Tag Archives: Howard Bogach

h_nov19_consumer_prot_fi

What you need to know about Radon – even in new homes

Latest News


What you need to know about Radon – even in new homes

You can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but radon – a naturally occurring radioactive gas – may be present in your home. Radon can be found virtually everywhere. It is created by the breakdown of uranium found in rock and soil, and when it escapes from the ground and mixes with the air, it is diluted to very low levels. The problem occurs when radon seeps into a home, often through cracks in basement floors and foundations, and gets trapped in enclosed spaces such as basements or crawlspaces.

Since November is National Radon Action Month, let’s share discuss some important facts about radon. Let’s start with the fact that almost every house in Canada has some radon. Concentration levels can vary widely from area to area, and even among different homes in the same neighbourhood. Radon is not the result of a defect in the way a home is constructed, and there is no way to determine if radon is going to be a problem before a home is built.

With proper ventilation, however, radon will dissipate, causing no problems at all. Unfortunately, enclosed spaces without good airflow can develop dangerously high radon levels. Long term exposure to excessive radon can increase the risk of lung cancer.

Similar to carbon monoxide, radon can be detected and measured. Radon is measured in units called becquerels, and Health Canada has set 200 becquerels per cubic metre as the safe limit for radon in a home. The only way to determine levels of radon is to test the levels using either a do-it-yourself radon test kit or by hiring a radon measurement or mitigation professional.

It’s important to note that radon levels can change from year to year, and even throughout the year due to a number of factors. This is something that should be taken into consideration when determining when and how often radon testing should be conducted. For example, seasonal changes can cause radon concentration levels to vary within your home. Health Canada recommends testing for radon between October and April, and using the three-month test. With the changing temperature levels, the weather and air pressure can produce different readings during certain periods.

Major renovations that affect your ventilation or the soil beneath your home can also create new opportunities and routes for radon to enter your home, so if you are planning any structural modifications, such as turning your basement into a living space, it is important to test for radon before beginning renovations. You should also have your home retested after the renovations are complete to determine whether the levels have changed.

If you’re an owner of a new home and you have excessive levels of radon, the good news is that your statutory warranty includes coverage for a full seven years. In fact, Ontario is the only Canadian jurisdiction that covers radon remediation under the new home warranty. To be eligible for coverage, radon levels must be tested over a three month period and whether you use a radon professional or a do-it-yourself test kit, both must be certified through the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program. Test results showing levels in excess of 200 becquerels should be submitted to Tarion along with the applicable warranty form.

To learn more about radon and your warranty coverage, visit tarion.com or watch our video on YouTube. If you are looking for do-it-yourself radon test kits or for a radon measurement or mitigation professional, contact the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program at c-nrpp.ca. If you have questions about how to make a warranty claim, you can contact us at 1.877.9TARION or email customerservice@tarion.com.

Howard Bogach is president and CEO of the Tarion Warranty Corp. tarion.com Facebook.com/TarionWarrantyCorp

SHARE  

Featured Products


cl_nov19_consumer_pro_fi

When you can live in, but not own, your new condo

Latest News


When you can live in, but not own, your new condo

What you should know about interim occupancy fees, title transfer and your warranty

When you buy a pre-construction condominium, you’re prepared for the fact that it will be months – or even up to three years – before you can expect to move in. But what you may not realize is that once your condo unit is built, it still may not be officially yours. In fact, you may have to pay a monthly fee to the builder until the time that the title of your unit can be transferred to you.

“Interim occupancy” is the period between when you can move into your condo and when you officially own it. The move-in date is set by your builder, with permission by your local municipality, once your unit is declared fit for occupancy. This is the point at which your interim occupancy period begins and it will typically last between two to three months. It could, however, stretch much longer, especially if your unit is on a lower floor of a highrise and the upper floors still have to be finished.

During interim occupancy, you have to pay a monthly fee, as determined by the Condominium Act, that covers three things: The interest on the unpaid balance of the purchase price of your condominium unit; municipal taxes estimated for your unit; and common expenses to keep the building running. While you are paying this interim occupancy fee, you won’t be making mortgage payments. Those will start once you have official ownership of your unit, and at that point you will no longer have to pay the interim occupancy fee.

