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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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How the Home Explorer tool can help you learn about your new home
November 22, 2018
Split screen of a kitchen half drawn and half in photo

You’ve just bought a fancy new snowblower and you’re anxious to get at driveway that is clearly in need of a plow. You’ve filed your warranty and perused the manufacturer’s online manual for instructions on how to operate it, but when you turn the key to start it up, nothing happens.

So, you go back online to trouble-shoot the issue and discover the problem may be the result of a manufacturing defect that fortunately is covered under warranty.

It’s no fun having to deal with an issue with a brand new piece of equipment. But just as Google can be your best friend for online help, so too can Tarion’s Construction Performance Guidelines when it comes to issues you encounter with your new home or condominium.

What the Construction Performance Guidelines are

These Guidelines, called the CPG for short, are an online guide as to how Tarion will decide disputes between you and your builder about defects in work or materials that are covered under your warranty. The CPG can be found on Tarion.com.

The CPG provides a workable, measurable and practical reference point for the most commonly encountered kinds of defects in new home construction. It is regularly reviewed and updated to keep pace with current building technology and construction practices  and is intended to complement and be consistent with the Ontario Building Code, but does not replace it.

We’ve recently introduced a new interactive version of the Guidelines that makes it easier for all of our stakeholders - particularly those who aren’t familiar with construction language - to find a potential defect and learn about whether it is or isn’t covered under the warranty. 

Home Explorer, illustrates the Construction Performance Guidelines room-by-room in a simulated home or condominium unit and allows you to browse for your potential defect.

This tool, called Home Explorer, illustrates the Construction Performance Guidelines room-by-room in a simulated home or condominium unit and allows you to browse for your potential defect. It’s important to note that condominium common elements are not included in this tool but can be looked up separately here.

How Home Explorer works

Here’s how Home Explorer works.

Let’s say you turn on the light switch in your bathroom and it doesn’t seem to work. How do you know if your warranty will cover this?

Once you enter Home Explorer, you first choose whether you are in a house/townhouse or in a condominium. If you select house/townhouse, it will then ask you to choose between interior and exterior.

You will choose interior, and then you can select the room with the problem. In this case, it’s the bathroom, so once you click on that, a picture of a bathroom will appear. You can either hover over the lights, the outlet or light switch in the diagram and click or simply click on “electrical” in the menu on the side.

Screen shot of Home ExplorerOnce you do that, the screen will identify the potential defect – in this case, “Electrical Outlets or Switches Don’t Work”. The information on the page will provide you with further detail, including:

  • Electrical outlets and switches must be installed in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications and the Ontario Electrical Safety Code;
  • The builder is obliged to repair them if they are not meeting the acceptable performance guideline;
  • Electrical systems and switches are covered for up to two years under the warranty;
  • Damage resulting from improper maintenance or additions, deletions or alterations made by the homeowner is excluded from the statutory warranty

The page also recommends you test your switches and outlets during your Pre-Delivery Inspection, just before you take possession of your new home.

Screenshot of Home Explorer optionsHome Explorer takes you through the same process for questions you may have for a host of potential defects – from cracks in the foundation, to scratched finishes on hardwood flooring to a leaky window.

Home Explorer provides you with exactly the same information about defects as you would find in the PDF version of the CPG on Tarion.com, just in a more user-friendly format.

So, if you are wondering whether an issue in your home or condo is covered under your warranty, visit the CPG page on our website. There you will have the option of using the PDF version or the interactive Home Explorer.

The more you understand about how your home is constructed and the warranty that covers it, the better equipped you’ll be to work with your builder to resolve any defects. 

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.