Structural warranty or Professional Consultant’s Certificate?

When you build your own home (or have a builder construct one for you), you may be considering two options to protect your investment and provide peace of mind: a structural warranty or a professional consultant’s certificate, also known as an architect’s certificate.

But the two are very different, and not fully understanding this at the outset could leave you with an unpleasant surprise later on. So let’s look at these two types of protection.

What is a structural warranty?

  • A structural (or latent defects) warranty covers the cost of repairing damage to your home arising from major defects, for a period of 10 years after completion. Defects can be caused by issues around workmanship or materials used.
  • The warranty also covers developing defects that could lead to damage – even if that damage has yet to occur.

What is a Professional Consultant’s Certificate (PCC)?

  • A PCC demonstrates that your architect has the necessary experience, professional indemnity insurance in place, and visited the site during construction to check on the progress of the build.
  • A PCC makes the architect liable for 6 years, but does not provide cover for structural defects.

What you need to consider when choosing between a structural warranty and a PCC

Unlike a PCC, a warranty removes the need for you to prove negligence or blame against your professional consultant, typically an architect. This can be difficult, time-consuming and costly, with no guarantee of a favourable outcome for you. With a warranty, you simply need to prove that there is significant damage resulting from a latent defect.

This also means you do not need to worry if your architect or professional consultant goes out of business. You remain protected by a structural warranty in those circumstances, because a successful claim through a warranty does not need to prove negligence or ascribe blame.

A structural warranty also typically covers additional costs incurred as part of a successful claim, and the cost to remove debris. It also includes alternative accommodation arrangements – a huge comfort if the damage (or remedial work) is so disruptive that you need to live elsewhere.

Find out more about LABC Warranty’s Self-Build warranty here.

Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. For the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.

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