How an extension can void your newbuild warranty

A street view of newbuild homes in Cotchett Village near Derby
It's wise to research how an extension can affect your policies (Image credit: Google Street View)

If you are planning on carried out building work on a newbuild property that still has an active warranty — it is prudent to first check the work won't invalidate it.

The issue of how building an extension can potentially void home insurance has been highlighted after a villager unfurled a banner over his newbuild home after a dispute between him and the developer.

Balbinder Singh, who lives in Mickleover, near Derby, claims problems have been affecting his £500,000 home since he moved there in April 2021 while the developer Avant Homes claims the issues were sparked by the construction of an extension that impacted his warranty.

What is a newbuild warranty?

A National Home Building Council Buildmark policy, such as in this case, covers newly-built homes and provides protection against loss of deposit, a builder warranty, and then a period of insurance against certain problems with the home.

But this policy doesn’t provide cover for any alterations or extensions to the home, or for any damage or problems caused by those alterations or extensions.

Mr Singh claims the porch’s design at his newbuild home on the Cotchett Village Estate causes water to run off and down the wall, causing damp and moss growth. Other residents on the street claim they have experienced similar issues.

Why is the homeowner not covered?

According to Avant, the extension voided some aspects of the property's NHBC Buildmark warranty.

A spokesperson said: “Having fully investigated the occupant's concerns regarding his home, we believe a significant number of them were caused by the building of an extension on the property after the house was purchased.

“We have inspected the house and communicated back to the occupant what is acceptable for us to resolve in relation to his concerns outside of those created by the extension.

“Our customer liaison team is proactively dealing with a very small number of residents at the development who have raised concerns to ensure any reasonable requests are addressed.”

Mr Singh said: “They're ignoring us and they're not bothered. We're fed up. How can they leave it like this? They agree with me when I speak to them and then nobody comes. Someone has to come forward.”

Is there anything that can be done?

While Mr Singh has been battling the property developer for two years, the situation could have been avoided if Mr Singh had been aware that the extension could affect his warranty before going ahead with it.

To avoid situations like this arising, it is always best to speak with both the developer and the company that the newbuild warranty is held with, where possible, to find out if your works will affect the policy. This is always best done in writing.

Sam Webb

Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world.  As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.