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NHBC New Build Warranty | Complete Guide

Adele MacGregor

Written by Reviewed by Martyn Maxwell

23rd May 2023 (Last updated on 5th Apr 2024) 6 minute read

The National House-Building Council (NHBC) Buildmark Warranty is a new home warranty. This is a guarantee for new build homes and provides protection for owners.

The policy covers newly built and converted homes registered with NHBC as of 1 April 2022. It includes structural and design concerns, in addition to fixtures and fittings.

Below we look at what the NHBC covers, how long it lasts and essential advice when it comes to issues in new build homes.

  1. What Does the NHBC Warranty Cover?
  2. What Doesn’t It Cover?
  3. How Long Does the NHBC Warranty Last?
  4. Are NHBC Warranties Transferable?
  5. Are There Other New Home Warranties?
  6. How Does a Snagging Survey Help?
  7. What Happens If I Find a Snag?
  8. What to Do if the Builder Disputes?
  9. Find a Snagging Surveyor with Compare My Move

What Does the NHBC Warranty Cover?

The National House Building Council (NHBC) protects new-build owners, builders and housing associations.

Your policy documents will set out exactly what is covered. They will also include any conditions, limits and exclusions that apply. For a new build property, the total amount the NHBC will pay for all claims is the original purchase price up to £1,000,000.

Their new home warranty protects owners against problems resulting from builders becoming insolvent. It also protects against builders failing to meet the NHBC requirements.

It will cover buyers for:


Insurance protection if, due to the builder's insolvency, you lose your deposit. This also protects you if the builder doesn't complete the home.

Initial 2-year period

This is the builder warranty period. The builder must repair defects that do not comply with NHBC’s technical requirements.

Years 3 to 10

During this time, the cover is for damage caused to specified parts of the property. In this case, it would be where the builder did not comply with NHBC's Technical Requirements.

Parts of the property that are typically covered include:

  • Roofs, flues and chimneys
  • External walls to the property
  • Internal Stairs
  • Glazing (for example, on windows)
  • Window and door fittings (for example, if they are not closing or locking properly)
  • Property foundations

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What Doesn’t It Cover?

Some things are not covered by the warranty which include but are not limited to:

  • Wear and tear throughout the home
  • Neglect of the home and/or grounds
  • Damage caused by fire or smoke
  • Items or incidents which are covered by other insurances (such as buildings or contents insurance)
  • Items or incidents covered by warranties for domestic appliances or boiler

Additionally, in years 3 to 10 of the policy, parts of the home are not covered. These could include plumbing, electrics and gardens.

Keep in mind with the policy that the minimum claim value must be met. If the claim value is lower than the minimum value then the claim will be declined.

How Long Does the NHBC Warranty Last?

Typically, an NHBC policy lasts 10 years. If you sell the home during this time, the remaining cover passes to the new owner.

Be sure to check your documents to see how long your policy lasts and when it runs out, as policy lengths may differ. You can also seek expert advice from your new build solicitor.

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Are NHBC Warranties Transferable?

According to the NHBC website, Buildmark is fully transferable during the policy's lifespan. If you decide to sell the home and the Buildmark policy has not expired, it will stay with the home.

The new owner will benefit from the remaining cover until it expires. Keep in mind that this is subject to deductions for any prior claims.

Are There Other New Home Warranties?

There are 13 new build warranty companies that have warranty products that differ slightly. It's important to check the details with your solicitor before exchanging contracts.

The NHBC warranty is one of the three most well-known providers of new home warranties. It is also the most common. The other two are the Local Authority Building Control Warranty (LABC) and Premier Guarantee. These all operate under the Consumer Code for Home Builders.

From October 2022, big home developers register developments with the New Homes Quality Code. Barratt, Redrow and Taylor Wimpey are among the developers who do so.

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How Does a Snagging Survey Help?

A Snagging Survey is recommended as it can flag issues before you move into the home. A professional snagging survey will provide a list of “snags” to be passed on to the developer. This way any problems can be rectified by the house builder, without you having to claim on your warranty.

Snagging identifies issues in a newly built home once the building is complete. It is essentially a property survey for a new build.

These can range from small defects (such as loose door hinges and unfinished decor) to major faults. Smaller issues and other common problems with new build homes can often easily be rectified by the builder.

Larger issues, however, could be structural problems or issues with the external brickwork. A snagging survey can prepare you for these and ensure you don’t move into a home with problems.

What Happens If I Find a Snag?

If a snag is found in your home, you should contact the home builder as soon as possible. Make sure you keep a record of communication and dates as you might need this evidence if the builder doesn't negotiate.

It will be easier to get them to rectify the issue before you start living in the home. Once you move in, they could argue that they are not responsible, citing wear and tear.

When you have an NHBC Buildmark policy in place, the builder must repair any defects that don’t comply with NHBC’s technical requirements. This is within the first two years and is known as the “builder warranty period”.

Don't wait until the defect worsens as you could be in breach of your NHBC warranty. Be sure to keep your cover policy and warranty documentation in a safe place in the event of a claim.

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What to Do if the Builder Disputes?

In the event the house builder disputes your snag claim, you do have options. As we’ve said above, the home must comply with NHBC’s technical requirements. If it doesn’t, they are required to repair the issue.

If the homebuilder does not respond or agree with your claims, the NHBC can take you through their dispute resolution service.

Having a professional snagging survey will be of benefit in this case. A report from an expert in the field will provide solid evidence to back up any claims.

Consumer codes are out in place to protect new build buyers. These include the Consumer Code for Home Builders, the Consumer Code for New Homes and the Consumer Code for Builders of Homes for Sale. You can also contact the New Homes Ombudsman. As a final resort, you can consider pursuing legal proceedings against the home builder.

Find a Snagging Surveyor with Compare My Move

One of the best ways to get a snagging survey is by comparing surveyors with Compare My Move. Our dedicated team takes on the best in the business, ensuring they are qualified and reliable.

We can connect you with up to 6 of the best snagging surveyors in your local area. They can assist with your new build property, providing a thorough snagging inspection.

Need a Removal Company?

Once your property transaction is complete, you may need to arrange a removal company. Our integrated surveying and removal comparison form can match you with companies in just a few extra steps. We will then connect you with up to 6 surveyors and up to 6 removal companies, saving you up to 70% on your costs.

Adele MacGregor

Having worked at Compare My Move for over five years, Adele specialises in covering a range of surveying topics.

Martyn Maxwell

Reviewed by Martyn Maxwell

Director & Senior Snagging Inspector, New Build Inspections

Martyn Maxwell (DipHE, BSc (Hons), MRPSA) is a Senior Snagging Inspector and Director of New Build Inspections.

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