So, the reality is that you might be living in what could feel like a construction zone as the rest of the units and the common elements (lobby, lounge, pool) are completed. Once they are, the project will be registered with the municipality and the individual units will be transferred to the owners. This is when the builder will set your final closing date – when you take full ownership.

What’s important to know is that your new home warranty actually begins as soon as you are granted occupancy of your unit. However, the warranty on amenities or common elements that you’re eagerly waiting to be finished doesn’t begin until the condominium corporation is registered.

To figure out what’s covered by which warranty, you need to start by determining the boundaries of your own unit. You can find this information in the Disclosure document that is attached to your purchase agreement or the registered Declaration and Description filed once the condominium corporation has been registered. This will tell you the unit and common element boundaries and responsibilities for repair and maintenance.

For issues with parts of your unit, it is your responsibility to submit the appropriate warranty form to Tarion. So even if you don’t legally own your unit yet, you should be aware of the warranty form submission deadlines and make sure you submit on time. If you notice defects in the common elements, these should be reported to your condominium corporation representative (sometimes this is the property manager) for them to report to Tarion within their warranty timelines.

Your journey to condo ownership is finally complete on final closing. This is when the completed building is registered and you pay the balance remaining on your final purchase price in addition to any adjustments. When you do, you will receive the title to your new home, your mortgage will be registered on your title and your interim occupancy agreement will end. At this point, your condo is all yours.

While interim occupancy might feel like an exercise in delayed gratification, the final result – a new condo to call your own – should be worth the wait.

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. tarion.com

SHARE  

Featured Products


h_oct19_consumer_protection_fi

Accessibility for today and tomorrow

Latest News


Accessibility for today and tomorrow

Choosing features that will make your new home livable for the long term

New home buyers come in all shapes, sizes and stages of life. Older people looking to downsize are one of the key demographics for condominiums. These empty-nesters are often in the market for a smaller, more maintenance-free home that is close to transit, entertainment and shopping.

But before making a purchase, individuals or couples who plan to live in their condo into retirement and beyond need to think about future needs. For example, physical limitations that may come as a natural part of aging. By anticipating the physical changes most of us experience later in life, they can look forward to years of comfortable, accessible living in the home of their (new) dreams.

If you, a parent or a grandparent are looking for a condo for retirement living, I can offer a few tips.

Condominiums are mostly stair-free by design but choosing a development that has wider hallways and doorways and a more open floor plan will make it easier to accommodate assistive devices (if needed) like wheelchairs or walkers.

There are also a number of relatively minor but extremely useful modifications that will make your home more livable in the long term.

Opt for door levers over doorknobs. They tend to be much easier to grasp and open.

Altree Developments

Make sure your light switches are the newer rocker panel design. The old toggle switches can be very hard to manage. Even better, if your hands are full you can just use an elbow to flip on the light!

Two-way switches are also a great addition so you can turn on the lights as you enter a room and turn them off again once you’re in bed or at the other end of the room. It’s also important to have light switches at both the top and bottom of a staircase so you’re not tempted to negotiate a set of stairs in the dark.

Make sure there’s enough lighting in bathrooms, stairways, kitchens and outdoor areas.

When it comes to choosing flooring, steer clear of high-gloss, slippery materials such as marble which may come with a higher risk of slipping. Finally, when it comes to bathroom design, consider opting for a walkin shower with an adjustable-height showerhead and handheld unit to give you more bathing flexibility as you become less flexible.

If a builder is installing accessibility features for you, there’s good news: those features are likely to be covered under your one-year warranty for defects in workmanship and materials and unauthorized substitutions. If you have any doubts that something may be covered, or for how long, your builder representative – or Tarion’s customer service department – will be happy to help you find out.

And if you’re worried about coverage for the accessibility features you may need to rely on outside of your front door – in the shared common element areas of your community – there’s good news there too. Since 2015, the Ontario Building Code has required all new multi-unit residential buildings to include accessible and barrier-free features in many of these areas. If an issue does arise with one of your common elements’ accessibility features, it’s likely protected by the new home warranty on common elements, which is backstopped by Tarion. The problem may be warranted for up to one year (if it is related to work and materials or substitutions), or up to two years (if it’s a violation of the Ontario Building Code that affects health and safety). Keep in mind that the warranty covering common elements is separate from the one covering your own unit.

