Oakville Homes

November 7, 2016

REMEMBRANCE DAY – 2016

One of the privileges we enjoy as Canadians is the right to free speech, something we take for granted but, was won for us by those who fought for our country and prevented those who stifle free thought from taking it from us. My blog exists because of the sacrifices made by those before me and hopefully we can protect this privilege in the future. Some paid the ultimate sacrifice and were denied the benefits we now cherish. Take a moment to consider how lucky we are that we can spread the truth so easily. Some still try to stifle the truth through lawyers and bully boys but, we as Canadians, will continue to protect what has been earned for us. Take a moment this November 11th to respect those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to give you what you have now.

 

remembrance-poppy

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Colonel John McCrae

REMEMBRANCE DAY TOPIX

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November 9, 2013

REMEMBRANCE DAY – NOVEMBER 11TH, 2013 Give those who sacrificed a moment of reflection.

Filed under: Uncategorized — oakvillehomes @ 11:06 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

One of the privileges we enjoy as Canadians is the right to free speech, something we take for granted but, was won for us by those who fought for our country and prevented those who stifle free thought from taking it from us.  My blog exists because of the sacrifices made by those before me and hopefully we can protect this privilege in the future.  Some paid the ultimate sacrifice and were denied the benefits we now cherish.  Take a moment to consider how lucky we are that we can spread the truth so easily.  Some still try to stifle the truth through lawyers and bully boys but, we as Canadians ,will continue to protect what has been earned for us.  Take a moment this November 11th to respect those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to give you what you have now.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Colonel John McCrae

May 24, 2013

Will Oakville’s “The Preserve” get the Airdrie, Alberta treatment from Mattamy?

Filed under: Uncategorized — oakvillehomes @ 10:40 am

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Look out Oakville.  If you have bought, or are thinking of buying in the Mattamy sub-division “The Preserve”, you might want to think twice about it.  You might even want to consider the extra insurance of hiring a house inspector to monitor the build.  We know the Town of Oakville doesn’t always help out the homebuyer (illegal wiring anyone) and, it appears that some building inspectors out in Alberta went to the same school.

Airdrie, Alberta – where the new Mattamy sub-division is being built.  Lots of ads by Mattamy to show how good it will be.

“”It is a very abnormal construction practice,” he said. “It’s a major deal. Why would you put your new home at risk?”  (Link to full article)

This a statement by  Dana Pettigrew, who drove past a Mattamy development in Airdrie’s northwest on  May 14.  He was surprised to see 16 un-sided homes, being finished inside.  He is a mechanical engineering technologist with experience building homes and managing tradespeople. He is concerned water may get into the homes, wreaking havoc – unseen – behind the walls.  He is also puzzled that this is allowed to happen as the city building inspectors are supposed to check that the outside is waterproof before allowing interior finishing.  According to the Town of Oakville, the builder is supposed to inform the building department that things are ready.  But, what if they don’t inform them?  Does it mean the house gets built improperly?  The building code dictates windows, flashing and siding must be installed before interior work commences.  This did not happen in Airdrie.

Brent Carey, spokesperson for Mattamy Homes, said mistakes do happen but any discrepancies are short lived.” 

Yes, short lived if an expert passes by and then notifies the building department that something is wrong.  Otherwise, this would have gone on until damage was done.  But, according to Mattamy, they would fix it.  Would you believe someone who makes shortcuts that causes damage and states they will fix it.  Come on Mattamy – you’re blowing both ways on this one.  You got caught.

One of the reasons I will be taking some field trips around “The Preserve”.  Seems the building departments can’t do their job so, we might as well.  I think my objectivity will be better in that I don’t receive donations from Mattamy.  I wonder how much Airdrie got in donations?

They talk about cops sitting around donut holes instead of on patrol… Maybe they are thinking about building inspectors instead – they are less obvious as they don’t wear a uniform.  🙂

Remember, you can get a nice surprise once you move into your house, hope that some guy driving by your house while it is being built and reports the infractions or, you can be a little proactive to protect your investment – hire a house inspector.

Airdrie unfinished houses

Airdrie unfinished houses

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January 25, 2013

Liberal Party Leadership race at MAC – Just who does Mattamy support – that is the main question.

