Oakville Homes

August 27, 2012

Framewalks – Smoke and Mirrors for the unwashed. Right Gilgan?


It’s a very small world.  Doesn’t matter if you have a million dollar advertising budget, word of mouth still can work.  A last minute invite to a small gathering ended up with a very interesting talk with another Mattamy owner.  He is not totally upset with his home – just the way things were handled by Mattamy. Fortunately he kept an eye on the build.

One thing builders forget – and in my case, Mattamy, is that you are making one of the largest investments in your life.  The builder sets the price and you agree.  Supposedly, you get what you paid for but, we all know that usually doesn’t happen.  Watch any Mike Holmes show and you’ll see what I mean.  He may give incompetent house inspectors a bad time for screwing up but we should remember – it was the builder who did the dirty in the first place.  In my case – literally, in the basement.

During my conversation I found out that this homebuyer was up on construction techniques.  Not only could talk the talk, but had walked the walk.  Knew what to look for.  Those visits to the building site were profitable for him as he spotted the problems before Mattamy got a chance to cover up the shortcuts and mistakes with drywall, etc.  Something most of us have no chance to do.

A Mattamy framewalk:

A Framewalk is an opportunity for you to:

  1. Meet your Builder
  2. See what is behind the walls, prior to the walls being covered with drywall
  3. Review any pre-planned options you have ordered through our Design Centre
  4. Ask the Builder any questions you may have about the construction of your home

Nice to take a look but do you really have a chance to say – the electrical outlet is in the wrong place, will you change it?  Can you tell if the wiring is the proper distance from the front of the stud; can you tell if the electrical junction box is fitted right; etc, etc, etc.  You get a nice look at the skeleton but most people haven’t a clue what they are looking at in terms of Code and Safety.  They give you 30 minutes.  Can you test all the electrical outlets in that time and check the attic for insulation or, do you mind all this being done after your PDI?

Allowing a house inspector to inspect the home prior to this framewalk or having the required time to do it during the framewalk would protect your interests.  No surprises after you move in – i.e. was insulation installed.  (My bay window had none)

“Smoke and Mirrors” for the unwashed maybe?  Showing some concern while hiding the shortcuts?  Looks good on paper but, in reality, unless you really know what it is all about, a useless waste of time for you.  Makes you feel good, until that first leak.

Next time you go to buy a house, ask the builder to allow YOUR house inspector access.  See what they say.  If no – why, are they afraid of people finding out how bad they are?  At least one person, who was on their second Mattamy, got burned in Bracebridge, or should I say flooded.  So, it can happen.

And my evening conversation – he got along quite well with the trades.  But the Mattamy foreman was not so kind.  Guess he didn’t like having someone on site who knew what he was doing.

My foreman – had the best house on the block and bragged he could do a build in a month.  My house shows it.  Right Mr. Gilgan? or, can I call you Peter now.

Note:  A good Toronto Star article by Mark Weisleder about house inspectors and water problems at this link.

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