New Construction Homes: Potential Problems with 1-2-10 Warranties

What is a 1-2-10 Warranty?

  • 1-Year Workmanship Warranty: The builder covers most defects for 1 year. As long as you didn’t cause it to break, the builder will fix it.
  • 2-Year Systems Warranty: HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and other major systems are covered for 2 years.
  • 10-Year Structural Warranty: The foundation, walls, and any other structural components are covered for 10 years.

Home Warranty For New Construction: Is It Worth It? – Forbes Home

Who covers the warranty?

In Austin, it has been standard practice for the homebuilder to personally warranty the property. Most builders do not provide a third-party warranty.

Potential concerns with a personal warranty from local builders:

  • Single-use entities or other corporate entities: If the builder sells the property through a single-use corporation like “1234 Main St LLC”, the corporation warrants the property. Most of these corporations are abandoned or shut down after the property has been sold.
    • Reputable builders will often use these entities and still honor the warranty, but this causes legal issues if problems come up. It’s worth noting that the legal system typically favors the buyer/homeowner, but a great goal is to never have to engage attorneys.
  • Builder Solvency & Continued Operation: When a builder provides a personal warranty, that warranty relies on their ability to stay in business and continue to operate in the Austin area. If they go out of business or quit building in Austin, there’s a high likelihood they won’t back up their personal warranty.

Do things break often and what usually happens?

  • It’s relatively common for homeowners to call in a claim during the first year. Humans build houses and humans are imperfect. Most of the time, the builder is still in business and happy to fix 1-year workmanship claims. Generally, the builder will have a “finish trade” on call who can take care of most things.
  • It’s not uncommon for systems to malfunction within the 2-year systems warranty period. Most of the time, the builder is still in business and will take care of the claim. Almost always, the systems are still under warranty with the trade who performed the work and that trade is who fixes the problem. If the A/C breaks, the HVAC trade who installed the system comes out and fixes it, for example.
  • Structural problems are not common in modern homes. A lot goes into engineering the foundation and modern foundations are well designed. However, if there is a problem with a structural component, it can be very expensive and it’s often contentious with the builder, especially if it’s many years after the sale.

What can we do?

  • Get a copy of paid invoices for the major systems: The builder should have easy access to the paid invoices for the major systems they’ve installed. We can ask for this list so that we can call these vendors directly if we can’t get a hold of the builder within the 2-year window and something breaks. The added benefit is that you know all of these invoices have been paid.
  • Get a third-party 1-2-10 warranty: Third-party companies do warranty new construction homes but they have to be purchased by the builder before closing. The “all in one” 1-2-10 warranties are the most expensive option with the most extensive coverage. It’s worth noting that dealing with a warranty company within the 1 and 2 year windows is usually much less pleasant than dealing with your builder or their trades.
  • Get a third-party structural warranty: If you trust the builder’s personal warranty for years 1 and 2, but you’re concerned about the 10-year structural warranty, you can ask for a third-party structural warranty. This also must be purchased by the builder before closing.

What about “big builders”?

Most production builders like Lennar, Taylor Morrison, etc. have and will provide personal warranties. It’s very unlikely that these corporations will go out of business, though it is a possibility. However, it’s extremely difficult to ask a production builder to change their own policies or processes. Generally, you have to decide if you’re comfortable with these corporations’ personal warranties or not; It’s unlikely we can get a vendor list or third-party warranty from them.

It’s important to remember that most builders take a lot of pride in their work and their reputation.

Sometimes, a builder can interpret “We’d like a third-party warranty” as “We don’t trust your personal warranty”. It’s important that we address any concern you have tactfully. Don’t worry, though, we have lots of experience doing so!

Lastly: 10-year structural? It looks like 6 years now.

Texas HB 2024 shortens the period during which a builder is liable for structural defects to 6 years (from 10) in many circumstances. Most third-party warranty companies are still providing 10-year warranties, but this may change.


  • 1-2-10 –
  • 1-2-10 –
  • 2-10 –
  • Structural only —
Buyer Resources
First Time Home Buyers CLICK HERE
Relocating To Austin? CLICK HERE

2300+ Client reviews!

If you need a realtor, look no further than Vivia Robertson. We just loved her! She was hard-working, reliable, easy to work with, & thorough, and she made the whole process of looking at and deciding on a property as seamless as it could have been. Truly, you can place your confidence in Vivia.

We worked with Yolanda and she made the entire process so simple, especially for us first time home buyers! She was always available to reach out to and was very quick on getting us what information we need. Definitely would recommend this company and her!

As a first-time home buyer in Austin, I had the incredible fortune of working with Robin Deshotels as my real estate agent, and I cannot recommend her highly enough. Robin’s expertise, patience, and genuine care made my home-buying experience smooth, educational, and exciting.

Robin’s extensive knowledge of the Austin real estate market combined with her understanding of the unique needs of first-time buyers set her apart from the rest. From the very beginning, she took the time to explain the entire home-buying process, ensuring that I felt comfortable and well-informed every step of the way. Her guidance and support were invaluable as I navigated the unfamiliar territory of purchasing a home.

What truly impressed me about Robin was her unwavering patience and dedication. She understood that as a first-time buyer, I had numerous questions and concerns. Robin was always available to address them, providing thorough explanations and guidance. Her ability to simplify complex concepts and terminology made me feel confident in my decision-making.

