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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In most cases, the pre-delivery inspection – or PDI for short – is the first opportunity for you to walk through your newly purchased house or condo. It can also be a little intimidating – after all, most of us aren’t experts in home construction.
So it’s no surprise that you’ll have a huge list of questions about the PDI – like who is involved, what will occur during the process, and what to look out for. But have no fear – Tarion can help you find the answers to these questions and more.
What is the purpose of a PDI?
When your builder considers the home to be move-in ready, you’ll have the chance to inspect your new home before you get the keys. The PDI gives purchasers an opportunity to identify any items that are damaged, incomplete or missing.
When you arrive at your new home, your builder representative will give you a walkthrough so you can examine everything from the interior space to the exterior structure. For example, if you’re inspecting your kitchen, you can open the drawers and cabinets, examine the countertop for scratches, turn on the taps, and test that all the lights are functioning.
Your PDI is also a great opportunity to learn how to operate the various systems in your home, such as heating and electrical. When your builder is giving you a tutorial on your home systems, be sure to pay close attention – if these systems are improperly used, it could potentially affect your warranty coverage.
What documents should I be aware of?
During your inspection, both you and your builder will be recording items that are damaged, incomplete or missing on the Pre-Delivery Inspection Form. When the inspection is over, your builder’s rep will ask you to sign it and will provide you with a copy.
Before you sign, carefully review this form, which will serve as an official record of the condition of your home before you moved in. Make sure you hold onto your copy – you may need to refer to it if you end up making a warranty claim.
If you and your builder disagree about whether an item should be put on the PDI Form, document the item and inform Tarion as soon as possible. Take a photo of the item and explain the situation in a short letter and upload the documents on your MyHome account once you’ve registered.
If you would like to see a preview of a PDI Form, you can download it online – just search “PDI Form” in the Resources section of our Publications Library. Builders can either use this form created by Tarion, or their own.
The Certificate of Completion and Possession is another important document that you’ll receive from your builder during the PDI. It states your home’s enrolment number with Tarion and the date your new home warranty begins. You’ll need this important document when you create your MyHome account. Just like the PDI Form, your builder will give a copy to you – and one to Tarion.
Resolving your PDI items
Items recorded on your PDI Form should be addressed by your builder as quickly as possible, but it’s very important to remember that a PDI Form is not a Statutory Warranty Form. If you’ve moved into the home and the recorded items are still not addressed, make sure to list them on your 30-Day warranty form and submit it to Tarion – only then can Tarion step in to assist with resolving those items if needed.
If after you move in you realize that you missed something at your PDI, document it, take a photo of it and communicate it immediately to your builder and Tarion. Keep a record of that communication and, again, once you get registered on MyHome, upload these things to your account and make sure to include the item on your 30-Day warranty form.
Who participates in the PDI?
Tarion is not directly involved at this stage and will not be present at the PDI – it’s between you and your builder. The following are those who might be present at a typical PDI:
- Builder’s representative – One or more staff from your builder must be present for your PDI to take place. Since this is the first time you’re seeing your new home, your builder’s representative will be responsible for conducting the inspection and walking you through your home. If you’re dealing with a small-volume builder, this might even be the owner of the company.
- Home inspector – You can bring a home inspector to your PDI, but keep in mind the PDI is primarily between you and your builder – and your builder will be conducting it. A home inspector can be there to provide you support, but they should not be conducting the inspection.
- A friend or family member – You are welcome to bring along a friend or family member, but don’t get carried away and turn it into a housewarming! The inspection requires a lot of attention to detail, so it’s best to minimize distractions as much as possible. It may be easier to focus if you go alone or with one individual – and you’ll have plenty of time to show-off your new home later.
Generally, builders try to schedule the PDI at a time that is convenient for the purchaser, but if you find that you’re unable to attend, you can send a designate – a person who will attend the PDI on your behalf.
If you are sending a designate, you need to inform your builder in advance and you can do this using the Appointment of Designate for Pre-Delivery Inspection form.
What items should I be inspecting?
There’s a huge list of items that need to be looked at when you’re doing a PDI, and we have a helpful download called the PDI Checklist. Within the checklist, you’ll find all the ‘must-inspect’ features, finishes, fixtures and appliances around your home. The checklist also includes exterior items as well as interior ones, so make sure that during your PDI you get enough time for a good look at the outside of your home.
If you are more of a visual learner, we have a series of videos on the PDI that takes you through what to look for in every part of the home.
What are some problems I should look out for when inspecting an item?
The PDI Checklist covers some common problems for each of the items listed, but here’s a general breakdown of what to look for when inspecting your home:
Inside the home:
- Chips or cracks in tiles
- Scratches on countertops or mirrors
- Damage to floors or walls
Doors and windows:
- Not secure
- Do not open and close
Outside the home:
- Damaged brickwork or siding
- Missing window screens
- Issues with the appearance of your driveway or your landscaping.
If you’re not able to properly inspect an item – because it’s too dirty or covered with snow, for example – we highly recommend that you make a note of that on your PDI form.
Many builders allow home buyers to make selections when they’re buying their new home. For example, upgrading to a premium stone countertop or picking the paint colour for interior walls.
If you were involved in the selections for your home, keep an eye out during your PDI and ensure that everything fits with what you selected. If you see an item doesn’t match what you specified – for example, the flooring is laminate instead of the hardwood you requested – we call that an ‘unauthorized substitution’.
Any unauthorized substitutions that you notice during your PDI should also be noted on your PDI Form.
- Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Your builder’s representative is there to help you through the process and answer any inquiries you have – especially when you’re learning how your home systems work.
- Document any defects you find. Take photos of items that are damaged, incomplete or missing when noting items down on your PDI Form. This ensures that you have a record that these conditions existed prior to you occupying the home.
- Don’t forget about your warranty that is about to begin. You have 30 days from the warranty start date on your Certificate of Completion and Possession to submit your first warranty claim. If there are any items from your PDI that haven’t been addressed by your builder, include them on your 30-Day Form to protect your warranty on them.
- Register for MyHome. MyHome is Tarion’s online tool for homeowners that helps keep track of important deadlines on your warranty coverage. If you need to submit a warranty form to Tarion, MyHome lets you do it easily and securely.
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.