Building a Deck: Does it Affect Your Home’s Warranty?

Home School Building 101

Building a deck with your own two hands seems like a perfect solution to the no-deck problem. It can save you money as a homeowner, and expand your outside space. Yet, building a deck may cause complications with your home warranty. If you're planning to build the deck yourself, consider the following before starting on the project.

First, Why Does It Matter?

Under the Alberta New Home Warranty Program, Morrison offers warranty protection to customers against costly home repairs when the quality of the workmanship or materials results in damage during specific warranty periods. Meeting the expectations of the home warranty is important to keeping the warranty in full force and shielding your investment.

What Causes Warranty Issues?

Your warranty is filled with rules and regulations for keeping the agreement between the homeowner and the Alberta New Home Warranty Program valid. Issues begin when you don't keep those rules in mind while making changes to your dwelling. Problems could arise from the position of the deck over critical underground structures or windows which may reduce the access to those components for maintenance, or egress from the basement. The warranty may require the use of specific materials, such as a high quality lumber, or safety structures like railings.

One main area that can affect the warranty and coverage for Morrison Home owners is if in the process of building the deck a person changes the grade or level of the land underneath it. This can change the sloping and natural drainage of the land that has been put in place by the homebuilder. Changing grade can result in the violation of your warranty so make sure to check.

Is A Homeowner Built Deck Covered Under Warranty?

No, any structure added to a home that was not constructed by the homebuilder will not be covered under your warranty. The Alberta New Home Warranty Program only covers structures built by Morrison Homes.

What's the Worst Case Scenario?

The worst case scenario usually begins with the homeowner building the deck in such a way that negates the warranty. The problem often arises long after the homeowner builds the deck, because it may take several years for a severe building repair that triggers a home warranty claim to develop. Then, the inspectors come out and discover an issue with the deck. The result is a surprise invalidation of the warranty. No one wants that to happen.

What should You Do?

If you're considering adding a deck to your house, protect your investment by doing the following things first:

  • Apply for the appropriate permit with the city
  • Be sure to call for locates before proceeding with any digging on your lot.
  • Read the warranty from top to bottom.
  • Call your Morrison Homes Warranty Coordinator to ask about specific clauses.
  • Follow the suggestions of the representative, which may include hiring an approved contractor.

Quick Tip: Your homeowner's insurance will have specific standards to insure your deck as well. For example, many homeowner's insurance policies require guardrails and won't cover injury to a person failing off the deck without them.

A home warranty safeguards the homeowner, the building's appliances and structural elements. Leaving the issue of your home warranty to chance while you construct your deck is problematic at best. Give yourself peace of mind and call your Morrison Homes Warranty Coordinator before you start digging and hammering.