Make Sure It Is Not A Lemon: Hire an Inspector For The Pre-Delivery Inspection of Your New Home
If you have purchased a newly constructed home, it should be covered under Ontario’s TARION Home Warranty program. There is lots to learn about that but for today, let’s talk about the Pre-Delivery Inspection or, PDI for short.
Under the program, builders are required to undertake a PDI before you take possession of your new home. You take a walk around your new home with the builder and note any deficiencies such as areas or items that are damaged, broken, incomplete missing or not working. These are then noted on the builder’s PDI form which you will sign upon completion of the visit. This is an important document and, while you will still have another 30 days after you take possession to note other deficiencies, the builder is often able to resolve the issues you note during the PDI and, it gives you evidence in the event of a conciliation action (claim) later.
One increasingly popular and wise step many buyers are choosing is to bring a home inspector along on the PDI or even sending one in their place if they are unable to attend the PDI themselves. I personally think this is brilliant and every new home buyer should do it. Remember that much of the construction on your home was completed by sub-trades and there is always a chance that mistakes may have been made.
Some examples of common deficiencies found by inspectors that a buyer may miss could include:
- improper venting of fuel-burning appliances
- missing caulking and seals around windows and doors
- improper grading
- missing ice or water shield on the roof
- damaged floor joists
- missing insulation
- foundation cracks
I recently had a client taking possession of a condo locally. She hired an inspector to do the PDI with her. Upon notifying the builder of her intent to bring the inspector along, the builder first said that she was not allowed to. This is wrong! According to the TARION rules, “the minimum customer service standard allows a purchaser to attend the PDI with a designate or appoint a designate to attend the PDI in his/her place. There is no restriction as to who the designate may be, so a professional home inspector or any other person is permitted to attend the PDI either with the purchaser or in their place as a designate.” One thing to note if you are not attending and are sending the inspector in your place, is that you need to provide the builder with written authority for your delegate to sign the PDI Form.
Sure enough, the local inspector found issues with flashing, drainage systems, roof shingles, a damaged window frame, gaps in caulking outside, grading issues, loose weather stripping, improper seal around a garage door, missing GFCI outlets as required near sinks and, a missing discharge pipe for a sump pump. Would you have found any of those yourself? For around $400-$500.00, I would suggest this was money well spent!
Your new home should bring you much joy in the years ahead and it starts by making sure that it is what you paid for and that it is safe and healthy for you and your family. Do yourself the favour and hire a professional home inspector to attend your PDI with you.