Oakville Homes

July 29, 2013

Mattamy ponies up to the Liberals and Conservatives – differently. Future favours or just a dual supporter?

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DATA NOTED IS AS OF JULY 29TH, 2013

Why do people donate to political parties?  Is it because they know the person running for office and want to help out a bit as a friend.?  Or, do they truly support the political platform that the person is running on and want to help that person come into office and make the changes they talk of during their political speeches?  Or, do they want to ensure that whomever gets into power knows just how much money you gave and will help you when the time comes to push through something at council or Queen’s Park?  Who really knows except the guy shoveling the money to the politician.

In the business world, in order to make a profit, the government has to be supportive of measures that allow one to  make a profit.  On the other hand, government has a legal and moral duty to protect the citizens that live in the municipality, province, state or country.  It is a fine balance to ensure we all prosper but that no one really gets shafted too bad.

In my case, I tried to get the Town of Oakville to pass a by-law allowing a homebuyer to hire a house inspector for NEW BUILDS.  The then mayor of Oakville seemed to lead the charge at town council to have such a by-law quashed and passed on to the province, who really didn’t give a rat’s ass.  Odd, but the mayor was spearheading a donation campaign for Mattamy Homes to finance Wellspring, a charity of interest by the mayor.  Since then, Mattamy has graced Oakville with large sums of money.  Yes, Mattamy is the same company that bused in loads of workers to protest Development Charges.  Which I understand were put through but then reduced later (when the press furor died down).

Mattamy, the same company that began construction on land covered in human waste (sh*t, for those less refined) and they were only stopped due to the vigilance of a local resident.  No fines but they did stop.  Workers were sent for testing fortunately.

Yes, Mattamy does seem to live a favoured life.  Political awards for the owner Peter Gilgan, no charges for illegal wiring that put children at risk and not much done when they built homes that flooded.  Things are kept quite by the government in terms of Mattamy.  How many knew about the charges being laid for illegal berm work in Ottawa or read about it in the Toronto Star?  You know, where all the advertising money goes.

Speaking of money.  Seems that Mattamy is supporting the Ontario Conservatives, if we read it right.  They ponied up the max ($9300) to Hudak’s coffers on the 28th of February.  The Liberals, a perceived perennial favourite only got $5,000 on May 24th and $1350 on July 8th.  I understand this may now be the max of $9300 due to recent contributions, but I stand to be corrected on that.  So, big bonus to Hudak but a slow dribble to Premier Wynne.

Wonder why they did it that way?  And don’t forget, if an election is called, Mattamy can grace the candidates with even more money.

But still, why the drawn out donation schedule?  Was there some bargaining going. on?  Paid out money to Hudak for the “just in case” scenario while holding off while bargaining for benefits with the Liberals?  Who knows except the “back room boys” (Maybe “girls” in Whynne’s case)

And, we really don’t know just how all the bargaining does go.  Maybe $million to a Liberal riding hospital for the photo-op? or $$$ to the local YMCA.  Just put the Mattamy/Gilgan name on it and it is yours for the asking.

Just a thought Peter – tell me who to vote for and I’ll name an outhouse after you – “Gilgan’s World”.

I know a lot of people’s lives went to sh*t due to your construction practices so it would be fitting.

P.S. I have heard a rumour that Mattamy may be part of a cabal of house builders who are stifling any attempt to have an agency list house issues.  Haven’t confirmed it but, it would be in character based on their treatment of house inspectors.

I just wonder what the Town of Oakville had to worry about in regards to passing the by-law.  It seems that having money given to them is more important that protecting homebuyers – taxpayers and voters.

2013 Liberal Contribution

2013 Conservative Contribution 2013 Liberal Contribution

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2013 Conservative Contribution

2013 Conservative Contribution

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July 26, 2013

Can Peter Gilgan of Mattamy or Town of Oakville tell us why they don’t support house inspectors?

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When I started this blog, my intend was to warn people about building practices that could hurt their health and pocketbook.  This was before Mike Holmes got big on the landscape.  A lot of people thought it was sour grapes but, through word of mouth, the internet and court cases people began to understand that not all was it seemed in the ads.  Highly respected builders such as Mattamy were found to be criminals and environmentally non-friendly (construction on land coated in human waste and building illegal berms on rivers to name two items) and Tarion was shown to be less than supportive of the consumer.  This has been backed up with recent reports in the Toronto Star.

As I said, people thought my blog was due to sour grapes but, many have now found out that it was not bullshit.  My advice on house inspectors has gained favour and I don’t think it will be long before hiring a house inspector to monitor the construction of your new home will be commonplace.  Someone to help the building inspectors do their job, unlike that done on my house.  I will be responding to the Town of Oakville soon with a project I will undertake to assist the Town of Oakville building department.  It appears they will only respond when a builder states they are ready – I haven’t received any news of pro-active action on their part.

You will notice that people have commented on my blog – people who have been shafted by builders, poor municipal inspections and less than supportive warranty programs.  Some are not even given a warranty.

Remember – make sure your purchase team includes a good real estate lawyer and a house inspector.  And document everything in writing and with photos.  You can trust the builder but, if he shafts you, nobody will help you.  You need the evidence to prove your case.

