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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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Opening the garage door to a bigger problem: a cracked foundation
December 8, 2015
Opening the garage door to a bigger problem: a cracked foundation

Sometimes the root of a problem goes much deeper than the eye can see. Or so Leslie (not her real name) learned when the exterior door leading into her garage wouldn’t close properly during her first winter in her new home.

Not one to let problems lie, Leslie immediately notified her builder, who came to Leslie’s home in the Spring to repair the split in the garage’s exterior brick wall and interior drywall that was causing the doorframe to buckle and preventing the door to function properly.


Without a properly functioning exterior door to the garage from her new home, Leslie knew something had to be done, so she turned to Tarion for their guidance and help.

A failed repair unveils a bigger issue

When the next winter rolled around, the brick wall began to split again. Within a month the inner drywall began to crack as well, compromising the exterior access door to the garage once again. Again, Leslie informed the builder, who then inspected the issue once again.

With none of the cracks in excess of two millimeters – the allowable limit under Tarion’s Construction Performance Guidelines – the builder felt justified to reject Leslie’s request to repair the issue.

Without a properly functioning exterior access door to the garage from her new home, Leslie knew something had to be done, so she turned to Tarion for their guidance and help.

Tarion came out to Leslie’s home to inspect the situation and, seeing that the problem went deeper than the less than two millimeters exposed crack, urged the builder to fix the problem.

Repair #2, and a new discovery

With the builder back on board, Tarion then worked with Leslie and her builder to agree to a repair schedule.

During their second repair attempt, the builder performed a more thorough assessment of the issue by excavating deeper into the ground beneath the interior access door. In doing so, a horizontal crack in the home’s foundation was discovered. To get to the root of the crack, the builder continued his excavation, which extended around two corners of the garage. In the end, a 20-foot long crack was found in the foundation.

“All I can say is thank God for Tarion,” Leslie said once the foundation was fully repaired.

Lessons Learned

Contact your builder right away if you discover an issue in your new home. Even if it seems minor, its best to get it checked out.
If repairs fail in the first year, notify your builder immediately.
Should discussions with your builder stall, contact Tarion to discuss your options so that you can find a reasonable resolution of your issue.

Do you have a story?

Did you have an issue with your newly built home or condo that Tarion helped resolve? If so, share it with us below, or contact us so other homeowners have the information they need to ensure their homes remain stable for years to come.

Tips for using Tarion

  • The new home warranty covers major structural defects for seven years. Watch our YouTube video to learn more about major structural defects.
  • While your builder is making repairs, it is important to follow these tips:
  • Provide reasonable access to your home during normal business hours, at a time mutually agreed upon in advance.
  • Document the situation, such as taking pictures of an item before and after repairs are completed is a good practice to follow.
  • If you have a concern with an item after your builder has made a repair, be sure to let them know as soon as possible so they can attempt to rectify the problem.
  • Do not make your own repairs on items you have or intend to put on a claim form. If it is determined that a homeowner in some way altered the builder’s work or undertook repairs themselves, then there may be no warranty coverage for that item.

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.