14Jun/10

CMHC Basement Renovation Guide

Remodelling your basement is one of the easiest and most cost-efficient ways of adding new living space to your house. Besides the traditional recreation room, more and more people are using basements for self-contained granny flats, rental suites or home offices.

No matter what the renovation purpose, ensuring that the space is clean, dry and healthy is a critical part of the project and something that must be done before anything else.

Common Situations

Moisture is the most common problem in basements; either entering from outside sources or being produced inside by the occupants activities. The soil around the walls can contain a large amount of moisture from surface water that is seeping down or from a high water table. Water can find its way inside by gravity or through a crack or flaw in the water protection layer of the foundation. Water can also be pulled up by a wicking action or pushed up by hydrostatic pressure from the soil under the walls or floor.

In summer, warm moist air from outside can enter the house and lead to condensation on the cool basement walls or floor. Daily activities also produce moisture that can be trapped inside the home.

Basement moisture problems often include:

Foundation cracks that leak.
Standing water.
Efflorescence (white, chalky stains).
Wet decaying wood in contact with concrete.
Damp or moldy walls or floor.
Condensation on windows, pipes and other fixtures.
Wet insulation.
Moisture damaged finishes.
Musty or damp carpets.
High humidity.
Stuffy, damp smells.

Healthy Housing Renovating is an ideal time to make your house healthier for you, the community and the environment. When assessing your renovation project, be sure to consider the five essentials of Healthy Housing.

House as a System

A house is much more than just four walls and a roof, its an interactive system made up of many components including the basic structure, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, the external environment and the occupants. Each component influences the performance of the entire system. A renovation provides an opportunity to improve how your house performs.

Basement moisture problems can have a huge effect on the durability of the entire house structure and on the indoor air quality (IAQ) throughout the house. Avoid Surprises Moisture problems are caused by a buildup of a variety of water sources. Whether it comes from surface or ground water that leaks in, water that wicks up or water vapour that condenses, it must be controlled. The easiest way to control moisture is to stop it from coming in and to exhaust the water vapour produced in the house to the outside.

Here are some of the likely situations that people encounter. However, every situation is unique. You may need to hire a qualified professional to do a thorough investigation, find the moisture problems and suggest the best solutions.

Do the roof, eavestroughs, downspouts and grading direct surface water away from the house?

Repair or replace a leaky roof.

Ensure that eavestroughs and downspouts with extensions direct water away from the building.

Slope the grade away from the house. A poor rain drainage system will continue to provide a large volume of water that can leak in or overwhelm basement drainage systems.

Do window wells drain freely? Install drainage below window wells. Water may accumulate in the wells, leading to possible leakage into the basement through or around the window.

Does water leak in through cracks in the foundation wall or floor? Patch small cracks from inside with cement-based material or use an injection-type foundation repair system. Fill large cracks from inside (and outside if possible) with hydroscopic material that expands as it dries. Consult a structural engineer or basement specialist concerning multiple, severe or expanding cracks. Water may penetrate cracks, continue to deteriorate the existing house, affect IAQ and any proposed renovations.

Severe or active cracks may be an indication of future structural problems or even present unsafe conditions Without exterior protection and drainage, water will eventually find its way inside. Are there any pools of water on the floor or damp spots on the walls?

Is there a working floor drain at the lowest point of the floor? Is there a working sump pump in a covered sump pit? Has the basement ever flooded? Dampproof or waterproof the outside of the foundation walls. Install a perimeter drainage system. Install a floor drain with a trap and a sump pump in a covered pit. Make sure that the sump cover is tightly sealed.

If future flooding seems unavoidable, do not install interior insulation or finishes that will be damaged by water. Without a floor drain, any water spilled inside cant get out. Working sump pumps may help, but open pits can be another source of humidity and soil gases. If future flooding is possible, interior insulation and finishes give mold a place to grow and will cause more difficulty and expense in flood clean up.

Is there a complete concrete floor? Install a concrete floor over a sealed polyethylene moisture barrier. Dirt floors are a huge source of moisture and soil gases.

