Builders may take short cuts with new homes

November 29 2011 by Ellen Roseman

When buying a newly built house, you get a new home warranty to cover problems arising in the first few years. At least that’s the case in many Canadian provinces.

Yes, you do have to pay for the warranty, but it’s a measure of protection that you don’t get when buying an older house. And with the Ontario plan, you even get compensation for extraordinary delays in taking possession of the property.

Still, I often hear complaints about Tarion Warranty Corp., the non-profit corporation that administers the Ontario plan. I wrote a column recently that talked about the inadequate heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems installed in some newly built houses.

I asked readers to tell me if they had faced similar issues — or any others involving quality of construction — when buying their dream homes.

How easy was it to get their repairs done under warranty? How satisfactory were their dealings with Tarion? What reforms would they like to see?

Many new home buyers, as well as people working in the HVAC trades, told me about problems they had encountered with HVAC systems and overall building standards.

I’ll give you some of their comments below.