Filed under: Uncategorized — oakvillehomes @ 11:54 am

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Just a short blog before the weekend.  Of course the big news is that Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto keeps his job – courts disallowed the action against him.  The 2nd biggest news for the weekend is the Ontario Liberal Party leadership convention.  No, I’m not going to bore you with a rundown of the candidates.  I have better things to do, like scratch my butt.

No, I just want to point out an interesting point.  They are holding this convention at the Old Maple Leaf Gardens, which some will now call the Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre or MAC for short.  On Twitter, some keep calling it Maple Leaf Gardens while others promote Mattamy.  Of course, it was a way that Peter Gilgan could keep the brand name “Mattamy” constantly on Twitter and in the news.  A good move in terms of PR, unless Mattamy gets involved in some sordid scandal.  Wait, they already have – putting children’s lives at risk with illegal wiring.  But then, donations go a long way.

Speaking of donations, Mattamy and Peter Gilgan gave large donations (to the max I believe) to the Liberal Party in the last election.  That is what was officially shown.  The declared donations are entirely legal by the way.  He not only gave during the year, but maxed out when the election was called and he gave more.  McGuinty was probably pleased to see this largesse in the donation category of support.

Maybe that is why the convention is at the Ryerson MATTAMY Athletic Centre.

But wait, there is more.  Seems as the election drew near, Mattamy and Gilgan wanted to cover their bases.  Was there some thought McGuinty would not pull off the election?  Would some deep dark secret cause him to pull out before the election instead of after?  Who knows but, Mattamy responded to the potential issue by donating big to the Conservative Party – Tim Hudak.  To the max I believe.

That is like dating sisters and it being public knowledge.  I know Mattamy has difficulty building a house sometimes but, it seems they don’t know who to support with money.  Sorry, they know who to support, politicians not homebuyers but, it seems they want to cover their bases by supporting both parties.  For future favours?

Well, enjoy the weekend, be bored with the Liberal leadership race and wonder the big question :  Which candidate for this leadership race has received any money from Mattamy to assist them in the race?  Then we know how our lives will be affected in the future.  Follow the trail in my case and it is quite obvious how donations can put children at risk.

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November 11, 2012

Remembrance Day – a time to remember and reflect upon

Filed under: Uncategorized — oakvillehomes @ 8:41 am
Tags: , , , ,

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Colonel John McCrae

February 21, 2012

Toronto Star – good article on house inspectors. Even good points for new build.

Filed under: Uncategorized — oakvillehomes @ 3:32 pm
Tags: , , , ,

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Mark Weisleder, a real estate lawyer, recently wrote an article that appeared in the Monday, February 20th, 2012 Toronto Star titled: “Never buy a house without a home inspection”.  Couldn’t be more right and the article gives some good pointers for those seeking to buy a resale house.  One good point was that house inspectors in Ontario should be licenced as they are in British Columbia and Alberta.  You will find that most PROFESSIONAL house inspectors in Ontario would have no issue with that type of regulation.

But, if you’re going to enforce licencing in the industry, then you have to give them the teeth to do their job.  This article focuses on resales.  He brings up one good point that really applies to both resale and new home construction.

” I constantly hear stories from ‘successful’ home buyers, who bought without an inspection. They later uncovered major problems, many of which could have been identified with a proper inspection. This meant large repair bills and unfortunate lawsuits involving unhappy buyers, sellers and real estate agents.”

The same applies with a new house.  You go and buy it, the builder denies you the opportunity to have a professional house inspector monitor the construction (unlike commercial construction where the owner has a representative on-site) and then you end up with issues later.  In my case, I told Mattamy there was no insulation in the front bay window.  They told me they would’nt check but if I forced them to and I was wrong, I pay the freight to repair the issue.  Who has that type of money when you first buy a home.  Replacing the windows later showed I was right.  But then, Mattamy didn’t fix the window which wouldn’t close properly either and it was quite obvious.  Much like other issues.

Hiring a house inspector later is still a good idea but it will take a trained professional to detect issues once the builder has covered up the problem.  You’ve seen Mike Holmes with his infrared camera show areas without insulation.  Not all house inspectors have those.

I recommend you read the article and you will not only see the value of a house inspector for resales but you should  see that it is a good idea on a new house.  Builders don’t want you to hire them and Queen’s Park and local politicians (both whom get donations from builders) also will not support this idea.  Follow this link to see article about Queen’s Park Protest Feb 27th.