Are there any white, chalky stains (efflorescence) on the walls or floor? Provide better drainage and dampproofing to the outside. Efflorescence indicates water evaporation of moisture that has wicked through the foundation wall. Continued efflorescence is a sign of ongoing moisture problems.

Are there any black, white or green mold stains or fuzzy growth on the walls or floor? Clean up mold according to CMHC guidelines. Remove the sources of moisture. Some molds are toxic. Clean up must be done carefully to avoid health hazards. Are there any wet or decaying wood windows, sill plates, columns or beam ends in contact with concrete? Replace decaying wood. Provide a capillary break between wood and concrete. Seek professional advice as damage may compromise structural strength. Wood in contact with concrete will continue to decay and will eventually result in structural problems. Are floor tiles lifting? Are carpets damp or musty? Damp concrete causes lifting floor tiles and damp carpets. Improve foundation drainage. Install a polyethylene moisture barrier over the concrete floor as part of a retrofit floor system. Replace carpets with hard surface flooring. Tiles wont stick to damp floors. Damp carpets will continue to be a haven for dust mites and mold.

Is there any wet insulation, framing or moisture damage on finished walls? Remove wet insulation or finishes. Fix the moisture source before refinishing. Materials that are wet from any source (leaks, capillary action or condensation) will get moldy and decay, leading to unsightly finishes, durability problems and hazards to health. Is there any condensation on windows, pipes or other surfaces? Is the air humid? Does it seem stuffy, damp or smelly? Are basement windows open in summer? Is a dehumidifier or air conditioning used in summer? Is there any ventilation or air circulation? Is the basement heated the same as the main floors? Does a clothes dryer in the basement exhaust outside, using a minimal length of duct? Is wet laundry hung to dry in the basement? Is firewood stored indoors?

Install energy-efficient windows, insulate cold water pipes and insulate walls (and floors, when possible) to achieve warm surfaces. High humidity plus cold surfaces results in condensation. Keep basements ventilated and heated. In summer, use a portable dehumidifier or air conditioning to reduce humidity. In warm, humid weather, keep basement windows closed. Run the furnace fan continuously to circulate house air. Provide ventilation to get rid of humidity. Run dryer exhausts directly outside. Do not hang wet laundry or store firewood inside. Opening basement windows during warm, humid weather will make basements wetter with no chance to dry out. Adding humidity to already damp basements will only make problems worse. High humidity will result in condensation on cold surfaces. Are there a lot of stored items in the basement? Get rid of unused items. Store items on shelves. Avoid storing in cardboard boxes that readily absorb moisture. Allow air to circulate. Too many stored items, especially on the floor, will allow hidden corners to get even wetter and encourage mold growth.

Rewards

Correcting foundation moisture problems can improve the durability of your home and eliminate some dangerous health hazards. A dry, clean basement space will provide a good starting point for your other planned renovations.

Skills to Do the Job

Some tasks such as a thorough basement cleanup dont require special skills. A homeowner with good fix-it skills may be able to do a lot of the other work too, including: Roof, eavestrough and downspout repairs. Grading and landscaping. Patching small basement cracks. Clean-up of small mold patches. Removing damp insulation, finishes or carpets. Insulating cold water pipes. Installing dryer venting. Installing storage shelves. Hire a professional renovator for exterior, below-grade water protection and drainage problems, large or moving foundation cracks, concrete placement or major structural repairs. You may also need a heating contractor to install heating, cooling and ventilation equipment.

