Under a new house warranty, the builder is obliged to repair items when contacted (usually in writing) by the homeowner.
Ask about the new house warranty before buying–and be sure to get a signed warranty document.
In addition, be sure you receive a package with product warranties at settlement– the roof, appliances, and so forth– that are offered by the various manufacturers of your home’s materials.
If something goes wrong with these parts of your home, you must contact the manufacturer–not the builder.
Some builders offer an extended new-house warranty, called an “insured warranty.” This generally covers any systems– plumbing and electrical, for example– for a 2-year period.
It may also warranty the structure for up to 10 years. Insured warranties are actually issued by an insurance company; your home is covered even if the builder goes out of business.