Oakville Homes

October 16, 2012

Mr. Gilgan – is Mattamy afraid of PROFESSIONAL house inspectors?

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No, I don’t have a thing for Mike Holmes.  I just like his thoughts on quality.  Yes, a home built entirely by Holmes would probably be out of my range but, his ideas on “quality” should not cost an arm and leg to incorporate into a builder’s policy. Notice that a lot of builders don’t mention quality in their ads anymore.  Look at the two page ad Mattamy puts into every Toronto Star Saturday Homes edition.  Nothing about quality, just lifestyle. What they don’t seem to realize is that when you are faced with daily quality issues in your home, your lifestyle will suck.

You know I have pushed for “Professional” house inspectors.  At first, people thought I was crazy promoting the hiring of house inspectors for a new home.  Hey, Mattamy et al had top reputations it seemed but, the growing use of the internet has shown these reputations to sometimes be a sham.  The internet expands “word of mouth” so that we all get a say.  Not just those few selected for the “surveys”.  Sometimes bought and paid for by extra service, upgrades and flowers.

But, like the builders, there are fly-by night house inspectors.  Some well meaning, others out to just make a quick buck based on bad builders.  They were really no better than some builders.  Others worked their hearts out trying to build a good reputation for house inspectors.

In a a recent Calgary Herald article, they mention that B.C. and Alberta require house inspectors to be licenced and, in that article, Holmes states that Ontario is investigating this increased measure of professionalism.  A good move to ensure better quality house inspectors – a level of measurement of skill.

Holmes points out that there are signs in a house that point to potential problems and that a good house inspector should be able to spot these.  In a resale house, that is the only method available – observation of visible symptoms.  Unlike Holme’s show, most people can’t afford for their house inspector to do a look-see.  In Holme’s case, he does the look-see and finds the problem.  But, I think most sellers might let you see the symptom but not do surgery on the house to find the cause – unless you are willing to pay the freight.  I feel it is better to monitor the build and thus ensure all is right.  Something you cannot depend on the building inspector to do for you.  At least in my case, right Town of Oakville?

In my case, I was positive that Mattamy left out the insulation in my bay window.  Their response – we’ll check and if the insulation is there, you pay for all the damage.  New homewoner – so I bit the bullet until I replaced the leaking window and found I was right.  Didn’t do me any good – Mattamy was long gone, donating money to various politicians.  On a Mattamy home, I recommend you consider replacing the entire window structure to the brick work, otherwise you might have warranty issues with the window company.  The Mattamy company who put in the original windows never did the warranty work and they are now working the area.  I pity those who hired the lower bid in this case.

I like the fact they want to upgrade the standards for house inspectors but a government concerned about builder quality would allow a potential homebuyer the OPTION to hire a house inspector to monitor the build.  Even the government hires someone to monitor construction projects they pay for.  I was actually going to Tweet this idea to McGuinty but he quit before I could do it.  I wonder which scandal made him pull the plug.  Maybe one developer donation too many?

Write your MPP and demand this right to protect yourself.  What are they afraid of? Reduced donations from the developers?  Or, as is happening in Quebec – less money skimmed off the top by the mob.  A subject shortly coming to Ontario methinks.  Right Gilgan?

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