Think all is peaches and cream in the building industry?  Past comments have shown builders not only shaft the homebuyer but their own trades.  They cut their profits and less than honourable trades will keep their profits by doing shortcuts on your home.  Ask yourself – why do builders and municipalities not want a homebuyer to have a house inspector?  Maybe their fear the accountability it will bring.  Maybe billionaire Peter Gilgan can tell us why he doesn’t like house inspectors, considering he tells the world he builds a good house – but quality not mentioned in the ads – just fluff stuff.

Here is a comment that stresses why we need a house inspector.

“Consider yourself lucky, i just saw a friend of mine who yes worked at mattamy, he recently quit his job after he couldnt handle covering things up. he is in talks right now with his lawyer because he was forced to sign a no disclosure agreement in order to get his final paycheck. he had to quit after he recently discovered black mold inside a house that had a small child living inside, and was told to just cover it up. its not the first time something like this has happened and it will not be the last. the foundations allow for so much water penetration that after you have either saved a large amount of money or taken out a loan that your basement development one day down the road will 1 hide the problems and 2 allow for things like mold and insects to flourish inside your new home.
 Sadly mattamy pays out a lot of money to keep their name out of the negative press and instead buys into things like “JD power and associates” so they can put a nice sticker on their trucks and trick you into believing you are getting at least minimal code for your house. as canadians we like to believe that we have so many great things out there to protect us from things like this but sadly when you read the fine print you actually find out that warranties are there to protect builders from having to truly deal with the problems and most of the time in their meetings it is either “we will catch it at final” or my personal fav “we will catch it at the 1 year”, then by that point they are doing damage control and will never fix everything and still leave you thinking they are coming back.
 Its good you did some research before you decided to make a large investment, unfortunately you have to rely on word of mouth of people to find the truth. people like mike holmes are figure heads for what is going wrong in the construction world. he went to the states to help out some flood victims yet there are people in his area that are being put into the poorhouse trying to recover from the worst possible investment they ever made. plus at the end of the day who pays for what he does? usually a second mortgage and a small amount of product placement.

i know it seems like a rambling rant but seriously it was so bad here i had to quit the company i had been with for over 8 years because i couldnt handle seeing things getting worse both with the people they hire who have no experience in construction to manage the people building your future home and the terrible “craftsmanship” itself. for me it was seeing a house get siding rushed onto it 3 days before the home owner moved in 1 month after i had finished my job, the sparkies hadnt even started by the time i was done. and add in the fact the house was not wrapped with any kind of moisture wrapping. do you think there will be future mold issues in ever exterior wall?
 it just pisses me off and thats why i write on here and many other sites, i just to try to help possible home buyers.”

Joshua 

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July 8, 2013

Tale of Two Tarions – or “Sins of Mattamy not available”

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Depending on what you read and who you listen to, Tarion is either the best thing since sliced bread or, a builder dominated coverup for poor construction.  Something a builder like Mattamy likes to have around.  An agency that “sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil.  If you read the July 5 Toronto Sun column by Tarion President and CEO Howard Bogach you have a kind and gentle understanding quasi-government agency that is hear to listen to your complaints and act on those complaints.  Looking after your best interests.  Improving all the time.  A warm fuzzy feeling.

If you have read my blog for a few years, you will have seen a different picture.  Comments to my blog brought this issue up.  A builder dominated ( 8 out of 15 directors) agency that really only looks after a few people.  Now, the Toronto Star has decided it was worth a story or two.  The recent two-part articles by Kenyon Wallace in the Toronto Star (July 6 & July 8)  outlines the issues that people face with Tarion.  One is only having a 3 year database for this 36-year-old agency that records any builder deficiencies.  Take Mattamy for instance – please.  They have not really built anything in Oakville for a few years and are now just starting up “The Preserve”.  Any issues with their last developments in Oakville would not be accessible to a potential homebuyer.  It seems that only blogs like mine keep a more permanent record of builder transactions.  Maybe why Mattamy tried to sue me and close me down.  Bully boys didn’t work so they tried their mouthpieces.  Wonder if they tell Tarion not to record anything past 3 years?  Who keeps a 3 year limit on records accessible to the public?  Someone hiding something?

Mattamy sub-floor quality

Mattamy sub-floor quality

I recently tried to get a report from the Town of Oakville – a report I know exists as I helped to prepare it.  Unfortunately, according to the Town of Oakville, it is nowhere to be found.  Kind of like the recent power station emails deleted by the Ontario Liberals.  Hmmmm, Oakville is a Liberal town provincially.

Tarion does not fall under government regulation.  We don’t know how much their people are paid (unlike others in the Sunshine Club) and the Ontario Ombudsman has no jurisdiction, although he has tried to get this agency under his umbrella in order to assist taxpayers shafted by the agency.

I suggest you read the Toronto Star article prior to buying a home.  It is enlightening and will forewarn you of potential issues you will face if there is a builder problem.

From my own experiences (with Town of Oakville and Mattamy), comments by others in my blog and newspaper articles such as Wallace’s you should realize that there are very few avenues that really protect you.  Ultimately you must be prepared to go to court to actually get satisfaction (and even there courts can be swayed against you – Boris Spremo anyone) and if you go that route, you must be prepared.

