Frequently Asked Questions

Q: For how many years does Iowa law require a builder to provide a warranty to its customers?

A. Iowa code does not require builders to provide a warranty. Most products within the structure have some type of a manufacturer’s warranty (ie furnace, shingles, siding, windows, etc.) and many builders will voluntarily provide a 1 year warranty, but law does not require this.


Q:  Are builders responsible for some type of warranty?

A.  Iowa code Chapter 614 Limitation of Actions (aka “statute of repose”) is for 15 years for an implied warranty of workmanlike construction (structural defects) that extends to subsequent buyers per the 2008 Iowa Supreme Court ruling and this is the right of all consumers and thus not actually a “warranty” that the builder is providing, rather a compliance with the law.  Check with your builder on what they offer and refer to your construction contract.” Our organization does not provide legal services or advice, so please contact your legal counsel with any questions that you may have.


Q: What do I need to know about Construction Codes in Iowa?

A.  Residential Construction Code – Codes adhere to Iowa’s home rule status and are adopted by their respective governmental jurisdictions (i.e. cities, counties, etc.) for enforcement within their area. The code is adopted and enforced locally.  Only cities with a population of 15,000 or greater are required by Iowa law to adopt and enforce a residential construction code. Thus many smaller cities may adhere to a construction ordinance versus a nationally recognized code.


Electrical Code – is now mandated and enforced statewide by the Iowa Electrical Examining Board that also provides for statewide licensing.


Plumbing Code – is now essentially mandated statewide, but still enforced locally. Statewide licensing is by the Iowa Plumbing & Mechanical Licensing Board.


Energy Code – is mandated statewide by the State Building Code Commissioner, but is yet to be enforced in the same manner. Several governmental jurisdictions require a Dept. of Energy “ResCheck” form to be completed to show a new residential structure is in compliance with the State Energy Code.

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