Oakville Homes

February 7, 2012

Super Bowl & Builders – quality is what wins but both need critics to achieve more.


The Super Bowl is over and we’re now hearing the different breakdowns of the play to play to analyze just what could have been done to make the ending different.  Much like buying a house.

While at a Super Bowl party, home construction came up and my recent renovatons showed how a builder’s mistakes can be covered up and make life miserable for the homebuyer.  One person I talked to found out just how good the builder was once they moved into the house – a supposed quality builder.  Once the discussion got going, surprising the issues that came up.  I brought up about house inspectors and how builders could make it hard for someone to have a house inspector assist them.  Builders like Mattamy, who have been known to ban individual house inspectors and make it harder for others by demanding forms be filled out.  Weight the buyer and house inspector down with bureauocracy.

Can that be considered good customer relations as advertised in the Toronto Star every Saturday?

We discussed MINIMUM CODE – a favourite of Mike Holmes.  How many of you have been told – it’s to code?  Some build as it should be done in order to last and be top quality while others, skim the surface with MINIMUM CODE.  When a builder sticks to MINIMUM STANDARDS, I’d suggest buying elsewhere.  As they say, you only get what you pay for but it seems in the building industry, you get less than you pay for.  Owners didn’t get to be BILLIONAIRES by giving the homeowner quality and no shortcuts.  You’ve read my Mattamy experience and understand what I mean by that.   And yes Mr. Gilgan – we both know it’s the truth (Bay St. lawyer note).

Someone brought up the fact that why would you hire, at your expense, a house inspector when there are building inspectors monitoring the construction.  It was pointed out that they do not inspect every home in a tract build – only a representative sample and, if the builder knows which ones, guess who gets the special treatment (and surveys).

In my own case I showed how the building inspector allowed illgal wiring for the furnace during a house sale.  And, the Town of Oakville did nothing about it – not even an apology.  A professional house inspector would know more and keep the builder honest – or have ammunition for my lawyer to work with.

Millions watched the Super Bowl and were able to vent their own opinions via the Internet.  Likewise, millions of homebuyers have the luxury of the Internet to share experiences.  Unfortunately, those who can impliment change seem to be on the donation list from the development industry.  And, some builders hire expensive lawyers to shut down blogs, etc with threats.  Again, nice customer relations one does not see at the photo ops during the donation ceremonies.

Before you buy, visit various forums and get an idea of which builders are problematic.  Don’t listen to the ads (for quality) and certainly don’t believe the surveys as they are easily influenced (need an upgrade meeester?).

And, don’t let them scare you away.

INVEST IN A PROFESSIONAL HOUSE INSPECTOR.  When a builder with known quality issues bans them and makes it hard to use them, there must be a reason.

Where there is smoke, there is fire.  In some cases the fire is the burning of a historical building under the care of a developer.

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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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