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    The Open Door Blog


Whether you own a new home or condo, are considering buying one, or just love to dream about it, the Open Door blog is here to share stories that can help you protect what is likely the biggest investment of your life.

The Open Door blog is published by Tarion, a non-profit corporation that administers Ontario’s New Home Warranty Plan and registers all new home builders in Ontario. Click here to learn more about us.


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Little house, big problems
September 5, 2017
Little house, big problems

Imagine this scenario: You have a piece of land in the country and decide to finally build the small home you’ve been dreaming about for years. You hire a builder who completes the framing, rough plumbing, and most windows and doors. Your little piece of paradise in the country is becoming a reality.

You pay the builder for his work, but a month later notice he isn’t following your plans or sticking to his original quote. Worse, there are structural and construction deficiencies. You take your concerns to the local municipality, who orders you to hire a structural engineer to assess the building. The engineer confirms severe building code and construction issues. Your builder refuses to fix anything and walks off the job site. Your little dream home in the country is turning into a nightmare.

This unfortunate series of events happened to Raj and Nancy (not their real names). When their engineer found the cost to fix the issues was higher than the cost to tear down their home, they turned to Tarion for help. The first step towards getting their dream home back on track was to submit a Financial Loss claim.

Little house, big problems

With the homeowners’ protection a priority, Tarion hired experts to conduct a third inspection.

When the builder received his copy of the claim, he hired his own engineer who admitted that the home had some issues but believed they could be fixed at a reasonable cost. With the homeowners’ protection a priority, Tarion hired experts to conduct a third inspection. This inspection found structural deficiencies in areas from the foundation to the roof, and concluded that even with the corrections, the home would not be what the homeowners expected or planned.

Tarion calculated the value of the work and materials supplied by the builder and then subtracted the repair costs, finding the couple had overpaid the builder by $40,000. Due to this, they were eligible to receive that amount from Tarion, which is the maximum amount of Financial Loss compensation available.

What if this happens to you?

  1. Stop all work on your home. Don’t try to find someone else to continue work or fix defects that your builder may have caused. For your claim to be considered, Tarion needs to assess your home in the state it was in when your builder stopped working.
  2. Submit a Financial Loss claim to Tarion. We will consider the terms of the contract with your builder, why it ended, how far along the construction was completed, and how much you have already paid to the builder. Remember to always keep a record of all payments you make to your builder, as you’ll need to present copies of payments to help prove the builder failed to satisfy his end of the contract. If you’re able to prove your builder failed to do this and received more than the value of the work and materials provided, Tarion may compensate you for the difference to a maximum of $40,000. And then you can get back to building the home of your dreams.

The goal of this blog is to provide you with general information about the warranty process by sharing real experiences from new homeowners. The blog should not be relied upon as legal advice. For privacy reasons, we will not address or resolve current cases in a public forum, so any comments or questions that are posted on this site that describe individual cases cannot be discussed. If you have a question about your warranty or Tarion generally, we would be pleased to discuss your issue, in the context of your particular circumstances and in confidence. We exercise reasonable care to avoid offensive, illegal or defamatory content from being posted, as well as comments that are intended solely for self-promotion or considered to be spam.