01Jun/10

Midland Deck Building Guidelines – City of Midland Info

THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWN OF MIDLAND

DECK PERMIT GUIDELINES
BUILDING DEPARTMENT
575 Dominion Avenue
Midland, Ontario L4R 1R2
Tel: 705-526-4275
Fax: 705-526-9971
www.town.midland.on.ca
2
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE DECK PERMIT
Application Process……………………………………………….. 3
Contractor’s Obligation…………………………………………… 3-4
SUBMISSION CHECKLIST FOR DECK PERMIT…………………………………… 5
CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS
Deck Design Statement…………………………………………… 6
Requirements ……………………………………………………… 7
Beam Table ……………………………………………………….. 7
Floor Joist Span Table ……………………………………………. 7
Guards for Housing and Small Buildings
Extracts from the Ontario Building Code…………………………. 8
3
THE DECK PERMIT
This booklet provides the homeowner and the contractor with information on obtaining a deck
permit in the Town of Midland. Questions should be referred to the Building Department.
◄ APPLICATION PROCESS
The first step in the process is to obtain the deck permit guidelines and application form
from the Building Department located at Town Hall, 575 Dominion Avenue. Work
completed prior to an application review may not meet Building Codes and may need to
be redone.
The details of the deck design should be prepared following the guidelines for plan
drawings and structural elements that are provided in this booklet.
Along with the completed application form, the following documentation is required:
• Survey or site plan, drawn to scale, illustrating existing buildings/structures and
the proposed location of the deck.
• Plan Drawings (two sets)
• Completed deck design statement (included with application)
Plans should include:
• Overall deck size
• Beam size and location
• Post size and location
• Floor joist size and spacing, as well as the direction the joists are spanning
• Location and width of stairs (if applicable)
• Height of deck at highest point
• Type of guard (railing) system being used
◄ CONTRACTOR’S OBLIGATION
Signed Authorization
If a contractor will be building the deck and is applying on behalf of the homeowner, a
signed authorization from the homeowner is required (included with application).
Building Code Identification Number (BCIN)
A Building Code Identification Number, or BCIN, is the unique identifying number
assigned to individuals who file their qualifications with the Ministry of Municipal
Affairs and Housing. As of January 1, 2006, most designers who prepare documents to
be submitted with permit applications, required under the Building Code Act, and who
are not licensed architects must:
4
• Be registered with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
• Possess provincial qualifications
• Provide information about their qualification and registration on the permit
application form and on all design documents.
Homeowners who are preparing their own drawings for submission and take
responsibility for the design activities of the project are not required to have a BCIN
Number.
5
SUBMISSION CHECKLIST FOR DECK PERMIT
The complete application should include the following:
 Completed and signed Building Permit application
 Completed and signed Deck Design Statement
 Survey plan/site plan, drawn to scale illustrating existing buildings/structures and the
proposed location of the deck
 Two sets of plan drawings
 Signed authorization from homeowner (if applicable)
6
THE DECK DESIGN STATEMENT
Please ensure that the attached Deck Design Statement is
completed in conjunction with the Building Permit
Application.
7
CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS FOR DECKS
• Circular concrete piers to be a minimum of 10 inches in diameter and extend a minimum
of 48 inches below finished grade.
• Piers shall be placed on footing pads or be tapered out at the bottom by 50% to provide
proper bearing and to resist uplift.
• Footings or piers shall bear on undisturbed soil with a minimum bearing capacity of 1500
PSF.
• Size of piers may increase due to soil conditions or spacing.
• Support posts for beams to be a minimum 6 inches x 6 inches for all elevations over 5
feet, 11 inches.
• Anchorage to building with minimum ½ inch diameter bolts spaced not more than 16
inches apart. Deck is not permitted to be supported on brick veneer.
• Beam to post and post to base connections shall be securely fastened to resist uplift and
lateral movement.
• Beam sizes and floor joist sizes to be determined from span tables below. (Note:
minimum permitted joist size is 2 inches x 8 inches.)
• Guard height of 35 inches if top of deck exceeds 24 inches above grade or 42 inches if
top of deck exceeds 5 feet, 11 inches. Guards shall be non-climbable and vertical
balusters shall be spaced no more than 4 inches apart. Provide handrails on stairs if there
are more than 3 risers. Wood guard posts to be a minimum 4 inches x 4 inches (solid).
• Deck blocks can only be used where the deck is not attached to the house, the deck is less
than 55m2 (592 ft2) and the distance from the finished ground to the under side of the
floor joists is not more than 600 mm (23 5/8″).
NOTE: All deck guards shall meet the requirements of the Ontario Building Code SB-7
Supplementary Guidelines or be designed by Part 4 of the Ontario Building Code
(Engineered Drawings).
BEAM TABLE FLOOR JOIST SPAN TABLE
DEPTH OF
LINTELS
MAXIMUM
ALLOWABLE
SPANS
JOIST SIZE
SPACING
SPAN
2 – 2″ x 8″ 5′- 5″ 2″ x 8″ 12″ o/c 11′ – 7″
2 – 2″ x 10″ 6′ – 8″ 16″ o/c 11′ – 0″
2 – 2″ x 12″ 7′ – 8″ 2″ x 10″ 12″ o/c 13′ – 8″
3 – 2″ x 8″ 7′ – 3″ 16″ o/c 13′- 0″
3 – 2″ x 10″ 8′ 2″ x 12″ 12″ o/c 15′ – 7″
3 – 2″ x 12″ 10′ – 3″ 16″ o/c 14′- 10″
These tables have been provided for your convenience. All plans to be reviewed by the local
Building Department prior to construction.
General Notes:
1. Site plan or survey is required showing all lot lines, dimensions, size and location of all
existing buildings, proposed location and size of deck.
2. All lumber used must be stamped and graded No. 2 or better quality.
3. Maximum cantilever (overhang) for 2″ x 8″ joists is 16″ and for 2″x 10″ joists is 24″.
4. 5/4″ decking material is only permitted when supported by joists on 16″ centers.
***The above information has been compiled from the Ontario Building Code and applicable laws***
8
Guards for Housing and Small Buildings
Supplementary Standard SB-7
Extracted from the Ontario Building Code
9
CANTILEVERED PICKET GUARDRAIL
4″x 4″ support post at Continuous 2″x 6″ guard
junction between stair and deck.
Two 3″ #7 screws at each picket
4′-0″ on centre max.
Handrail construction to match
cantilevered picket rail construction. 4″maximum opening
2 ½”corrosion resistant spiral
nails or screws typical.
3 rows of 3″nails at 12″ on
centre.
Dropped framing member into
which each stringer is end nailed
using 3″ nails maximum. 2′-11″ between stringers.
2 – 3/8″ diameter thru bolts with
1 ¼″ outside diameter washers.
2″ x 4″wood blocking at 4′-0″ on centre
minimum between stringers.
Stringers anchored to precast concrete.
Cantilevered Picket Notes:
1. Provide a minimum of 10 pickets beyond the return if end restraint of the guard is provided by this return detail
only. Otherwise, a post is required (see post anchoring above).
2. Pre-drill pilot holes in pickets to avoid splitting.

