If the Agreement of Purchase and Sale or construction contract ("purchase agreement") included the right to select certain items of construction or finishing, such as colours and styles, these usually cannot be substituted without the purchaser's written consent.
In addition, if the purchase agreement states that the new home will include a particular item (such as a certain model of appliance, or a particular brand of window), but does not give the purchaser the right to make a selection, these items can only be substituted with items of equal or greater quality.
If the builder substitutes a selected item without the purchaser's consent, the purchaser can demand that the items be changed to what was originally selected or that the builder make a cash settlement. Examples include:
Interior and exterior paint colours (not shadings)
Design and colour of cabinets and counter tops
Colour and type of kitchen and bath fixtures
Style of interior trim
Homeowners should contact the builder or seek the advice of a lawyer if they feel that an unauthorized substitution has occurred.
The Process for Making Selections
- The purchaser is responsible for making the selections required within 30 days of the purchase agreement, or within any other time as agreed between the purchaser and the builder.
- If the builder cannot supply a purchaser’s selection, the purchaser must be notified in writing.
- The purchaser is then responsible for making another selection within 7 days of receiving the notice from the builder, or within any other time as agreed between the purchaser and the builder.
- If the purchaser does not make the original selection in time, or does not make new selections within 7 days, the builder has the right to substitute options of equal or better quality.