When things go wrong – some home warranty terms you need to know

Your new home warranty protection can go a long way to give you peace of mind. Taking the time to learn some key terminology in your warranty will help you better understand your coverage – especially for potentially serious issues.

As well as backing up the statutory new home warranty provided by your builder, Tarion is here to answer your questions about coverage and help facilitate resolution of any warranty disputes with your builder that might arise.

While you hope that you’ll never have to deal with any serious issues with your home, it’s good to know the terms that are used when it comes to making warranty claims.

Here are three key warranty coverage terms to know:

1. Building Envelope

The building envelope is the physical separation between the interior and exterior of a home. It includes, for example, walls, windows, skylights, doors and roofs.

Builders are required to ensure that the building envelope is constructed to prevent water entry into the interior of the building and your warranty coverage protects you against water penetration caused by defects in the building envelope.

Water penetration through the basement or foundation walls or that results from defects in the building envelope is covered under your two-year warranty.

2. Major Structure Defect (MSD)

Your home’s seven-year warranty covers major structural defects. An MSD is as a defect that:

  • results in failure of a structural load-bearing element;
  • materially and adversely affects the ability of a structural load-bearing element to carry, bear and resist structural loads for the usual and ordinary service life of the element; or
  • materially and adversely affects the use of a significant portion of the building for usual and ordinary purposes of a residential dwelling.

Examples of an MSD include cracked foundation walls or distorted floor joists whose load-bearing ability have been compromised.

3. Secondary Damage

The warranty covers defects in your home.  Secondary damage caused by defects, such as property damage or personal injury, is not covered.  For example, a crack in your foundation that allowed water penetration into your home would be covered, but any furniture damaged by the water would not be. However, your homeowner insurance may cover such secondary damage.

Under your warranty protection, you are entitled to a maximum of $300,000 for most types of claims covered by the one, two and seven-year warranties.

To learn more about your warranty coverage, you can review your Homeowner Information Package. You can also contact us with your questions by calling 1-800-9TARION or by email at customerservice@tarion.com.