Don’t hire a cut-rate real estate lawyer.  Make sure the lawyer knows their stuff.  And, hire a professional house inspector with good references and qualifications.  You’ll note that one person in the article was inspected by an unqualified inspector from Tarion who went against them.  As they say in the article, this will be your biggest purchase in life probably and you have a right to protect your interests.  The big boys do it all the time in commercial builds.  You can too, with minimal costs.  No more than some upgrades you love to have.

What is more important, an upgrade or piece of mind and safety for your family.  I unfortunately took the ceramic floor instead of the house inspector and received the royal shaft from Mattamy.  My lawyer didn’t really get interested as it was closing day and he had already done the closing.  So, don’t trust the cutsey ads, nor the sweet talking salesperson.  Both are out to strip you of your money.

Make sure you get full value from that stripping.

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June 16, 2013

Some like it hot and illegal while others go the extra mile to protect your family. Ads versus reality in Mattamy land.

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Mattamy Homes seems to feel that large two page spread ads in the Saturday Toronto Star are what will attract buyers.  Cutsey ads that say it like it should be, not necessarily how it will be.  They don’t mention quality (may be held accountable) but give you titles like “Prestigious Living is Coming Soon to Aurora”.  One would assume they mean Mattamy, not some other builder.  They talk about “parks where neighbours can gather and enjoy the surroundings” and, “walking/biking trails for families to enjoy“.  Like it is their idea and plans that give you all this.

They don’t mention that they are required by law to “reserve land as part of a subdivision approval.”  They can of course arrange a cash payment in lieu.  In Alberta, this can be up to 10 percent of the land that must be put aside for the community use.  As well in Alberta, “Reserve land and land for road requirements are taken without compensation. The Subdivision Authority may require land for roads and public utilities up to a maximum of 30 percent of the area of the parcel of land less the area taken as environmental reserve or environmental reserve easement.”

Mattamy Protester knows the score

Mattamy Protester knows the score

Land like ravines, etc become trails, etc for the community.  So, Mattamy isn’t doing this from the goodness of their hearts.  They do this because they have to in order to build their sub-divisions.  Oakville has a by-law that has been instrumental in the development of the lakefront pathway.  Started by ex-mayor Harry Barrett, this by-law requires that if any large estate along the waterfront is sold to a developer and they wish to increase density, they are required to give the land along the lake to the Town of Oakville.  When Peter Gilgan sold his mansion “Edgemere” for development, they all found out even his donations couldn’t stop that process.  Now, to sweeten the planning pot, developers might foot the bill for some of the landscaping etc in these lands but, in the long run, you the taxpayer will fork out for improvements, maintenance etc.  So, we don’t get a free ride.

Now, we all know the illegal stuff Mattamy has done in the past (and in the future??) and they try to show how good of a builder they are by making it seem they are responsible for the walkways/pathways, ravine nature areas etc.  So sorry Gilgan but, I would suggest it was planners and some of the more enlightened councilors in Oakville who have made the area what it is.  Of course, I stand to be corrected if Aurora needed your somewhat suspect help.  Remember Aurora – there is a cost to every gift.  Just ask Milton.

The 2006 Ontario Building Code was amended on June 18, 2008 (O.Reg. 205/08) to include for the requirement to sprinkler residential buildings higher than 3 storeys.  I only wish they would also include the right for homeowners to hire a house inspector for new builds but, at least this is a move in the right direction.

What does Mattamy do?  Follows the Building Code to the letter – to the minimum.  Some have had that thrown at you when you mention something.  Hey, it’s to code.  I asked why my garage door didn’t have an automatic closure.  Theft was the answer and they’d have left it at that until I mentioned it was illegal.  This I knew – the illegal wiring, well it had a Town of Oakville seal of approval.

There is a builder who has looked beyond the MINIMUM and instead of wasting money on ads telling you about parks, which even this builder must put into place, Townwood Homes is the first builder to install, as STANDARD equipment, sprinkler systems into their newest sub-division at Mackenzie Ridge Terraces, Vaughan.  They weren’t forced to by some town by-law nor did they fight to only do minimum code.  They recognized the dangers of fire in residential homes (81 lives lost in 2006) and went the extra step.  Mattamy – they do illegal wiring instead.  Probably would tell you to piss off on the fire.

Mattamy’s true colours came out when they trucked in a lot of workers from various job sites (was your home late in being constructed) to argue that the Development Charges were too high.  These are the charges that pay for the infrastructure costs that developers create with their developments.  Otherwise, the existing taxpayer would be paying for new sewers in open fields while builders like Gilgan became billionaires.  Yes, I forgot, he did get to be a $1.8 billion builder.  Oakville and Burlington got stung big time having to pay for the Milton pipeline that lined a few builder’s pockets.  We’re still paying for Milton water.

So, when you read the ads, compare a builder who talks the talk while some actually walk the walk.  What is more important to you?  A safe house with legal wiring and sprinklers to protect your family or, a shallow lifestyle promised in the Toronto Star?

