The new home construction industry is more than buying a house or condo. It is an education on how to be a savvy home owner. There is more to buying a house than just signing the Agreement of Purchase and Sale after you have found your dream home. You need to know “the rules”.
Builders have timelines that they have to adhere to when fixing deficiencies. They are only required to repair items that are considered “warranted”. This is where the education begins. Homeowners need to understand what is warranted and what is not. Homeowners need to be aware of what the builder is responsible for and what they are responsible for. I worked on a site where a homeowner called to tell me that they found mold around their bath tub. Of course I went over to take a look. My first question when I arrived was, “are you keeping the edges of the tub clean and dry”? The homeowner informed me that they were not doing that. They thought that the builder would take care of this sort of thing because they were still within their first year of warranty. Well, as you probably know, the builder did not address this issue. Maintaining your home is your responsibility. A homeowner cannot expect the builder to clean up problems that were caused by them. I also received a call from a homeowner who wanted me to come and look at a couple of isses that they were having in the bathroom (that seems to be a common theme). When I arrived at the house, I could not believe my eyes. The house was less than 6 months old and it looked like a hoarder house. There truly was no room to walk expect for a path that led to the stairs. When I got up to the bathroom, I am not exaggerating, the toilet was BLACK inside. I asked the homeowners when it was last cleaned and they admitted, never. In a siutation like this, a builder can refuse to enter the house to do work until it is cleaned up. This can be a danger to the trades. These are extreme examples, but you get the picture. Homeowners are responsible to take care of their own home.
Builders do have a responsibility to repair all warranted items, and items that are listed on the PDI. They have a responsibility to their homeowners to have everything done within the timelines given to them by Tarion Warranty Corporation. Builders are expected to treat their homeowners with respect, and to do their due diligence to make sure that items are resolved according to builders standard.
Being a savvy homeowner makes for a stress free experience. There is so much to learn and as you all know, knowledge is power. Take the time to get educated, even if you have purchased from a builder in the past.