While contemplating your future limitations isn’t as fun as deciding on the colour of your kitchen cupboards, it can help to ensure the long-term enjoyment of your new home.

Howard Bogach is president and CEO of the Tarion Warranty Corp.

tarion.com

Facebook.com/TarionWarrantyCorp

SHARE  

Featured Products


cl_oct19_cons_prot_fi

Ask the right questions to help with your condo buying decisions

Latest News


Ask the right questions to help with your condo buying decisions

Buying a new condominium can be both exciting and a little scary. The best thing to do is to arm yourself with information so you can be prepared for the decisions that you’ll need to make along the way.

Here are 10 things to consider before you buy:

1) What are you buying?

You’ll need to know the boundaries of the unit, what the common areas include, and whether what’s been promised in the glossy brochures is actually included in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Many unhappy condo buyers have found out too late that the highlights of the sales materials were just wishful thinking – not a formal part of the agreement.

2) What amenities are most important to you?

A fully-equipped gym, rooftop garden, lounge or pool might be the kinds of things that you’re looking for in a condo project, but they will impact not only the purchase price but also your monthly condo fees. The good news is that these features come with their own warranty. The bad news is that they are often some of the last parts of the building to be completed, so they might not be available when you move in.

3) What upgrades make the most sense?

If you’re going to live in your condo for a long time, you might choose different upgrades than if you’re buying it as an investment. You need to be sure that your decor choices and any upgrades are recorded in your purchase agreement. This way, if there are substitutions made, you may have recourse under the warranty.

4) Is your deposit protected?

Under the Condominium Act, deposits and any monies paid for upgrades or extras must be kept in trust and returned to you in full if for some reason the project does not get built. If something happens and the deposit is not re-paid, you can make a claim to Tarion for up to $20,000.

5) Is your view likely to change?

If you’re looking forward to gazing out over a lake or a forest, make sure you (or your lawyer) check with the city planning department to find out what other new developments are proposed for the area near your condo.

6) Are pets welcome?

Not all condos allow pets, and if a dog or cat is an important part of your family, you’ll need to know what the condominium corporation will allow. You should also be aware that the rules for service animals may be quite different.

7) Can you afford the monthly maintenance fees?

Separate from the cost of your condo, you must pay maintenance fees to share in the cost of maintaining and operating shared amenities and the building itself. Those shared costs usually include window cleaning, snow and garbage removal, landscaping and janitorial service. You’ll need to know what’s included in your maintenance fees and what you’ll be paying separately.

8) Will the building be fully accessible for people with disabilities or other mobility issues?

While some accommodation requirements are now built into the Ontario Building Code, that doesn’t mean the building will be accessible to everyone. If you’re buying the condo for retirement living, you may want to consider your accessibility needs for the future. If you purchase accessibility features for your unit from your builder, these will be covered under the warranty, as long as they’re included in the purchase agreement.

9) Will there be a lot of restrictions on how you can use your unit?

With the popularity of short-term rentals such as AirBnB, some condo communities are trying to put in rules that limit this practice – or disallow it altogether. If you’re hoping to pay your mortgage by renting out your unit, you need to confirm the rules before you buy.

10) Are you going to want to make changes once you move in?

Your unit warranty covers the builder’s work but not any DIY projects or additional renovations you make. Condo boards may also have strict rules against, or at least approval processes for, any customization that you might want to do – from painting your door red to taking down a wall between two rooms.

Like any big purchase, the more you know about buying a condo, the better prepared you’ll be. To learn more about condo warranties and for tips on buying pre-construction condos, visit tarion.com.

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.

tarion.com

SHARE  

Featured Products


h_sep2019_consumer_prot_fi

A new home worth waiting for

Latest News


A new home worth waiting for

Why new home construction may not always go according to plan

One of the hardest parts of buying a new home is the waiting. You sign the purchase agreement and then you wait, and wait, and wait some more. There’s a lot riding on your move-in date – the timing of the sale of your current home or the termination of a lease, packing, scheduling of movers and setting up services like internet and phone. All you want is a 100 per cent guarantee that your home will be ready on a specific date. Is that too much to ask?