Remember – you can hire a house inspector now or, pay tradespeople to come in later and fix the issue.  Ever watch a Mike Holmes show?  He comes in and tears apart the house – some very new and, that is the type of repair you can expect.  I am sure that the lucky ones picked for his show end up with a better deal than you ever will.

Builders didn’t get to be billionaires by giving you a break.

Someone wins – why can’t it be you?

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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.

February 17, 2012

Canadians for Properly Built Homes organizing protest Feb 27 at Queen’s Park

Filed under: Uncategorized — oakvillehomes @ 7:39 pm

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As you know, it is pretty hard to ensure your new house will be built properly.  I know – we have building codes and building inspectors and the ads kind of say you will get a nice house but they never mention quality.  These supposed checks and balances have been shown to be non-effective.   A lot of people have found out that in Ontario, Tarion doesn’t live up to the task of protecting the consumer and in some other jurisdictions, it might as well be buyer beware.  Some builders just do what they want and really don’t care how you feel, unless you are in the survey list.

Well, on Monday, Feb. 27, 2012  you will have an opportunity to speak your mind.  The group, Canadians for Properly Built Homes (CPBH), is setting up a protest at Queen’s Park to let the politicians know that homebuyers are mad and want something done about the shoddy treatment they receive.  Of course, it is these politicians who get the donations from the development crowd so it will be interesting to see just how they respond to the voter.

Here is a copy of the announcement.

Please forward to others          who may be interested.
Notice of Important Event for Ontarians who support the      need for better consumer protection related to newly built homes.

Far too many Ontario purchasers of newly built homes continue to suffer due to serious construction defects, an unresponsive builder, an unresponsive municipality, and an unresponsive  warranty provider – the Tarion Warranty Corporation.  Your  attendance at this event will not only support homeowners in need, but it will also let the Ontario Government know that better consumer protection is required related to newly built homes!  We hope you will join us!
Details are still being confirmed, however, the following will provide a general overview.
Date:  Monday, Feb. 27, 2012
Agenda – Note:  All events in the Queen’s Park Main Legislative      Building:

  • 8:45 a.m. – arrive and get signed in at          security – ** parking note below
  • 9:30 a.m.  – witness a news        conference in the Media Studio.  Toronto homeowners with        HVAC construction defects will be featured.
  • 10:30 a.m. – attend Question Period and watch democracy in        action
  • 11:45 a.m. – lunch in cafeteria (optional) – this will give        everyone an opportunity to meet other homeowners/Ontarians        concerned about these issues

 Please send an e-mail to CPBH if you are  planning to attend so that we can keep track of numbers:  info@canadiansforproperlybuilthomes.com       .  Thanks!  We hope to see you there!
Please e-mail CPBH President Karen Somerville at info@canadiansforproperlybuilthomes.com       if you have any questions or comments.
** Parking at Queen’s Park can be a challenge.  You can try to      park on College Street and/or the University of Toronto.  Subway      is preferred – get off at the Queen’s Park Station.

Canadians for Properly Built Homes (CPBH)

Our Vision:  Healthy, safe, durable, energy efficient residential housing for Canadians.
www.canadiansforproperlybuilthomes.com

Canadians for Properly Built Homes (CPBH) is a national, not for profit corporation dedicated to healthy, safe, durable, energy efficient residential housing for Canadians, and is the only organization of its kind in Canada. Working for consumer awareness and protection, CPBH is run by a volunteer Board of Directors and is supported by a volunteer Advisory Council of industry experts and other key stakeholders.  CPBH earned "partner" status with the Canadian Consumer Information Gateway (Industry Canada). 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.

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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.

November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day – a time to remember and reflect upon

Filed under: Uncategorized — oakvillehomes @ 12:20 am
Tags: , ,

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Colonel John McCrae

April 21, 2011

Are you into Minimizationalism?

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Next time you go for surgery, ask your doctor if he follows a code and ensures MINIMUM standards when he yanks out a body part.  If you are in Ontario, maybe you will save the taxpayer money.  Or, when you take your sporty Boxster in for a tune up, ask the mechanic to do it to MINIMUM standards and give you a break on the price.  When you go to a store and bargain the guy down a bit, do you expect him to give you the product from the MINIMUM standards bin instead of the product you were looking at? Did Peter Gilgan demand the builder stick with MINIMUM standards for Edgemere? (Maybe, it is being torn down within 20 years of being built)  I think we all know the answer to these scenarios.

