Structural Guide

This information has been assembled in order to assist homeowners in determining whether they have structural concerns that may be covered by the Program. The information below addresses some of the most commonly asked questions and situations encountered.

The presence of a structural defect can be one of the most difficult issues facing a homeowner. The Structural Warranty provides homeowners the assurance of knowing a structural failure will be addressed should it occur.

Mandatory Warranty

Warranty Coverage

The Program’s warranty insurance coverage for the new home provides for the following repair or replacement of Defects or Structural Defects:

  • Defects in materials and labour for a period of 1 year from the commencement date;
  • Defects in the materials and labour in delivery and distribution systems for a period of 2 years from the commencement date;
  • Defects in the building envelope for a period of 5 years from the commencement date;
  • Defects in the building envelope for a period of 7 years from the commencement date, if extended building envelope coverage has been purchased; and
  • Structural defects for a period of 10 years from the commencement date.

Structural Defect Definition

As defined in the Home Warranty Insurance Policy, a structural defect means:

“any Defect in the material, labour and design that results in the failure of a load-bearing part of the New Home and any Defect that causes structural damage that materially and adversely affects the use of the New Home for residential occupancy.”  [p3 (A. xvi)]

The structural components of a home include the footings, piles, foundation walls, grade beams, teleposts, load-bearing walls, beams, floor systems, and roof trusses.

Following is a list of issues you may have noticed in your home; however, one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate a structural failure.

  • Binding of windows and / or doors
  • Crack(s) in drywall at the corners of windows and / or doors
  • Crack(s) in foundation wall
  • Settling or uplift of piles or footings
  • Notable differences in the level of floors
  • Floor joist cracking
  • Sagging or cracking of drywall ceilings

Click here for a list of Structural Frequently Asked Questions.

Pre-Mandatory Warranty

Warranty Coverage 

The Program’s warranty coverage is subject to the terms, conditions, and limits in your Warranty Certificate; and is divided into two basic elements:

  1. Builder Warranty—for the first year after possession, and
  2. Structural Warranty – for the (4) year period following the Builder Warranty. Single-family homeowners have the option to purchase Extended Structural Defect Warranty coverage (extending the Structural Warranty to 10 years from the date of possession) provided they have submitted payment to the Program prior to the deadline date indicated on their Warranty Certificate.

Structural Defect Definition (single-family warranty certificate)

As defined in the Terms and Conditions of the Warranty Certificate, a structural defect is:

“a defect in material or workmanship that results in damage due to the failure of a Load Bearing Part to provide stable and adequate support in the Home or is not in compliance with the Alberta Building Code in effect at the date the building permit was issued for the Home. Excluded are driveways, decks, basement and garage floors, patios, sidewalks, retaining walls and all other concrete work which is not a Load Bearing Part. Non-compliance with the Alberta Building Code is considered a defect covered by this Warranty only if the non-compliance constitutes an unreasonable health or safety risk, or has resulted in, or is likely to result in, material damage to the Home.”  [p2(1.l)]

The structural components of a home include the footings, piles, foundation walls, grade beams, teleposts, load-bearing walls, beams, floor systems, and roof trusses.

Following is a list of issues you may have noticed in your home; however, one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate a structural failure.

  • Binding of windows and / or doors
  • Crack(s) in drywall at the corners of windows and / or doors
  • Crack(s) in foundation wall
  • Settling or uplift of piles or footings
  • Notable differences in the level of floors
  • Floor joist cracking
  • Sagging or cracking of drywall ceilings