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May 27, 2013

Have you been shafted by Mattamy or another builder? Welcome to the club.

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This posting is # 593.  My blog first started so that I could inform potential buyers of homes of some of the issues they might have.  I use Mattamy as an example as I can give personal knowledge of the issues I have had.  I also use Mattamy as I can show the facts and counter the bullshit advertising one reads in the newspapers regarding builders.  Interesting how few, if any, negative articles are done about Mattamy Homes, especially in the Toronto Star.  They won’t tell the truth or issues about one of their biggest advertisers but have no issues spending months trying to show the world the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford smokes crack.  To be honest, I don’t give a rats ass about Rob Ford but I do have issues when builders are allowed to put children’s lives at risk.  Mattamy puts in illegal wiring that bordered on criminal negligence and the Town of Oakville brushes it off.  Just like the Toronto Star, Oakville depends on the largesse of Mattamy and its owner, Peter Gilgan.  Hard to get town hall to implement measures to protect the taxpayer when it relies on mega donations from Gilgan.  I’ve seen movies about this kind of relationship – and I thought it was fiction.

But, Mattamy isn’t the only bad boy out there.  There are more examples, some of which I have printed here in my blog but, it seems that warranty outfits like Tarion and municipal governments fail to really address the problem.  My one recommendation of allowing the potential homebuyer to hire a house inspector to monitor the build of their house has been stomped on by the Town of Oakville and the Ontario government.  Why?  The Town of Oakville stated it can’t (but it is bullshit as they could implement under their responsibilities of ensuring the build is to code) and, Ontario stated it would cost the homebuyer money.  Duh!!!.. So do upgrades and both would be optional.

Interesting sidebar is that Kevin Flynn was a member of the Town of Oakville council when my idea was drummed out-of-town and passed on to the province.  He was shortly thereafter elected to the provincial level and, as an MPP, failed to do anything at that level when I passed it on to him.  He did not push for it to happen, even though he had passed it to the province for action.  He is the same MPP that kept his seat in Oakville when the Liberals cancelled the power plant at a cost of $310million in order to win the election.  They don’t worry about the cost to the taxpayer in order to save their seats but, when asked to pass a regulation to protect homebuyers, they balk as it MIGHT cost the homebuyer money.  And, we elect these people to look after us.

I think some people have the idea I am the only one Peter Gilgan has screwed to the wall.  Sorry to say, I’m not.  Oh, there are those who get the flowers and those who say nothing so they can resale their Mattamy Home and not be liable due to a non-disclosure of issues.  Speculators don’t want anything said as they are in for a quick kill and don’t really care that the family who buys the home might end up with issues.

Well, here are some comments I received.  The truth is out there and some people don’t mind sharing it.  Food for thought and maybe hiring a house inspector to monitor the build might be a good strategic strategy.  Otherwise, welcome to the club.  You will find that politicians and developers work very well together.  Sometimes though, we wonder just who benefits.  Donation anyone?

Politicians and Developers Wor$ together.

Politicians and Developers Wor$ together.

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3.I guess I will add to your list of total dissatisfaction with my own tale of woe. We purchased a Mattamy Home in Bracebridge in May of 2010. We have had numerous calls to what they deem to be Customer Service. The basement leaks, we can’t use the expensice shower upgrade in the master bedroom and we again need a window replaced. I would never again entertain a thought of buying a Mattamy Home. A first year trade student could do a better job and a grade student would probably have better communication integratey.

Comment by Jennifer – April 2013 — April 29, 2013 @ 1:51 pm | Edit This  | Reply 

2.7 1/2 years later I have a leak in my roof and Mattamy basically told me to go F$$$ myself. Tarion is part of the problem as well. How do you get better warranty with a car then a house. I had a roofer go up on my roof and was told I had a leak from day one because the guy mattamy sent up cut through one of the shingles. My shingles have been shrinking as well so I have gaps everywhere, so plywood is expose. I thought shingles had a warranty as well, oh thats only if they are crumbling apart. I recommend anyone who buys a house of Mattamy think twice because the obviously do not care about their customers.

Comment by J — May 14, 2013 @ 8:32 am | Edit This  | Reply 

25.We live in Ontario Canada…..our Mattamy home sucks the big one. Both Mattamy homes we had. First one our roof leaked right through to our basement took 4 months of them ripping out flashing and not resolving the issue until I found a contractor who told me what the issue was…no flashing…DUH… Our second home…wow from 3 months in shingles falling off and 5 years  After still falling off…sorry not covered due to the act of god wind storms…BS shitty shingles. Had to have a roofer up there to replace them and since then haven’t come off and our vents were not installed properly allwing moisture to accumulate.  Spent a ton of money to get our spare washroom snaked because they were dropping grout and cement down it and caused damage to pipes…sorry you should of told tarion…we did they gave us the run around oh these are energy efficient toilets they don’t flush as much as others…so ur telling me my PiSS ways a ton and I’m SOL of it..nice.

And now our windows have condensation building up between the panes of glass that’s causing black mold…I’m still waiting to hear what they will say, but I will be out of $$$ on this one too I suspect.