Unfortunately, sometimes it can be.

Construction timelines aren’t an exact science and there are many factors that can interfere with the completion of your home.

One of the most common reasons for delay is the weather. It’s out of anyone’s hands and it has a major impact on how fast a new home goes up.

Heavy rains, high winds, thunderstorms, extreme heat – they can all impact site conditions, materials and work schedules.

As our climate becomes increasingly unpredictable, weather delays are likely to become more common.

What else can slow down construction? Earlier this year there were some strikes involving trade unions in the new home building industry. In the past, these types of labour disruptions have had serious impacts on the delivery of new homes. The industry is also experiencing shortages in available trades as many of the current tradespeople are beginning to retire and there aren’t enough young people stepping in to take their places.

There can also be issues with material shortages. Let’s say the builder can’t get enough drywall or there’s manufacturing delays with the furnaces ordered for the development or the hardwood you selected has been discontinued. While these issues might only slow things down by a week or two, the time can add up – especially if it prevents other work, like the electrical or painting, from being completed.

And finally, there can be catastrophic events like fires or floods that might cause setbacks lasting months.

So how do you know when your home is likely to be completed?

When you buy a new home, your builder must include a closing date in your purchase agreement. If a builder is confident as to when the home will be finished, they’ll set a ‘firm’ date, which is something a lot of home buyers will ask for so they can coordinate all the logistics of their move. If a builder isn’t sure exactly when your new home will be finished, they can set a ‘tentative’ date. That gives them the flexibility to delay the completion date several times as long as they follow specific rules.

The important thing to know is that the details about what are referred to as your ‘critical dates’ are spelled out in a document called the Addendum which is attached to every Agreement of Purchase and Sale. It also indicates if and when you’re entitled to legally back out of your agreement if you choose to do so.

And the good news is that the new home warranty provides protection against delayed closing under certain circumstances. So while it may not be possible to prevent all the factors that could impact the final delivery of your home, there is compensation for a number of costs – for example accommodation or storage – that you might incur as a result of a delay.

So after you’ve signed your purchase agreement, keep in touch with your builder to get updates on the progress of your home. And if you’re trying to plan, it also makes sense to give yourself some wiggle room. Just as you wouldn’t schedule a connecting flight 20 minutes after your first flight is supposed to touch down, leave time between the projected completion date of your new home and the closing date of the sale or the end of a lease on your current home.

When all’s said and done, eventually you’ll get where you want to be – your new home – and it will have been worth the wait.

Howard Bogach is president and CEO of the Tarion Warranty Corp.

tarion.com

Facebook.com/TarionWarrantyCorp

SHARE  

Featured Products


cl_sep2019_cons_prot_fi

Common elements aren’t a common responsibility

Latest News


Common elements aren’t a common responsibility

Purchasing a condominium is a bit of a two-for-one deal. While you’re buying a unit that has specific physical boundaries, you’re also becoming part owner of amenities that could range from fitness facilities, rooftop terraces and party rooms to less glamourous elements such as heating systems, parking garages and elevators. These are the ‘common elements’ of your condo project. While you are entitled to use them (or at least benefit from them), management of the common elements – and their warranty – is the responsibility of the condominium corporation.

The warranty on your unit begins when your unit is ready for occupancy. The common elements warranty coverage doesn’t begin until the building is finished and the declaration and description for the project is registered by the developer at the local land registry office.

So, what are the declaration and description? They are documents that outline important details for condo owners, such as the boundaries, designated use and proportion of common expenses allocated to the unit, as well as repair and maintenance obligations. If you want to know exactly where your unit ends and the common elements begin, check the declaration.

Although common elements often provide a lot of marketing flash to help drive sales, they can be some of the last things finished in your project. If, for example, you’ve bought a condo on a lower floor in a highrise, you might be among the first to move in – before the common elements have been completed. This means that you might have to wait a while to use that chic party room or luxurious pool that helped sell you on the project in the first place.

