Attention new home owners. We know you’ve waited a long time to finally move into your home and make it your own. But we offer these words of advice: Hold off on doing any renovations or repairs. Since your new home is under warranty, it’s your builder’s responsibility to take care of any defects which you identify. What’s more, renovating a new home can actually jeopardize your warranty rights.
We’ve all heard the expression: “If you to need something done well, do it yourself.” But if you are a new homeowner, it’s actually best to have your builder handle the work. The same caution applies to having other trades work on your house. The new home warranty is a builder’s warranty. As soon as you, or someone other than your builder, starts renovating or repairing your new home, the warranty is in peril.
While the warranty is provided by your builder, it is backed by Tarion. It includes protection against defects in workmanship and materials, violations of the Ontario Building Code as well as major structural defects. If you notice defects in your new home, make sure you follow the warranty process. Submitting warranty forms can be done online, and it will trigger a mandatory builder repair period. Any alterations, deletions, or additions made by the homeowner are excluded from the warranty. So if you make the repairs yourself, they won’t be covered.
The same is true for renovations. If you are thinking of finishing your basement, put those thoughts on hold. Many builders include a clause in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale that states you should not finish your basement within the first two years of possession, as the foundation needs time to settle. What’s more, if a renovation damages an item under warranty, then that item will no longer be covered.
So what happens if you experience an issue that needs urgent repairs? Both your builder and Tarion have emergency contact information and procedures in place to handle these situations. Only if you cannot reach your builder or Tarion, should you hire another contractor. In that case, ensure the contractor provides a detailed report of the emergency problem and provides an invoice explaining the method of repair.
While repairs and renovations should wait, regular and proper maintenance should start right away. Your Homeowner Information Package, provided by your builder and available online at Tarion.com, includes a complete home maintenance checklist. Year-round maintenance is essential to ensuring your home stays healthy, and your warranty rights are protected.
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