Typical Stair Construction Notes:
1. Provide a handrail 35″ to 38″high on stairs if more than three risers. Provide a guard on both sides of stair where
stair exceeds 6 risers.
2. All steps to be equal rise and run between landings.
Minimum rise = 4 7/8″ vertically Maximum rise = 7 7/8″ vertically
Minimum tread = 9 ¼” horizontally Maximum tread = 14″ horizontally

31May/10

Successfully Selling Your House Tips

Successfully Selling Your House Tips
Selling Your Home QuestionsBefore you can start packing up clothes and furniture for a big move, you must first prepare your home to be sold. Since you want to sell your house at a fair price, the surest way to bring in what it deserves is to present your house at its best.

First off, you are going to want to remove any clutter or junk from the house. If you need to, rent a storage unit to put some items in or extra furniture. You probably do not need all the furniture you have, and you can certainly make the house look more spacious without all of it.

As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that if you have not used something in over a year, you probably never will. Get rid of everything you do not use or need by either donating or throwing it away. If you are feeling especially ambitious, you may even consider having a yard sale, which will help offset the upcoming costs of moving.

Never leave around too many of your personal belongings. People tend to have too many of these things and you want to keep your home as neat as possible. If these items are strewn about your home, potential buyers may get turned off.

If you have any personal items lying about your home, you should put them away for potential buyers. Not everyone shares the same opinion and views on certain topics, so it is best to avoid debates or anything that may turn the potential buyer off. If you want to take that extra little step, go ahead and paint the walls a neutral color.