Under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, the condominium corporation is the ‘owner’ of the common elements of the project. This includes “exclusive use” common elements – things such as your balcony or your backyard – that no one but you gets to use. Unlike unit owners who fill out and submit their own warranty forms for issues in their units, the Condominium Act requires that the condo corporation hire a consultant to prepare a performance audit identifying any deficiencies in the common elements, such as defects in workmanship or Ontario Building Code violations. The performance audit generally includes surveys in which unit owners can report issues they’ve observed in the common elements. The condo corporation will submit the performance audit to Tarion as a warranty claim for the common elements.

The condo corporation will also appoint a designate — often the condominium manager — to work with Tarion and the vendor to resolve deficiencies reported in the audit.

While you as a unit owner do not get involved in the warranty claims process for common elements, you do have a role to play in protecting these shared amenities and ensuring that the warranty coverage on them stays intact. Here are a few examples of what’s not covered by the warranty:

  • Damage caused by unit owners or visitors;
  • Alterations, deletions or additions made by a unit owner or the condo corporation;
  • Damage resulting from improper maintenance by unit owners or the condo corporation.

So if you’re inviting the high school rugby team over for a post-championship celebration, make sure the party room doesn’t become a casualty. Or if you’re planning to do work on any of your exclusive-use common elements – adding a garden to your balcony, for example – notify your condo corporation and obtain permission from them to undertake it.

Common elements are for the common benefit of all. If there are issues, be sure to report them to your condominium manager for them to report to Tarion within their warranty timelines. And if you have any questions about common elements coverage, contact Tarion at 1.877.9TARION or email customerservice@tarion.com.

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. tarion.com

SHARE  

Featured Products


cl_aug19_consum_prot_fi

From industrial to lofty condo conversions

Latest News


From industrial to lofty condo conversions

Condos come in all shapes and sizes. Some buyers prefer slick, modern, multi-storey towers, while others are looking for buildings with more character and maybe a little history. If the latter is what you’re in the market for, there is good news for you.

In many urban areas, warehouses and other old industrial structures are often converted into condos that incorporate some of the building’s more interesting features (large windows, framing, brick walls) into the design. The industry term for these types of developments is “residential condominium conversion projects” or RCCPs. The features of a structure incorporated into an RCCP are called “pre-existing elements.”

Thanks to changes that took effect in January 2018, all of the warranties (One-, two- and seven year) included in the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (ONHWPA) now apply to these types of condos with one exception: Any pre-existing elements – which, for example, might include an exposed brick interior wall – would not have the one-year warranty regarding the home being constructed in a workmanlike manner and free from defects in material.

Prior to 2018, RCCPs did not come with new home warranty coverage under ONHWPA because they weren’t entirely new buildings. But there’s still more good news. If you’re putting down a deposit on a condo unit that is part of an RCCP, you’ll be happy to know that you’re entitled to the same deposit protection and delayed occupancy coverage as other condo buyers. This means that your deposit, and any amounts paid for upgrades and extras, must be placed in trust and refunded in full if the project does not proceed. This should give you some added confidence that your money is protected if the unexpected happens.

Researching your builder is also easier. Under the new regulations, builders of RCCPs and vendors who wish to sell units in these projects must be registered with Tarion. This means that you are able to look them up on the Ontario Builder Directory on tarion.com.

So what happens if your rental apartment building is being converted into condos? These condos would not be eligible for coverage because the existing building was already built for residential living and converting the building doesn’t involve major changes. Most of the original components remain, with only minor changes made to the building.

This ONHWPA warranty coverage for RCCPs applies to projects where the first purchase agreement in the project is signed on or after Jan. 1, 2018.

If you have your eye on a new loft with a little more history to it, these changes will help you buy with confidence knowing that you now have a safety net. To learn more about this warranty coverage, you can visit Tarion.com or if you have questions, you can email customerservice@tarion.com.

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.

tarion.com

SHARE  

Featured Products


cl_jul19_cons_prot_fi

When the description of your condo doesn’t match the reality

Latest News


When the description of your condo doesn’t match the reality

Like an online dating profile that doesn’t quite match the person across the table, your new condo may not live up to all the hype in the marketing brochure. Maybe the floor space is a little less than expected or your kitchen island isn’t located where you expected it to be.

It can be an unwelcome surprise for new condo owners when the reality doesn’t exactly match the dream.

