Q. We have just bought our first brand new home, but we have a few issues that need to be completed by the builder. How should we go about getting those items addressed?
A. In order to schedule repairs, most builders require these items to be in writing. Use the following guidelines to make the most of the communication.
• Familiarize yourself with your home warranty coverage. Follow the procedure for making claims as stated in the written warranty. Some builders handle the warranty repairs themselves, while others contract with home warranty companies to handle all warranty claims. Some items, such as appliances, are usually covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, and are not the responsibility of the builder. If a problem develops after the express warranty has expired, the builder may not be required to respond under the terms of the written warranty. It is important to know what your builder's policy and procedures are before you enter into a contract to purchase a home built by them. Most builders have a timeline for you to follow giving you an opportunity to live in the home for a period of time. This allows you to discover any issues that need to be addressed that might not have been noticed at the time of your final walk-through. The builder will also want a list, also called a punch list, so they may take care of any items at the same time rather than coming out multiple times.
• Write your letter. Include the date of the request, your name, contact details, and the date you moved in. Include all relevant details. State exactly what you want done and how soon you expect it to be resolved. Include all relevant documents and photos regarding the problem, and send copies, not originals. Keep a copy of the letter for your files.
• After you alert your builder to the problem, provide them an opportunity to inspect and correct the problem within a reasonable period of time.
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