Many modern houses have only recently been constructed as areas all over the country have been experiencing high demand for more housing. Housing companies have listened to those demands and new-build estates have been popping up all over the country offering new, modern housing design and solid craftsmanship.
When you buy a modern property, you may often be supplied with a building warranty which basically is an insurance policy provided from the developer and given to the new homeowner. This insurance policy is often a requirement for many mortgage lenders and will typically last for 10 years. The warranty will cover any structural damage, defects to walls, roofs and foundations as a standard but each developer is different, and their policy contents may vary slightly.
Your building warranty can be invalidated inadvertently by yourself however if you do anything to risk damage to the structure of your new home. This means that should any structural damage occur; your insurance policy would not cover it and you would be liable for the damages yourself; costs which can quickly stretch into the thousands.
How can you invalidate your warranty?
One of the most common reasons people accidently invalidate their building warranty is inappropriate storage in roof spaces. Many people consider loft spaces the ideal storage solution for all the personal belongings you want to keep, keepsakes and Christmas decorations. However, if your loft space has not been designed to store belongings and is not fitted in such a way to do so, you risk causing damage to your roof beams and ceilings by putting your things in the loft.
If your loft does not have a solid floor, instead is it a network of beams then it is not properly equipped to take the weight of storing even a few belongings. By using this space to store items, you risk damaging the roof beams or the ceilings of the rooms below. If you notice sagging in the celling or crack and you have been using the loft as storage, you may find that your building warranty is invalid, and you will have to pay for the repairs yourself.
What’s the solution?
Being able to use your loft for storage is incredibly useful. If you can, speak to your developer before the paperwork is signed and enquire whether they can make your loft space suitable for storage and include this in your building warranty. Most developers will be very accommodating for new buyers.
If you have not been able to get your loft space converted before you buy your new build, but want to make the adjustments yourself, speak to the provider of your building warranty about whether any changes can be made to your policy and inform them of any changes you plan to make in advance to ensure your policy will still be valid.
Another option, is to air on the side of caution and simply not use your roof space for storage. Instead find a cheap self-storage unit close to your new home and keep your belongings there instead. You can be assured that your belongings are safe under lock and key and you can access most self-storage units whenever you need to get to your things.