Dimensions are a common issue — often discovered when you show up with your trusty tape measure to figure out how to get all your furniture into a 600-sq.-ft. unit. To understand why your small condo might seem even smaller, it’s important to understand how floor space calculation works.

Let’s begin with the fact that builders aren’t required to include the square footage of condo units in their materials. It’s only if they voluntarily choose to include the information in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) that they need to follow certain calculation guidelines. In fact, what you may see in the sales materials is a standard clause along the lines of — “Actual usable floor space may vary from the stated floor area.”

Tarion’s Builder Bulletin 22 is an educational tool for new home builders that lays out the rules for calculating floor space. Floor plan measurements are based from the centre line of the common wall, or in a corner or end suite, to the exterior wall. That’s why your 10-by-12-ft. bedroom might end up with usable space more in the neighbourhood of 9.5 by 11 ft. Keep in mind that floor space may also be partially taken up by structural components or mechanical requirements.

But space might not be the only issue. It’s possible that things won’t necessarily be where they were on the floorplan or be quite as the marketing materials described. There can be many different reasons for this. For example, sometimes the municipality requires design changes or a one of the common element systems needs to be moved.

So, what can you do about it? When purchasing a new condo, read your APS and the feature sheet accompanying it. The marketing materials will give you an idea of what you are purchasing, but it’s nothing more than an “artist’s concept.” The details of what the builder will deliver must all be in the APS.

Your unit is covered by broad warranties but it’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered. When it comes to the size of the unit, for example, Tarion outlines only the approved method for calculating floor area. Warranty coverage doesn’t include floor area discrepancies or miscalculations.

You can expect some variance – up to two per cent is considered reasonable by Tarion. However, if you want recourse if the area is not as promised, you need to address this in your APS. Ensure that any commitments to square footage or other features are made in the APS and have a real estate lawyer familiar with condominium purchases review it. Remember that any promises, drawings or features that are in marketing material or made verbally by sales staff are not a commitment.

If you’re buying a new condo or have just taken occupancy and have questions about floor space calculation guidelines or warranty coverage, visit tarion.com, contact 1.877.9TARION or email customerservice@tarion.com.

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.

Tarion.com

SHARE  

Featured Products


h_jun19_cons_prot_fi

Homeowners’ Choice Award winners

Latest News


Homeowners’ Choice Award winners

Anyone buying a new home wants to make sure they’re choosing a great builder; one with experience, integrity, commitment and professionalism. One of the best ways to find that builder is by checking their references. If you hear great things from homebuyers who’ve had a terrific experience with a particular builder, then it’s reasonable to expect you’ll also have a positive experience.

The Homeowners Choice Awards are the ultimate reference check. They’re based on feedback from thousands of new-home buyers in Ontario who shared details of their customer service experience during the homebuying process on everything from signing the Agreement of Purchase and Sale through construction to after-sales service.

This year more than 54,500 newhome owners, who took possession between Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018, were invited to participate. The third-party research firm that manages the survey and tabulation process received more than 11,300 responses.

The survey results determined the 2019 Homeowners’ Choice Award winners, who are recognized for outstanding customer service in four builder categories: Small, Medium, Large Volume and Highrise.

There has to be enough data available to provide a full picture of a builder’s success in providing top-notch customer service. Builders need at least five new home possessions during the survey timeframe and they must be named in a minimum number of completed surveys in order to qualify for consideration.

When all the surveys were tabulated and the numbers crunched, there were 24 finalists for the four awards. Each of the 24 builders were cited for their responsive, positive approach to customer service. However, the award winners in each category were the builders, large and small, who were identified as consistently striving to create a positive, memorable home buying experience.

Let me tell you about our winners: The Small Volume category covers builders with between five and 20 possessions per year. This year’s winner is Chris King & Sons Construction of Kingsville.

Timberland Homes in Lasalle was named the winner in the Medium Volume category, which includes builders with 21 to 100 possessions per year.

In the Large Volume category (100- plus possessions each year) the winner is Hayhoe Homes in St. Thomas.

Finally, the winner of the Highrise category (100-plus possessions each year) is Brookfield Residential in Markham.

I’d like to thank the many thousands of new-home owners who took the time to tell us about their customer experience with Ontario’s builders.

