Almost all new homes built in Ontario fall under the Tarion Warranty program; however, most new home owners do not receive the full benefits of the warranty. Home buyers should realize that; no house is perfect, any work/repairs made to the house cut into the builder’s profit and that Tarion will only get involved if there instructions/rules are strictly followed and the problem has been documented. Only an independent registered home inspector, trained in new construction inspection, working for the home owner will ensure that full benefits of the Tarion warranty are provided to the home owner.
After two years of working for new home owners I have observed the following:
Some owners do not fill out their 30 day warranty form. Some of the reasons I heard are;
- Builder said wasn’t necessary; just tell him/her about the problem?
- Too busy, would fill out form when they found the time.
- PDI (pre-delivery inspection) form already filled out.
- Did not know that it was required.
What these homeowners do not realize is that if the 30 day form is not completed and submitted on time, that Tarion assumes that there are no problems with the home and the warranty is closed. Items on the PDI form are only valid warranty items if they are document on the 30 day form. The home owner will get another kick at the can at the one year mark. This means that they have to live with the problem(s) for additional eleven months and if the problems are cosmetic, there is a greater chance that the warranty claims will be denied.
The 1 year warranty form is the home owner’s last chance to receive full benefits under the Tarion warranty. Again timing is critical; one day late and full coverage portion of the warranty is closed. Warranty claims can be made after the one year mark; however there are severe limitations on items that are covered under the warranty after the first year.
The new home buyer deserves a house free from defects and only by using a registered home inspector trained in new construction inspection will he/she move closer to this goal. The inspector’s special training in the Tarion Construction Performance Guidelines along with his experience in re-sale homes will ensure that the appropriate items are included on the forms. A proper new construction inspection actual takes longer than a re-sale home inspection, as it is more detailed. This early warranty period is when you want to find the issues so that repairs can be made by the builder and not become the financial responsibility of the home owner.
Unfortunately some issues will not be covered and the inspector will be able to identify these items so that the home owner can approach the builder and the builder may correct these items as a gesture of goodwill. This is why the reputation of the builder is so important; the right builder can make the difference between a delighted new home owner and the person who vows never to buy a new home again.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions
Paul Christensen RHI, NCI