DO NoT BUY…they’re all nice for the first .30 days until they badger you to give them 100% on their customer service survey….do not fill it out until they fix your problems. And even then tarion doesn’t do shit cause their BFFs with the builders…bunch of BS so pissed

Comment by Mars — April 20, 2013 @ 9:55 pm | Edit This  | Reply 

26.I have looked at Mattamy homes in Airdrie and talked with a few owners in the neighbourhood.  Apparently after the home sale is complete any construction defects and enquiries are ignored by the company.

Comment by Anonymous — May 9, 2013 @ 4:55 pm | Edit This  | Reply 

I have found so many little issues in our Mattamy home. On their own, it’s trivial, but added up, the sum is just stupid. From suspected insulation issues around the living room bay window, master bedroom overhang, and garage, to hot air that just won’t reach the farthest room in the house (the master washroom) that results in a freezing master, to odd air flow where the upstairs can’t be cooled in summer. Wicked condensation in winter on ALL windows in the house that can pool and lead to mould if not kept up on. The carpet is just disgusting- the little living room carpet was made from two pieces!!!! The seam is very obvious. The pile is so flat and pulling up at the same time. The mortar in the bricks is like sand in some isolated areas. Caulking is already deteriortating and the house isn’t even 10 years old! The casement windows are a bitch to open and close and are already showing signs of falling apart. The spalling (spalling???) cement along the parimeter of the porch has all but crumbled away. I just had to replace the sump pump that comes on maybe 6 times a year. The yard landscaping is like a lumpy field of little hills.

All and all, I would never buy a Mattamy (or Devonleigh) or possibly other cooky cutter home from a large developer again. I really think basic workmanship is pissed away for speed. And it’s funny because this is the LARGEST purchase a person will make in their lives, and we have NO real way to get these mistakes corrected.

One person in our community had the wrong bricks and colour put up. Mattamy offered them something like 10000 in upgrades, but refused to let them out of the contract for the house, or correct the bricks. And really, that’s BS because of how much money we pay for homes. I give someone $350000, and I expect what I pay for.

But home consumers have zero rights in Canada.

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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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May 15, 2013

Mattamy/Gilgan rule: Bullshit PR Toronto Star 2 page spreads, along with donations, will beat “word of mouth” TRUTH.

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A reputable businessperson understands the value of a positive reputation if they want to attract customers.  Others, use different methods to get people to buy.  Some will undercut the competition because consumers always like a bargain.  We don’t always consider the fact that cheap means CHEAP – cutbacks, paybacks, screw you and F*** off sometimes.  Some businesspeople understand that “word of mouth” is a very important method for gaining other customers.  We trust our friends and when they recommend someone, we tend to go there instead of somewhere else.  But then, some friends have been buffaloed and like sheep, we follow their advice and get the shaft.  Some people are ashamed to admit they got duped and will continue the fraud to save face, thus allowing less than desirable businesspeople to flourish.

Some develop a cult attitude, with line-ups etc that will draw in the unknowing.  Add the cheap prices and voila, another sucker is born.  Some will use a large PR budget to spread the gospel (like the 2 page Toronto Star Saturday edition Mattamy ads – only builder to use this I believe)  A good builder shouldn’t have to do that to attract a following, unless “word of mouth” spreads a different picture.

Back in the day it was hard to spread the word – usually just close friends got the message.  Now, with Social Media, you can tell the world.  Something companies are understanding and setting up their own social media links.  I notice Mattamy is a little shy on the Twitter – afraid the truth will come out more?  Truth staves off the lawyers – they hate it like garlic.

My blog allows those of us who have received the “Mattamy Shaft” to express ourselves.  I pride myself that I have stuck to the truth.  I’ve been threatened with law suits and bully boys but, they know that there is little they can do in terms of the “truth”.  Even the Town of Oakville is trying to stop the truth coming out with their lack of response to my requests.  Do I need to request an audience at Town Council – the right of every taxpayer?

Here are some of the truths, as experienced by some of my readers.  Shows I’m not the only one who has been shafted.  Only some get the flowers and extras and that’s due to the survey maybe.  Truthful surveys rarely get the flowers.

7 1/2 years later I have a leak in my roof and Mattamy basically told me to go F$$$ myself.  Tarion is part of the problem as well.  How do you get better warranty with a car then a house.  I had a roofer go up on my roof and was told I had a leak from day one because the guy mattamy sent up cut through one of the shingles.  My shingles have been shrinking as well so I have gaps everywhere, so plywood is expose.  I thought shingles had a warranty as well, oh thats only if they are crumbling apart.  I recommend anyone who buys a house of Mattamy think twice because the obviously do not care about their customers.

Comment by J — May 14, 2013 @ 8:32 am  | Edit This | Reply

I guess I will add to your list of total dissatisfaction with my own tale of woe. We purchased a Mattamy Home in Bracebridge in May of 2010. We  have had numerous calls to what they deem to be Customer Service. The basement leaks, we can’t use the expensice shower upgrade in the master bedroom and we again need a window replaced. I would never again entertain a thought of buying a Mattamy Home. A first year trade student could do a better job and a grade student would probably have better communication integratey.

