constructed home.

North Carolina law has two types of warranties that can protect these homeowners from shouldering the high costs of repairs for construction defects: an implied warranty of habitability and an express warranty.

More on the implied warranty of habitability

In our previous post, we pointed out in general terms the assurances of quality that a homeowner receives in the implied warranty.

Note: it is no longer true that only initial buyers of homes can bring claims for breach of the implied warranty of habitability. If you’re a subsequent buyer, you can in some situations pursue the builder for damages if the house has construction defects.

Claims for breach of the implied warranty must be filed within six years of the substantial completion of the house.

Express warranty

When you buy a new refrigerator, it will come with an express warranty that states in writing the conditions under which the manufacturer will make repairs or replace your fridge. The same is true of home construction backed by an express warranty that describes in writing the circumstances under which repairs or replacement of work or products will take place.

A common express warranty is called the 2-10 home buyer’s warranty. It typically includes:

  • One year of coverage after closing for defects in workmanship and materials
  • Two years of coverage on systems: electrical, plumbing and mechanical
  • Ten years of coverage for structural defects

Everyone who buys a home should carefully review all express warranties provided by the builder and by makers of products used in the construction of the house so that they understand what’s included under the warranty and what’s not included.