In the best cases, buyers and builders have forged positive, enduring relationships through the buying, building and after-care process. And just as you’re happy to share a good experience when a friend asks for advice, more than 11,300 homeowners have been kind enough to share their good experience with you.

We’re grateful for their advice. This year, Tarion’s Board of Directors also chose a winner for the Ernest Assaly Award. This prestigious award, which a builder can only receive once in their career, is named after the first Chair of Tarion’s Board of Directors.

It’s intended to honour builders who stand head and shoulders above the crowd; those with a long record of accomplishment in customer service, social responsibility, workmanship, innovation and employee development.

Expectations are so high, in fact, that only a handful of builders are even considered for the award. I’d like to think that Ernest Assaly would be proud to know that this year’s winner of the award named for him is The Daniels Corporation.

In a world of Pinterest boards and online communities, it can sometimes be difficult to get the kind of dependable advice we all want when we’re making one of the biggest purchases of our life. The Homeowners’ Choice Awards represent a solid source of advice from the real experts: Ontario’s new homeowners.

Congratulations to all of our winners!

Howard Bogach is president and CEO of the Tarion Warranty Corp. tarion.com Facebook.com/TarionWarrantyCorp

SHARE  

Featured Products


h_may19_home_builder_fi

Inspecting your new home before it’s your home, the pre-delivery inspection

Latest News


Inspecting your new home before it’s your home, the pre-delivery inspection

When you buy a new car, one of the last steps before you drive it off the lot involves the salesperson showing you all the features of your vehicle and how they work. It’s the same with a new home. Before you get the keys, you and your builder will do a Pre-Delivery Inspection or PDI. This is an important step – not only does it familiarize you with your new home but it also helps you protect your warranty rights.

The PDI usually takes place a week or two before closing and involves a formal walk-through of the finished home with your builder. During this inspection, any defects, missing or non-functional items need to be noted on a PDI form. This form serves as a record of the state of the home when it was turned over.

Keep in mind however that this is not a warranty form.

Once you take possession, any issues that your builder has not resolved from your PDI – or any new issues that you’ve identified in your first month of ownership – should be recorded on a 30-Day warranty form and submitted to Tarion.

By far, the most common defects we see reported on the 30-Day forms are what are called ‘fit and finish’ issues. That can include scratches or scuffs on cabinetry or floors, cracked millwork, poorly-applied paint or uneven floor tiles.

These are all issues that can – and should – be identified during the PDI. If for example, you report gouges in your hardwood on your 30-Day form but it wasn’t on your PDI form, it may be hard to prove that they existed before you moved in. So here are a few tips to help you with your PDI:

  • Open and close all windows to be sure the latches work, screens are in place and windows slide freely on their tracks.
  • Make sure all doors are painted and that their locks work properly.
  • Look at the walls in each room to make sure there are no nail pops or visible seams. Check out the baseboard and woodwork around the doors to see if there are gaps that still need to be filled with caulking. Do all the light switches work? You should be checking each one. Check outlets with a small lamp or nightlight.
  • Test for squeaky floors as you walk around.
  • Check the bathtubs and sinks to make sure there are no scratches or chips.
  • Take photos of missing or damaged items. These will help with any future warranty claims.
  • If there’s construction debris, tarps or other things obstructing your view of areas of the home, it should be recorded on the form that you weren’t able to inspect that particular area.
  • Take your time, take a good look at everything and don’t let yourself be rushed. This is the time when a builder should be explaining how the appliances work, where you’ll find the water cut-off and how to operate your home’s mechanical and HVAC systems. We recommend that builders spend about one hour per 1,000 square feet on the PDI.

While your PDI is an opportunity to document the state of your home before you move in, once you take possession, your one-year, two-year and seven year warranties kick in. This warranty coverage is outlined in your Homeowner Information Package – something that your builder should provide you with either at the time of your PDI or when you receive the keys to your new home.

If they don’t, you can download a copy from tarion.com. If you have questions about the PDI or how to get the issues you may identify resolved, you can contact Tarion at 1.877.9TARION or email customerservice@tarion.com and our customer service team will be happy to help.

Howard Bogach is president and CEO of the Tarion Warranty Corp.
tarion.com
Facebook.com/TarionWarrantyCorp

SHARE  

Featured Products