Comment by Jennifer – April 2013 — April 29, 2013 @ 1:51 pm  | Edit This | Reply

I’ve got more scattered over the blog but I think you get the picture.  Not all Mattamy owners got the promise given in the 2 page Toronto Star spread paid for by Mattamy.  If you buy in Oakville – like The Preserve”, don’t expect the Town of Oakville building inspector to be your friend.  According to my last letter from them, they will only inspect if they are called.  Now, for Mattamy to call is a legislated requirement but, Mattamy has a history of not following all legislated requirements.  Illegal wiring, building on human waste and illegal berm building, just to name a few.  We have a history of illegal construction practices (did I mention the illegal burning) and the Town of Oakville has a history of not doing things or, if demanding building code changes, not checking to make sure it was done properly. (all can be proven, so hold your horses legal beagles)  The Town of Oakville building department won’t even tell us how they will do the inspections – their plan in case Mattamy doesn’t call.

So please, if you learn anything from my blog, make sure you have a PROFESSIONAL REAL ESTATE LAWYER AND A PROFESSIONAL HOUSE INSPECTOR on your team and ,DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT.

It is all that will stand between you and the potential Mattamy shaft, backed up by the donation rich Town of Oakville.  And, this advice is for all builders actually.  They are out to make money, not necessarily lose money to give you a place they might have underpriced to begin with.  (Remember: Cheap isn’t quality, just quantity)

Think I am wrong?  Just ask yourself – why is the Town of Oakville afraid to pass a by-law giving the homebuyer the RIGHT to hire a professional house inspector to monitor the build of your house.  Every commercial build has a right to self-monitor.

P.S. Observation.  Mattamy hires their own lawyers, using the money they get from the sales of homes – your money.  When you ask for something from the Town of Oakville, they use their lawyers – paid for by your taxes, to stop you, a taxpayer,  from progressing.  Seems no matter what, it is YOUR money they use to shaft you.  Not a bad system.

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April 28, 2013

Brian Burke does the lawsuit route. Mattamy knows – truth comes out.

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When you do a blog, or even comment on a blog, there is a certain social responsibility that most normal people would have no issues with.  Blogs have allowed the “common” person to get their message out and we have certain freedoms of speech accorded to us.  Oh, some try to stop us through threats, screaming, bully boys and even threatened lawsuits but, the powers that be are usually in support of those who wish to publicly write their thoughts.

The “Responsibility”?  You really need to stick with the truth.  Recently, as reported in the Toronto Star former Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has decided to ferret out those who may be abusing this responsibility.  Seems that some have written about a rumour that Brian Burke was fired from his job for getting broadcaster Hazel Mae pregnant and “that he was the father of her child”.  I make no comment on that tidbit of gossip.

But, I totally agree with him going after those spreading these supposed lies if in fact they are lies. I myself was a victim of being called a liar in a case involving the Toronto Star and I wish I had stepped up to the plate and gone after them and the judge.  Considering I would have had a Prime Minister back me up would have strengthened my case.  But, that is under the water now.  But, if the lies are actually true, can Brian Burke stifle the truth through threats of the lawsuit?  Some have tried that.  How often do you hear about homeowners bringing out the truth about their home’s lack of quality construction, only to be threatened with a lawsuit by the powerful builder and everything disappears.  We don’t even know if the faults are actually repaired or , has the threat of a lawsuit silenced the homeowner.

I have had people contribute to my blog, along with other forums and they have asked that certain information be removed as they were “threatened” by the builder.  I comply with these requests from the homeowner only to protect them.

Myself, Mattamy Homes has threatened me with lawsuits, even to the point of serving me papers.  Unfortunately, their own lawyer was possibly guilty of defamation, according to their own website.  But, if they want to do this, they will eventually have to prove your statements are false.

That is why you “DOCUMENT” everything you do with your builder.  Photographs, documents and names are important.  With this backing you up, let them take you to court.  You are not speaking with a “forked tongue” but have the evidence to back up the “truth”.  Lawyers hate the truth – hurts their case when they sue you.  Almost like throwing a bucket of water on the old wicked witch when you bring out the documentation backing up your side of the story.

Mattamy Homes, Peter Gilgan and the Town of Oakville have allowed me to continue this blog because?

It is the TRUTH.

And, they know it.  I have been trying to get a document from the Town of Oakville with little success.  Why?  Either it has been lost or, it proves my story.  The Oakville lawyers would hate to see that one out.  Why?  It proves I was right and we all know, lawyers don’t like to see that (unless you are in fact paying them).  We shall see if the Town of Oakville has the balls to step up and say yes -“we were wrong”.  I’m already on record stating I would not sue – unlike your Mattamy friends who keep up the donations.

By the way Peter – about time you g0t another photo-op with a donation.  I can give you some suggestions that would help the community if you want.

So, good luck to Brian Burke and if the slander is not right, then you should win.  As we know, sometimes we are lucky and the truth does come out.  In my case, it seems that Mattamy and the Town of Oakville really don’t care about homeowners being shafted and, continue in their ways.  Good luck to those who bought in “The Preserve”.  Remember, your safety and welfare depends on building inspectors from the Town of Oakville who, in the past, will pass illegally wired furnaces, etc.