But, we think nothing of buying from a builder who has admitted to people that they build to CODE.  That is maybe why a Mattamy home is cheaper than other builders.  You are willing to make one of the biggest investments of your life and, accept MINIMUM code construction as the norm.  No wonder people are upset when they go in and find out that instead of the Cadillac they thought they were buying, they ended up with a Ford Pinto.  I know I was told that something that didn’t look right was “to Code”.  Even my illegal (code) wiring was “to code” but according to the Town of Oakville Building department director, it wasn’t up to standards.

Too often we accept the minimum standard of code and don’t complain.  I mean, how do you fight city hall?  I know, I tried and got blown out of the water.  Illegal (code) wiring and all but Wellspring did well.

Well, it is about time that city hall stood up to the bar and stated that minimum isn’t good enough.  We may not expect the Cadillac but we deserve better than a fire prone Pinto.

Below are some incidents that came from our recent rain storms and may be from following a MINIMUM CODE.  In some instances, it seems Mattamy didn’t follow code.   Read the comments and you’ll find some good advice as well.

Don’t be a member of the trend to MINIMIZATIONALISM.

We have been in our house for 11 months. We got a leak issue around one of our basement windows. Sad (The windows were directly hit by the rain because of the wind direction). The insulation is wet Evil or Very Mad

I guess Mattamy will get a few calls again…

AND

OFFERED ADVICE: Most foundation cracks are at the bottom corner of basement windows because they are the weak points in the foundation. As well, there may be gaps around the window frame that need caulking and there is a good chance that the drain pipe under the gravel in the well is damaged or clogged with mud. This prevents the well from draining properly.

Plus, I will assume that this window is at the side of your home where you have gravel between the homes.

If that is the case then you can expect your home to leak because unfortunately Mattamy is notorious for poor lot grading between homes.

If I ever bought a Mattamy Home I would talk to my neighbours for their approval and insist that sod / grass be placed between the homes. This way, the grading would have to be done and it could be monitored and repaired if necessary. Then, if a year or two later, the grass looked crappy, we could put down some landscape fabric and place some gravel on top.

Unfortunately the Town inspectors are a sleep and the switch at this stage of the game when it comes to lot grading. This is not the case in other municipalities where I have seen municipal inspectors inspect the swales between homes before gravel is placed.

AND

Yeap, we have a leak! Funny, cause two days ago we told our friends that finally, for the last few months, everything have been fine with the house. And here we go again…Our leak is in the garage and goes into the house so we have a quite large wet spot on the ceiling in the hall. I guess I know what I’m doing on Monday! Time to start calling Mattamy again!

OFFERED ADVICE:

Your leak is likely from some roof-wall flashing details that are missing or not sealed. This is a common area for leaks.

AND, Sometimes it’s best to just cover the window well.

These prevent wind driven rain and snow from entering the well. As well, in the winter they help prevent heat loss at the basement windows.

Always make sure the grading slopes away from the well and the foundation wall.

AND, keep boxes etc away from the walls so you can monitor your walls for leaks.

Advice courtesy, via Hawthrone Villager, by Halton Home Inspection Service

 

The Milton Sports Centre was leaking like a sieve. Buckets everywhere catching the water. The ceiling at the south entrance was sagging. It wasn’t just a leak in the meeting room by the gymnastics club. It was an out and out downpour.

The difference between the Milton Sports Centre and yourself is that the owners of the building (city) probably held back a percentage of the final price to cover such things and ensure repair.  Unfortunately our government does not see fit to allow homeowners to do the same.  Said something about the builder adding it to the cost.  Does this mean that our taxpayers are paying more for buildings where we hold back closing funding to ensure quality?  If so, we as a taxpayer are being ripped off.  If not, then why would builders do it to the average homeowner?

TO PREVENT COSTS TO THE CONSUMER THROUGH MINIMIZATIONALISM WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO HOLD BACK ON OUR CLOSING COSTS AND ENSURE REPAIRS.

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November 11, 2010

REMEMBRANCE DAY – November 11th

Filed under: Uncategorized — oakvillehomes @ 12:34 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Colonel John McCrae

 

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