Homebuilders often offer a one or two year "warranty" on new homes. In the state of California, however, owners of new single family homes and condominium units purchased starting in 2003 actually have additional protections built into California law. Senate Bill 800, which passed in 2002, allows homeowners to take legal action to remediate construction defects which violate any of the building standards listed in California Civil Code Section 896. Most of these violations are actionable for ten years from close of escrow, except for a few specific standards outlined in Section 896. Generally, defects which pose a serious risk to the home or homeowner (such as electrical systems which present a fire risk) or which constitute a major structural flaw in the home are covered by the full ten-year statute of limitation.
Before a claim can be advanced against a homebuilder, the homeowner must grant the builder an opportunity to cure defects. Specific details of the notification process can be found in California Civil Code Section 900.