Maybe you should rethink hiring a house inspector to protect your safety.  Part of the “DOCUMENTATION” safety net.

P.S. One point to remember – Tarion may require your municipality to declare work done under a work permit illegal or not up to code or, being the issue that caused the problem. But, if it was the municipality which OK’s the original work under the permit, what are the odds they will do that?  They will protect their butt and leave you to the wolves.

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April 2, 2013

Town of Oakville – why are you frightened of passing a bylaw to protect homeowners? Might lose the donations from Mattamy????

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Monday, April 1st.

Never know when you might get an April Fools Day joke thrown at you.  Social media, friends, large companies and the media all share in the day and try to show some ingenuity in making you laugh at your own expense.  One headline screamed: “McCallion faces conflict of interest heat again.” in the April 1st edition of the Toronto Star.  It was no joke.  Hurricane Hazel was back at it again.  I think they will have to change her non de plume to “Teflon McCallion”.

Seems she has more excuses than Carter has Little Liver Pills and, she has added the usual – “her actions were inadvertent” in her response to the charges.  Much like the Town of Oakville’s action in my case I guess.  Letting Mattamy Homes sell a house without electricity and illegal wiring.  I wonder if the donation to former mayor Anne Mulvale’s “Wellspring” project were “inadvertent”?

Think you won’t have problems with a house.  I mean, you have your lawyer, the builder’s reputation and, the omnipresent building inspector from the municipality?  You know, the guy who gives you a hard time when you want to build a deck out back.  Deck bad – illegal wiring good.  And, you know the union will guarantee the quality of labour for their workers.  Yeah, right.  They only argue for more money so the union bosses can make more.  If your builder hires non-union like Mattamy, then who knows the quality of these guys.  I know some are dedicated professionals who do good work but, they have to work with the unlearned and non-caring as well as the occasional unwashed.  Only the builder can truly control the quality, if they so desire.

A Winnipeg family had the luxury of two, count em, two builders screw up their custom house.  What went wrong?  For the full story go to this link but a few of the issues were as follows:

This from Beach Rocke Engineering Ltd.

Rock report

As well, it was stated they had the following issues, which is not the complete list:

“The couple said they were being billed for added electrical circuits, beyond what was called for in the original plans.

A few months later, the Schadeks found water several feet deep in the crawl space below the basement floor.

The Schadeks hired an engineer to examine the problem. He found damage to joists from excessive moisture and discovered the vapour barrier in the basement wasn’t sealed.

The engineer also cited violations of the National Building Code unrelated to the water problem.”

If you read the article, you will note they have little government protection.  Obviously municipal inspectors don’t always cut it.  And, the insurance program was screwed up.

I have been trying to get the original report done by a Town of Oakville employee (Building Department) on my issue and all I get are copies of the “waste of skin” council reports, of which I have had copies for years.  I’ve sent 3 letters explaining what I want.

Maybe if I used some “Idle No More” tactics I might have better luck.  Camp out at town hall?  Block their access to the local Timmies?  Stop the donation trucks?

Also asked for a report on how the building department was going to handle inspections at the new Mattamy “The Preserve” sub-division.  So far, I got a quote from the Ontario Building Code, which I already knew.  Funny thing.  According to this regulation, the town building department won’t inspect any of the new homes unless Mattamy notifies them things are ready.  Now, it says “shall” but we all know that Mattamy has failed in the past regarding “SHALL”.

They shall not begin construction on land fertilized with human waste (Milton), they shall not do terra-forming without permit (Ottawa) and they shall not sell a house with illegal wiring (Oakville).  Seems they don’t understand the word “SHALL”.  Except I understand Mr. Gilgan uses the word “SHALL”  in reference to using any tactic to build on his $1.8 BILLION net worth.  Some of which is probably due to shortcuts that made him money and might have had some bearing on the quality of your home.  At least I can prove it in my case. (for the Gilgan lawyer trust)

So, based on this past experience, and lots more, I would think the Town of Oakville building department would be a little more pro-active in ensuring the rights and safety of homeowners was protected.  I mean, they do pay the taxes.  Mattamy only gives donations to the Town and gives politicians photo-ops.  What is more important – safety or photo-ops?  Seems I have already answered that question.  Anyways, Mr. Tutert at the Town of Oakville building department will shortly be getting another letter asking him to expand on his strategy to protect the citizens of Oakville from bad building practices.  If he only waits to be notified, he might be waiting a long time.  Show some initiative and make sure the Building Code is followed.  The Building Code doesn’t really cut it, according to Mike Holmes, but it is all we have.  So, when you don’t enforce the bare minimum, god only knows how bad the house really is.

You see, your elected representatives won’t pass a by-law to protect you by ensuring you have the right to hire a house inspector to monitor the building of your new home.  I mean, we’ve already proven the town can’t do a perfect job.  Maybe they could tell me why they won’t do it.  They state the “Building Code” is not legislated by them.  Yes, we all know that.  But, look at the small print guys.

THE MUNICIPALITY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ENFORCING THE BUILDING CODE.

Got the picture.

