Moving into a newly built home is exciting. Once the boxes are unpacked, most owners want to put their own personal stamp on the space, starting with the unfinished basement.
But there are good reasons why it's better to put the dream of a perfect game room, man cave or music room on hold for at least a year after moving in.
Almost all new homes in Manitoba come with a new home warranty that lasts seven years. The warranty coverage for the first year is the most comprehensive and protects against defects in work and materials.
But renovations can risk voiding the warranty on certain elements in the basement. Additionally, many building materials dry out, settle and even shrink in the first year, and cracks or leaks are easier to spot with no obstructions.
If there are any issues in the basement, builder repairs may require removing drywall and any other obstructions. Once repaired, the builder will not be responsible for replacing any work and material you supplied when finishing your basement or for secondary damage caused by leaks.
If you feel you can't wait to renovate your basement or any other part of your new home, work in stages. Do the work after the different warranties (one-year, two-year and seven-year) expire. For this, you need to understand your warranty coverage.
Also, be sure to hire a professional. They can complete the job with the least impact on the builder's work and materials, which means less impact on your warranty. Another advantage is that they can offer their own warranty on their work. Keep a record of exactly what was done in case you ever have a disagreement with your builder about claimed defects.
It's important to remember that the new home warranty only covers the work and materials provided by the builder, so proceed with caution when the urge to renovate strikes.