Consumer Protection: Tarion’s New Interactive Home Explorer
Tarion’s New Interactive Home Explorer Tool Will Ease Your Mind
You’ve just moved into your new condominium unit and discovered that a cabinet door in your kitchen won’t stay closed. You think it should be covered under your Ontario new home warranty, but you want to be sure before you contact your builder.
How can you do that? It’s easy. Tarion has a new interactive tool, called Home Explorer, that allows you to browse a simulated home or condo, room-by-room, for information about potential defects.
Home Explorer is a visual and interactive representation of Tarion’s Construction Performance Guidelines. These Guidelines, called the CPG for short, are an online guide as to how Tarion will decide disputes between you and your builder about the most commonly encountered kinds of defects in workmanship or materials that are covered under your warranty.
The CPG is regularly reviewed and updated to keep pace with current building technology and construction practices and it complements and is consistent with the Ontario Building Code (but does not replace it).
The purpose of Home Explorer is to make it easier for condo owners and builders alike to find a potential defect and learn about whether it is or isn’t covered under the warranty. It’s important to note that condominium common elements are not included in this tool but can be looked up separately on Tarion.com.
Here’s how this new tool works. Once you enter Home Explorer, it will ask you to select house/townhouse or condominium. Once you select condominium, you must choose between condominium unit or common elements.
In this case, you choose condominium unit, then click on “kitchen” – either from the side menu or on the diagram of a condo unit. Next, you’ll see a diagram of a kitchen, and you can then choose the item that’s at issue: cabinets.
Once you do that, a number of warrantable issues will pop up, including, “Cabinet Doors Will Not Stay Closed.” When you click on that issue, you will see that cabinet doors are expected to stay in position when closed, and that this defect is covered under the one-year warranty. Therefore, it must be fixed by your builder.
On the same page, you will also see a note that says damage resulting from normal wear and tear or improper maintenance is excluded from the statutory warranty.
Home Explorer can take you through the same process for other questions you may have about potential defects in your condo. The more you understand about how your condo is constructed and the warranty that covers it, the better equipped you’ll be to work with your builder to resolve any defects.
HOWARD BOGACH is president and CEO of Tarion Warranty Corp., a private corporation established to protect the rights of new homebuyers and to regulate new home builders.