Oakville Homes

January 27, 2012

Do builders understand the dynamics of a Canadian winter?


Went for my walk yesterday – the one that hopefully works off the Christmas fat, and was surprised to see a house with the windows on the room over the garage covered in plastic.  This is a 4000 SF house in the 800K price range.  Little bit more than I can afford but at least I don’t have to keep a room warm in my house with plastic on the windows.  I don’t know who the builder is but, I’d be hiding my head in the nearest snowbank in shame.

What’s with our builders?  Do they not understand that in Canada we have COLD – spell it builder, C-O-L-D. weather here in the Great White North?  Do they not understand the principles of HEAT and INSULATION?  On a recent Mike Holmes show I noticed him mention cold rooms over the garages.  It is mentioned as if it is common knowledge that it is to be expected from most builders, although he understands how to prevent it.

Unfortunately, most people accept cold rooms over the garage as a sign of being Canadian.  Puts hair on your chest and makes you a man – sorry ladies.

A visit to a blog shows that the builders really don’t care:

One reason why these home are cold is because the first floor air return is often about 4 feet above the floor. This leaves the coldest air in the home.

Some of my clients had Mattamy install an electric base board heater but it was difficult to get them to do this.
These homes are a perfect example of Mattamy ignoring basic code requirements and being ignorant by not fixing problems for their clients after it has been brought to their attention. The poorly located first floor air return issue was pointed out to them long before they made any attempt to fix the problem. 

These cold first floors violate the Ontario Building Code interior heat requiremnt codes.

This is from a professional house inspector and, he further states the following:

If you are in one of these ridiculous ice box homes and it’s under 2 years old then it is still possible to insist that Mattamy fix it. Look up Tarions “Inadequate Heat – Construction Performance Guideline” and the instructions on how to do the test. This test should be done on a very cold day.

How Mattamy won builder awards while they were building fundamentally defective homes just shows that these awards are a scam.

I couldn’t agree more and I am sure it could apply to any builder, from what I’ve seen.  Just that these homes of Mattamy stand out.  In my case, the front room over the garage was always cold until I re-insulated and also put insulation into the bay window (Mattamy said it was there – it wasn’t).

If you want to design a house so it is eye-sweet and sell quickly, at least do the decent thing and make sure it is properly insulated.  You think people like sitting in their pretty house and freeze to death?

Wake up and smell the coffee guys.  Or, do you play the game – build the house, make the shortcuts, make a billion, donate to the right people and let the rest eat cake?

If you’re thinking of buying, sometimes a walk around the neighbourhood can help you see the issues. Or read the blogs where you can learn the real truth, not the truth per the two page spread in the Toronto Star.

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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.


1 Comment »

  1. I have read so many posts regarding the blogger lovers however
    this post is genuinely a nice article, keep it up.

    Comment by Melanie — April 18, 2013 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

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