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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A few years ago, Brian and Joanne (not their real names) could not think of a better way to spend their golden years than to be close to their young grandchildren. So they decided to buy a lot in the same town where their son lived and hire a builder to build them a custom home on it. They had a lot to be excited about: moving to a new area, their first ever brand new home, and best of all, being close to their beloved grandkids. One thing that was not on their radar was fighting with their builder over water in the basement.
During the second year in their new home, the couple discovered water seeping in through the foundation. When they felt that they weren’t getting enough help from their builder, they decided to hire an independent expert to take a look. The expert told them that the water issues were due to “high water table” which was exerting pressure on the basement pad and causing it to crack.
Water table 101
For those of us who are not geologists, here’s a bit of Water Table 101. The water table is the point or level beneath the ground where the soil is heavily saturated with water. The height of the water table depends on the geography of the area and the type of soil. It is not unusual for water tables to be above the level of basement floors. In these cases, wet weather can also lead to water seeping into the home and causing a flood. Homes that are built in areas that have high water tables need careful planning and engineering to ensure they are protected from rising ground water.
The couple submitted the required warranty form and underwent Tarion’s warranty claims process.
An in-depth study
Brian and Joanne found out that the town did a study before their home was built and determined that several lots, including theirs, had a high water table. The study called for further engineering reviews before development on those lots could take place, which their builder did not do. As a result, the footings of their home were not designed for a high water table, and their foundation was not properly waterproofed. By this point, they had had enough. They withheld further payments to their builder, and came to Tarion for help.
The couple submitted the required warranty form and underwent Tarion’s warranty claims process. Over a number of months, Tarion performed a variety of assessments to determine the scope of the work needed to correct the situation and the costs involved. In the end, we deemed the problem warranted and provided Brian and Joanne with their requested cash settlement so that they could get the necessary work done.
Helping make homeowners happy
Brian and Joanne were extremely happy with Tarion’s help, and the protection they received under the warranty. With the settlement they received, they can move forward with the needed repairs to their home this spring, and get back to focusing on their grandkids.
In the end, Joanne wrote back to her Tarion customer service representative to express her gratitude: “You give us a sense of calm that we have come to depend on for answering and dealing with our many questions and tasks.” Noticing the logo for a bronze medal which Tarion won for customer service in 2016 at the bottom of her Tarion representative’s email, she felt the need to add: “You more than deserve a higher medal. In our eyes you deserve the GOLD medal for the really good service that we have received over the 3 years of dealings with Tarion.”
Thank you for the very kind words, Joanne. We’re happy to have helped.
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.