Organize your cabinets, drawers, closets, and medicine cabinets. Remember that homebuyers often open these to check how much space there is. Again, you want to present your home at its best, not its sloppiest. Line items up neatly and label boxes and containers appropriately.

Finally, maintain the outside of your home. Keep the lawn mowed and foliage trimmed. Touch up any spots on the house that need paint. Consider planting flowers to spruce up your yard and pull weeds.

Try to make your place as attractive as possible. It should feel like a place prospective buyers want to buy. Remove anything that may make them second guess their purchase, especially very personal items, like photos, so they can imagine what it would be like as their new home.

Buyers in the Alliston area will require a professional home inspector.

08Mar/09

Professional Cottage and Chalet Inspections

 Professional Cottage and Chalet Inspections

Protect your investment in recreation properties by having a Building Code Qualified inspector assess your property. We offer the experience, training and latest equipment to ensure your property does not have any hidden surprises. We have over 9 years of experience in cottage and chalet inspections and we even do “boat access” inspections. (you supply boat)

Cottage Inspections

Cottage Inspections

Our inspections include Free Wett inspection for wood burning appliances and a Free Thermal Scan which will find heat loss, hidden moisture problems, over-heating of wiring and mould. With over 27 years of combined construction and inspection experience and over 2,000 residential home inspections we offer a 100% Money-Back guarantee if not completely satisfied.

Feel free to call and ask us about problems with your cottage or chalet at no charge. We provide assistance to many home owners who call in with problems, some even call us to explain their home inspection report that our competitors provide, we are always happy to help. We have written many articles on the different systems of cottages, homes and commercial buidings and we welcome you to browse through and look for items of interest. Visit our Home Owners Tips and Advice site and benefit from our expertise and training.

We are available 7 days a week for inspections and even work weekends. We actualy prefer to inspect cottage properties on weekends as it allows us to visit new areas and enjoy the local parks and scenery. No matter what your location our service are probably available to you, we are just a phone call away. Call Roger at 705-795-8255 or Toll Free at 1-888-818-8608

What We Bring to Your Cottage or Chalet Inspection

3 Ladders – 30 ft, 24 ft and 12 ft
Thermal Imaging Camera – Infrared detection of moisture, heat loss or overheating conditions
Moisture Meter – Up to 1 inch penetration of most building materials
2 Levels – 6 ft and 4 ft
Complete tool set – wrenches, screwdrivers, pry bars, shovels
Combustible Gas Detector
LED Snake and Colour Monitor (inspecting holes and other areas without damage)
Electric circuit checker and measuring device
Building Code Qualified Inspector – Certified by Ontario Building Officials Association

When Only the Best Will Do ! Call Roger at 1-888-818-8608 or 705-795-8255

Structural Concerns

Most smaller cottages are supported by piers and columns situated on top of bedrock. As long as water and frost heaving are not an issue this is an adequate support. Many cottages are prone to movement due to water being trapped where supports are located, allowing freezing action to move your cottage supports in the winter months…not a good situation if you happen to have drywall or other materials that will crack and become a visual eye sore. Newer and larger cottages will normally have their piers or foundations sunk down below the “Frost line” which is normally below 4 feet. This prevent the “frost heaving” effects of supports that are located on pads or similar support.

Winterizing Cottages

Many people have turned their single season cottage into a year round home or cottage. This is definately a way to recoup the costs involved with maintaining a cottage and can allow you full use of your second home. Insulation and vapour barriers are two items that are very important to your buildings health. Older cottages were not built with any concern for a buiding envelope and this is now going to be a major concern with adding insulation etc. After deciding what type of insulation you want to install, you have to determine how you are going to ensure that your insulation will not become wet and mouldy from moisture passing through it. This is where your vapour barrier comes into play, minimum code requirement is 6 mm of poly on the warm side of your wall in cold climates. This barrier prevents warm moist air from passing through your insulation where it will meet the cold air and turn to moisture, this is call the “dew point” and this is exactly what your vapour barrier is designed to prevent. In a perfectly built house all exterior surfaces, except for windows and doors, are sealed tight by 6 mm poly and even your electrical boxes are wrapped and sealed to prevent moisture from entering your wall cavity.