Pass a by-law that allows homeowners to hire a house inspector to monitor the build and ensure the building code is followed.  Have the by-law state that the building inspector must report all infractions to the homeowner and, THE MUNICIPAL BUILDING INSPECTOR (for follow-0up).  This will increase the “eyes on the street” (kind of like CPTED – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) and make the Municipality more effective in enforcing the Building Code, which they are responsible for.

Hey!!!!  It’s a win/win/win for the Building department, homeowners and, HONEST, QUALITY BUILDERS everywhere.  Only a corrupt and poor builder would argue against it.  Right Mattamy?  Matter of fact Mr. Gilgan, why not tell your political flunkies to pass the by-law because Mattamy is a quality builder who wants the homeowner to receive the best protection they can have.  According to your PR, you build quality – sorry, I forgot, you now advertise lifestyle not quality.  Anyways, anyone would make all those donations for a good cause can’t really be against this by-law and, considering you are the big guy in the home building market, your word would have sway.  Unless you are using that “sway” to stop it.  Hmmmmmm.  What’s up Gilgan, except your $1.8 Billion lifestyle?

So, why are they so reluctant to let a homeowner protect themselves?

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March 26, 2013

Oakville building department uses power when convenient? Not when it should?

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“Town was ready to block plant” – so read the headline on the front page of the “Oakville Beaver”. They are referring to the infamous power plant that was stopped in Oakville on the eve of an election. (Also Mississauga)

Liberals started the plant – Liberals stopped the plant – a Liberal was re-elected.

What can we say except that this political maneuvering may cost all taxpayers in the 3 digit millions. And, someone is going to pocket that money as well. Friends of the Liberals?

But, I like Mayor Burton’s comment: “Oakville was on track to block the building of a controversial power plant when former premier Dalton McGuinty’s government decided to cancel it amid strong community opposition.”

No building permit was to be issued based on pollution and safety concerns. I guess things have changed under Burton’s leadership. Under former mayor Anne Mulvale, a building inspector passed my furnace even though it had illegal wiring. Power plant gets stopped at great expense to the taxpayer while my house is allowed to be sold with illegal wiring.

At my expense.

I guess the building department only uses its authority when it is politically expedient. Oh, yes, I have mentioned that Wellspring received a donation from Mattamy Homes and Billionaire Gilgan (1.8B) at the request of Anne Mulvale.

For some reason we pay our taxes and trust the system, a system that is manipulated by those who use it for their own gain and hide behind the trust of those who believe in it.  The Town of Oakville tells us to trust the Building Department when it comes to the construction of our homes.  They don’t make the regulations but supposedly enforce the Building Code.  But, just how well do they enforce it?  My blog has shown they aren’t that good about it.  I know people who have been in court for years in regards to the Town of Oakville and certain environmental issues that have occurred.  Like human waste flowing in the Sixteen Mile Creek.  My kids swam in that creek, not knowing about the sludge overflowing into the watershed.  So much for standards.

You trust the Mattamy name?  For the full version, read the comment at the bottom of this blog.  This is how a builder will screw you.  The Town of Oakville was given a chance to correct the issues.  They state that they don’t have enough inspectors but refuse to pass a by-law stating that a new homeowner could hire a house inspector to monitor their build.  What better way to enforce the building code.

And, what professional and honest builder would balk at that?  How could they argue against a licensed professional and insured house inspector monitoring the build?  In commercial builds, the owner has people helping them so, it has been established practice in some construction.  Lets just expand the practice to protect homeowners.

Do not assume you have an occupancy permit.  Have your lawyer ask for one before closing.  Make the municipality work for those added charges to the price of your house.

Here is what our elected (and sometimes supported by donations from developers) officials would be protecting us from.  In this case, it just happens to be Mattamy.

“I have found so many little issues in our Mattamy home. On their own, it’s trivial, but added up, the sum is just stupid. From suspected insulation issues around the living room bay window, master bedroom overhang, and garage, to hot air that just won’t reach the farthest room in the house (the master washroom) that results in a freezing master, to odd air flow where the upstairs can’t be cooled in summer. Wicked condensation in winter on ALL windows in the house that can pool and lead to mould if not kept up on. The carpet is just disgusting- the little living room carpet was made from two pieces!!!! The seam is very obvious. The pile is so flat and pulling up at the same time. The mortar in the bricks is like sand in some isolated areas. Caulking is already deteriortating and the house isn’t even 10 years old! The casement windows are a bitch to open and close and are already showing signs of falling apart. The spalling (spalling???) cement along the parimeter of the porch has all but crumbled away. I just had to replace the sump pump that comes on maybe 6 times a year. The yard landscaping is like a lumpy field of little hills.

All and all, I would never buy a Mattamy (or Devonleigh) or possibly other cooky cutter home from a large developer again. I really think basic workmanship is pissed away for speed. And it’s funny because this is the LARGEST purchase a person will make in their lives, and we have NO real way to get these mistakes corrected.

One person in our community had the wrong bricks and colour put up. Mattamy offered them something like 10000 in upgrades, but refused to let them out of the contract for the house, or correct the bricks. And really, that’s BS because of how much money we pay for homes. I give someone $350000, and I expect what I pay for.

But home consumers have zero rights in Canada.”

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