Robin’s commitment to finding the perfect home for me was evident in every interaction we had. She took the time to understand my preferences, budget, and lifestyle requirements. With her deep knowledge of Austin’s neighborhoods, she presented me with a range of options that met my criteria. Her attention to detail ensured that each property we visited had the potential to become my dream home.

Throughout the negotiation process, Robin proved to be a skilled advocate for my interests. She skillfully negotiated with sellers, always keeping my best interests in mind. Her strategic approach and knowledge of the market ensured that I secured an excellent deal on my first home.

Beyond her expertise as a real estate agent, Robin’s genuine care and personalized attention made all the difference. She understood the emotional significance of buying a first home and provided reassurance and support when needed. Her professionalism and warm demeanor created a trusting and comfortable environment throughout the entire process.

I cannot express enough gratitude for Robin’s guidance and expertise as a first-time home buyer in Austin. She is a true professional who goes above and beyond for her clients. If you are a first-time buyer in Austin, I wholeheartedly recommend Robin Deshotels as your real estate agent. She will be your trusted guide in finding the perfect home and making your dreams a reality. Thank you, Robin, for making my first home-buying experience exceptional!

I recently had the pleasure of working with Robin Deshotels with Bramlett Residential, and I cannot express enough how grateful I am for her outstanding service and expertise as a real estate agent. From the moment we started working with her, I knew I was in capable hands.

Robin possesses an unparalleled level of professionalism and knowledge in the real estate industry. Her experience and understanding of the local Austin market were evident throughout the entire buying process. She took the time to truly listen to my needs and preferences, ensuring that every property she showed me matched my criteria perfectly.

What sets Robin apart from other agents is her dedication to providing exceptional customer service. She consistently went above and beyond to accommodate my schedule and promptly answered all my questions and concerns. Her responsiveness and clear communication were invaluable in keeping me informed and involved at every step.

Throughout the negotiation process, Robin’s negotiation skills were truly impressive. She represented my interests with unwavering commitment and ensured that I secured the best possible deal. Her strategic approach and attention to detail gave me confidence that I was making informed decisions.

Not only did Robin guide me through the purchase process seamlessly, but she also provided valuable insights on the local community and market trends. Her in-depth knowledge of the area helped me make an informed decision about the neighborhood that perfectly suited my lifestyle.

Robin’s dedication did not end with the successful purchase of my dream home. She continued to provide support and assistance, even after the closing. Her commitment to her clients’ satisfaction is truly remarkable and reflects her genuine passion for her work.

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend Robin as a real estate agent. Her professionalism, expertise, and exceptional customer service is unmatched. If you are looking for a reliable, knowledgeable, and dedicated agent in Austin and the surrounding area, Robin is the one you can trust to make your real estate dreams come true. Thank you, Robin, for your incredible support and guidance throughout the entire process!

It was a pleasure working with Shaun Duffenbach! He helped us close on our first home! From the beginning it felt like a great match, he answered all of our questions with patience and you could tell he knows the market and real estate. We never felt pressured or rushed to jump into anything that wasn’t the right fit. With his help we found a beautiful home. For my next property, I‘ll be calling Shaun again.

Linda Baddour was a fantastic realtor! We easily found our perfect home, and there were competitive bids, so she helped us quickly navigate the bid process. Because of her recommendations and guidance, our bid was selected at asking. The following weeks before close, she was very communicative and kept us updated on the various tasks we needed to complete by week, which helped make the closing process a smooth one. Linda is also very knowledgeable about our neighborhood, providing recommendations for local contractors and answering any questions we had about schools, etc. I could also count on her to not push us to buy a house that wasn’t a good fit for us, reassuring us that there would be more to come. I highly recommend Linda!

Jeremy Vandermause at Bramlett Real Estate recently helped me find my wonderful new condo in Austin. He made a daunting process into an easy experience, and I’m grateful for his expertise in this transaction. He knows Austin so well and was so attentive to my concerns. I’m confident in recommending Jeremy to anyone.

From the moment I filled out the form to contact Bramlett, I had a phone call from a live person (Yolanda) within not more than 45 seconds. We spoke for like an hour about what I wanted, the process, etc. I didn’t feel pressured, if anything I felt reassured and pampered! She had the process laid out and even helped me find a problem with the property that the inspectors missed. I would recommend her and Bramlett in general to ANYONE searching for a home, without any hesitation. Thank you so much!!

Worked with Robin Deshotels from Bramlett Residential, Robin is very professional , Knowledgeable and is easy to work with, Robin’s recommendations closely aligned with my needs and helped in making quick decisions resulting in closing quickly, Robin also provided detailed information about Austin area, understands the needs of the buyers well , Robin also continued to follow-up on many pre-closing tasks with the seller and was very helpful in closing the transaction, thanks Robin for your help

I’ve bought 6 properties and have used a different agent for each one. There is an incredibly large quality scale among realtors and Kasey (of Bramlett Residential) has been the best I’ve ever worked with. She is sharp, gave us important insider information, friendly and easy to deal with. She really knows her stuff and I would recommend her to anyone.

Becky Welch was absolutely amazing to work with! We met her at an open house in Round Rock and knew immediately she would be the perfect realtor for us. She went above and beyond for us and always had the answers to our questions. She made buying our first house such a great experience. Will definitely be going to her in the future!

Craig McGuire was extremely knowledgeable and helpful with our selling process. He took his time to explain everything, and really went above and beyond to make sure we were well-advised. He had great attention to detail, and is very personable — he even sent us cake pops for our birthdays! Highly recommend Craig, and I would use him again.

Click Here to Read All Reviews