Insulation

There is no preferred insulation although personally I prefer blown in cellulose, this is mainly because rodents tend to avoid this type of insulation due to the chemical fire retardent used to create it. Usually 9 out of 10 homes with fiberglass blown in have signs of rodent activity in their attic. Apparently field mice can walk right up your exteiror wall, so I have been told. Electronic devices are available to keep un-wanted intruders from your attic. Vermiculite insulation was probably added to more cottage attics than any other type of insulation for small additions and renovations. There is multiple lawsuits that are now being settled based on the asbestos located in vermiculite insulation. Asbestos was mainly found in vermiculite produced in the Libby Mine in Montana and was sold under the Trade Name Zonolite. Visit Barrie Home Inspector site for complete information. Many homes, chalets and cottages have vermiculite insulation underneath fiberglass batts or blown in insulation so it is important to check prior to purchasing…many people have been shocked that their inspector failed to identify this potential health hazard.

Electrical

Many insurance companies will not insure a cottage, chalet or home that does not have a 100 amp service panel installed. Older cottages and homes may have had a lot of “handy man” additions made to the service and sometimes this additions are downright dangerous…for example the latest venture that I uncovered was a 60 amp service with a 100 amp sub-panel fed directly off the 60 amp bus bars. When in doubt have the ESA inspect your electrical installation and if there were recent renovations to property you are purchasing were the proper permits taken out….this can save you future grief and worries.

Ventilation

Many people have their own ideas how an attic should be insulated and some do not even understand the basics of proper ventilation. Your attic, if properly designed, insulated and ventilated should be the same temperature as the outside air. Proper ventilation allows any warm humid air that escapes through your ceiling insulation and vapour barrier to be removed bycombined air intakes and exhaust vents. By code 25% of ventilation must come from the bottom of your roof and 25% from the top, most people just use the soffit and top and are not concerned with adding ventilation in between, unless your have a multi-tiered roof. Turbines, ridge vents, gable vents and passive roof vents can all be used to ventilate the top of your roof. I personally like the passive or ridge vent systems. You require 1 square foot of ventilation for every 300 square feet of roof which is divided by bottom and top, so not a big requirement. Turbine vents even pull more air out of your attic but personally I find that they allow too much snow and rain into the attic. During most of my attic inspections there is always a little pile of snow or wet spot on the insulation underneath the turbine vents, even in my own home. There is not enough to cause any damage and I personally have never seen a ceiling stain or sign of moisture that was attributed to turbines, but it is my personal preference to use passive vents, they are quiet and don’t let in moisture. They make roof vents now that are hurricane proof and types that use natural wind to increase ventilation with no moving parts. As usual you normally get what you pay for.

Watch for more articles concerning cottage and chalet inspections.

Written by Roger Frost

Cottage Inspector

23Jun/08

Pre-Delivery Inspections Barrie New Homes

Pre-Delivery Inspections Barrie New Homes.  Many of the pre-delivery inspections that I do are usually delayed because the builder tries to deny access to the buyer when he has a home inspector with him. Sadly, this is not the way things are supposed to work. I always ensure the buyer notifies the builder in writing as required by the Tarion rules.

HOME INSPECTORS ARE PERMITTED TO ATTEND PRE-DELIVERY INSPECTIONS.

tarion are they doing their jobBuilder Bulletin #42 from the Tarion Warranty Program issued August 2003 states that all new home owners whose homes have a possession date after Oct. 1, 2003 are entitled to bring a home inspector with them to their pre-delivery inspection with the builder. In the past many builders have flatly refused to allow home inspectors to attend this very crucial inspection with their clients. Builders can no longer say this, they must allow a Home Inspector to attend if the client wishes.
Some builders have stated that they will not permit inspectors or that either the client or the inspector may attend but not both – This is not the case and this very important Builder Bulletin clearly states on page 5:

“Builder Responsibilities… 2. Make an appointment with the purchaser well in advance to conduct a PDI at a time that is mutually convenient. Purchasers may attend in person, send a designate to conduct the PDI on their behalf or attend with their designate.”

