Getting CoveredMake sure you are fully covered during your build as well as when the build is complete
Making sure you’re fully covered during, and subsequent to completion, of your build is often something that the self builder overlooks.
Ensuring the build is fully covered by both site insurance and structural warranty can seem like an unnecessary cost. In many cases a self build might never have to call on either of these policies for cover.
However the extra risk taken by not ensuring you are covered against any eventuality can prove very costly if things do go wrong. It is crucial that before any build is undertaken both siteinsurance and structural warranty schemes are in place.
Your liability as owner of the plot is ever increasing, and hence the cover that site insurance offers is very extensive. In fact as soon as you purchase the plot you become liable for any injury to the public on your land, and this is covered by site insurance. Hence you are well-advised to make sure your site insurance is in place on purchase of the plot.
As well as being covered for public liability, site insurance ensures you are covered against employer liability, damage to the building and building materials, theft of or fire to equipment and legal expenses.
In the case that you employ a single contractor it may seem that most of this is already covered by their insurance, and this may well be the case. But you must remember that they will not be responsible for public liability and also they are not always on site. Thus it is important that you ensure that your site insurance is in place from the very early stages of the self build process.
In most cases a financial lender will not enter any kind of contract until site insurance is in place.
Perhaps, more often than site insurance, it is the structural warranty that people decide to omit from their build cost.
This can result in a vast amount of extra expenditure when mistakes are made during the build.
Although it is widely considered that an architect’s certificate on completion is all the cover you will need, this can prove not to be the case. All the architect’s certificate confirms is that the building work has been carried out to a minimum standard.
If after completion of the build structural faults start to appear it can be both costly and difficult to prove this is a direct result of the architect’s negligence. It is for that reason that you will rarely find anybody suggesting you can do without structural warranty cover.
The structural warranty itself is highly valuable, for a 10 year period it will cover you against:
- Complete or partial rebuild resulting from major damage to the new build due to structural defects.
- Repair of any damage to the waterproof nature of the house, and any damage by the inlet of water, caused by design, workmanship or materials.
- Repair of any defect in the drainage system caused by design, workmanship or materials.
On top of these obvious features of the structural warranty that will be advertised, there are the benefits linked to the “key stage” inspections that will take place as part of your structural warranty.
These allow the self builder to be comfortable in the thought that there build is progressing to a good standard. You are then able to provide evidence if you ever decide to sell the new house that the project was carried out to a good standard. Leaving buyers safe in the knowledge that they are buying a well built house, that if sold within 10 years of being built still possesses a structural warranty.