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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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Water belongs in the shower. Not your basement.
September 8, 2015
Water belongs in the shower. Not your basement.

Tarion helps to solve an improper repair.

Anyone who has moved into a new home understands that everything becomes a first. The first night. The first dinner party. The first birthday. Unfortunately, some firsts can also be problems. When Bill and Jane (not their real names) had their first flood, it wasn’t the kind of first-time experience they bargained for in their newly constructed house. When they had their second flood in less than three years they knew it was time to take action.

Flooding in your basement? Call your builder.

Bill and Jane loved having the extra space their basement provided but were tired of holding their breath every time it rained. So they called their builder to request the necessary repairs. The builder believed that the water problem was connected to the weeping and drainage system and started breaking up the basement floor with jackhammers.

Having doubts? Call in an expert.

While they were glad that the builder was at least trying to fix their leaky basement, Bill and Jane weren’t convinced that the weeping system was the source of the problem. They decided to hire an engineering firm to come in and assess the basement to confirm or refute the builder’s suspicions. The engineers’ report said Bill and Jane were right – fixing the weeping and drainage system would not be the long-term solution they needed. Which, of course, meant that the builder had spent lots of time and money trying to fix the problem in the wrong way. Not surprisingly, putting the brakes on the repair created a bit of a standoff between Bill and Jane and their builder.


Even though it wasn’t warranted, Tarion recognized that this was a serious issue, and helped Bill and Jane find a long-term solution.

Need help? Call Tarion.

That’s when Bill and Jane called Tarion. They filed a Major Structural Defect form thinking that the problem – now identified by an engineering firm – should be covered by their new home warranty. Tarion investigated and determined that, actually, the issue was not a Major Structural Defect. And that’s a good thing! A Major Structural Defect can have a significant impact on your home and requires extensive repairs. Even though it wasn’t warranted, Tarion recognized that this was a serious issue, and helped Bill and Jane find a long-term solution so they could begin enjoying their basement again without worry. Tarion followed up with the builder and homeowners, got them past the standoff and helped make sure the right repairs were completed. Taking care to keep the repairs in line with the building code, the builder also made sure that the repairs were inspected by the local municipality. The repair passed and Bill and Jane once again have a dry basement without cringing every time rain is part of the weather forecast.

Lessons learned:

  1. Builders don’t know everything but good builders hang in for the long haul. The important thing from the builder’s point of view was getting the water out of Bill and Jane’s basement and keeping them happy.
  2. You have a new home warranty. Get to know it and your responsibilities under it. Bill and Jane were in the third year of their new home ownership. The warranty for Major Structural Defects extends to the end of the 7th year. It’s terrific that Bill and Jane knew about their warranty, that they were informed and that they reached out to us.
  3. Houses are complicated. There are thousands of interconnected pieces and materials that go into houses. Finding problems and then figuring out the right solution takes time. Stay calm and be patient. In the end that is the fastest way to repair problems.

What’s your story?

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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.