It is an owners right to have a professional home inspector act as a designate in order to protect their investment. If your builder still insists it is not allowed, we suggest that you quote Builder Bulletin # 42 dated August 15, 2003 and effective Oct. 1, 2003. Should your builder still refuse to allow your inspector to attend, you may want to contact the Tarion Warranty Office and your lawyer in this regard.
Read this important Builder Bulletin#42 completely (but especially pages 4-5) prior to closing in order that you fully understand your homeowner rights under the Tarion Warranty Program and that you fully comply with all their requirements and deadlines. Experience tells us that those homeowners who don’t fully understand the Tarion process have often found their pleas for help falling on deaf ears. You must comply with all Tarion requirements if you want the system to work for you. We strongly recommend that you visit www.tarion.com to ensure that you fully comprehend your obligations under this program. Just one example of this is the need to continually repeat all outstanding issues pertaining to your new home, each and every time you submit forms to Tarion- otherwise they may assume that all previous defects have been remedied (it’s in the fine print, so make certain that you read it all!).

If you waive your right to having home inspection representation, you may encounter difficulties in trying to prove that any deficiencies existed in your home unless reported as such to the Tarion Warranty Program at the opportunities that they permit – the Pre-delivery Inspection (PDI), 30 days after delivery and at 11 months just prior to your one year anniversary date.

If you are thinking of buying, or have already bought a new home, we strongly suggest that you visit the Canadians For Properly Built Homes website to understand some of the problems that may arise out of new home ownership. This consumer group occasionally offers outstanding seminars for new home buyers that should not be missed!

Just one of the common problems I often encounter is lack of insulation in the attic. Whether from blow back from soffits being open during insulation installation or just poor installation, this is not something you want to ignore when buying a new home. As the Barrie Home Inspector I recently inspected a new home and found only 7 inches of insulation in a lot of low areas in the attic; the certificate indicated 10.4 inches of insulation. Even settling could not account for over 3 inches of missing insulation.

Your local building department does not have the staff to visually inspect every home throughout its construction. Your builder hires sub-contractors to do most of the work. This very process invites poor construction and shoddy workmanship. It is left up to the home owner to identify and have the builder correct all these areas that may or may not have been overlooked or missed.

Once you have signed your PDI form, you basically accept the home except for those defects you have identified. This is why it is so important to have a trained professional identify these items and place the responsibility on the builder to have them rectified.

“Caveat Emptor” — Buyer Beware and remember this also goes for your home inspector – ensure he has the qualifications and experience to represent you. Always verify his experience and references….

An excerpt from Tarion’s site concerning the builders responsibilities for the Pre-delivery inspection…

PART B: THE PRE-DELIVERY INSPECTION (PDI)
On or before the date of possession, the builder is required to conduct a PDI of the home with (at the
purchaser’s option): (i) the purchaser; or (ii) the purchaser’s designate; or (iii) both the purchaser and
his/her designate, and to complete the CCP (and Warranty Certificate) and the PDI Form with the
purchaser, or with the purchaser’s designate if the purchaser is not attending the PDI.
The PDI Form is designed to capture deficiencies in the home at the time of possession, including items inside and outside the home that are incomplete, damaged, missing, or not operational, or items that cannot be assessed because they are obscured from view or are inaccessible.

Builders may use their own PDI form, instead of Tarion’s standard PDI Form, provided that it contains, at minimum, all of the information that is contained in Tarion’s standard PDI Form. The PDI itself should be as thorough as reasonably possible. The builder should take this opportunity to explain how the home and its systems work, which may prevent some customer service calls in the
future.

Most of the builders representatives do their best to mis-lead buyers about the importance of the PDI inspection and try and relegate most items to the 30 day list. Then the home is in possession of the buyer and they can not be held as liable as when the home is in their possession. They cannot dispute claims when they have possession on the home.