Warranties in construction include materials, work, installations etcetera.
Warranties in construction are generally given from the moment that a project is delivered to the buyer by a construction company. If the buyer finds a defect after the delivery, he can claim warranty in case the defect has been reported in writing within the warranty period.
If a house or apartments are built under the warranty conditions of a local institute, then the construction company will provide the warranty and warranty periods that have been set by them. In case the construction company cannot meet its obligations due to for example a bankruptcy, then the institute will provide the warranty.
Warranty periods generally start after a maintenance period. It is common for this maintenance period to be either three, six or twelve months, depending on the type of project. For houses, it’s normally three months. Within the maintenance period, any defects need to be resolved by the construction company.
For ‘hidden defects’ (defects that could not have been found earlier), a warranty period of six to ten years is normally applied, commencing after the maintenance period.
Serious defects of for example the foundation, or if a building cannot be used anymore due to for example a collapse, then a warranty period of 20 years applies, again commencing after the maintenance period.
Exclusions of warranty are also possible, for example any damages that are reported after the delivery or if the buyer executes work himself or decides to exclude things.
For construction companies it requires a lot of administrative work to keep track of the warranties provided by themselves and third parties of all construction projects that they were involved in. In many cases, this is stored in a paper archive, which requires to be kept for 20 years.
When warranty claims come in, checks need to be done to find out if a warranty has been provided, by whom and for which period of time. Searching the paper archive costs a lot of time.
Smart Technical Applications, STA Software B.V. has developed software that can store warranties and warranty periods of all parties digitally. When claims come in, all information can be accessed immediately, making time-loss a thing of the past.