Oakville Homes

October 25, 2011

What’s more important? Bicycle riding or informed management?


They say if you’re going to buy something, it is always wise to check with friends, neighbours, relatives and, the internet to see what they think of the object and their experiences with the product.  House, car, vacumm cleaner – doesn’t matter.  For some products, a trip to where they are being produced is even better.  Now, most products don’t give you that opportunity but house building does.  You can see just what happens on site and make your own opinion of just how good the final product might be.

I was at one Mattamy development and observed a young lad motoring and yes, I mean motoring, down the lots of a sub-division on a large construction fork lift.  Not one of the small ones you see in a warehouse but a big wheeled mother that could take down a house.  And, he almost did.

Driving at speed, bouncing all over and heading towards a house with scafolding for the bricklayers.  He managed a last minute turn, bounced off the side of the scafolding and continued with full abandon down the lots.  Almost thought he was stealing it and doing a quick getaway.

Watching trades like this can give you an idea of the “discipline” on-site – a job for the foreman.  Weak discipline will mean low quality as it would seem no one really cares how they act within public view.

The foreman at this sub-division was actually building his own home on the same street.  Now, I don’t mind an employee getting a discount or, getting a better deal with upgrades, etc.  Comes with the territory.  This guy got his basement dug deeper and had an extra large main beam put in – thus making his basement post free.  Does everyone have that option?  His house was done to perfection.  Meanwhile, back with the plebs, some of the other houses ended up with questionable quality.  Ask anyone.

Ask me if you want.  If the foreman had spent more time building my house instead of looking after his own and, also spending more time watching the trades, Mattamy might not have had to sell me the house with the illegal wiring and other problems I have a gag order about.  Maybe an illegal sale if you look at the big picture.

Maybe if the owner, Peter Gilgan, spent less time pedalling his ass around on a bicycle (for good causes though), he could spend more time monitoring his people to ensure they don’t do things like this.  For a developer/builder mogul, I see more of him in the press than all the other developers/builders combined I think.  Maybe they do more quality control checks instead of getting press releases.

Unless he feels this is beneath the status of a billionaire to make sure his product is up to snuff – not just bare code work but built to the quality he keeps advertising.  Something I guess I missed in the whole transaction.  Maybe he should hire Mike Holmes.  He seems to work with the philosophy that work is above code or not worth doing.

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.


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