Oakville Homes

August 22, 2013

Would Peter Gilgan/Mattamy use Facebook to listen to complaints? Tarion has a page.

COMMUNICATION.  This is imperative in a marriage, any kind of relationship and just anytime you wish to interact with someone else.  Many a person has found themselves on the divorce end of the stick due to a “failure to communicate”.  Some have fine-tuned the art of communicating with no substance – they can talk the talk but not walk the walk.  Just read some builder’s ads.  They offer all sorts of things but, in the end, produce little of the world they told you about.

Do you notice that Mattamy communicates a lot of things but never “Quality“.  They have ruled the print world in advertising in Toronto for quite some time – two page ads in the Saturday Toronto Star.  Recently, Mattamy has decided to get involved in “Twitter” to pass on the word.  I hope they realize it is a two way street.  As they said – “The truth is out there”, you just have to get it there.

I recently have been communicating with a like soul who has received the rough end of the stick from Ballantry Homes, a battle involving lawyers, Tarion and other interested parties.  I will not go into the details except to say – it has been  a long hard battle they have been fighting.

We both agree on Tarion – the voice of the construction trade.  Funny how newspapers like the Toronto Star go against the police investigating themselves but have no issue with Tarion being controlled by the construction industry but investigating complaints brought forward by shafted homebuyers.

As I said, COMMUNICATION is an important aspect of fixing things.  While working out the issues with Ballantry Homes and Tarion, they have found out that FACEBOOK has their own page and you can comment on that page and give advice and support to those utilizing this format.  Myself, I am a Twitter kind of guy but glad that there is an avenue of COMMUNICATION available to homeowners in expressing their concerns.  Now, there is no guarantee that Tarion will even consider the comments but, at least you have a chance to share your experiences with others who FACEBOOK.

I suggest you visit this page, if you are a FACEBOOKER,  and make known your concerns.  Reading about the troubles of others can prepare you for what you might experience or, you can give advice or support to those already suffering the failure of the system.

Can’t hurt.


July 17, 2011

Will Gilgan’s BHAG affect the quality of your house?


According to the Ottawa Citizen, Mattamy Homes has a new sheriff in town – specifically to revive the failed and jinxed Ottawa Fairwinds project.  In Mattamyspeak, they were held up by government red-tape.  In Realityspeak, they tried to sell houses when they had no permission to build.  Even if the government was slow, Mattamy was using what I would consider an unethical manner of salesmanship.

Pure Greed.

The new Sheriff – Bob Ridley, an “engineer who worked for the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton before  setting up a consulting company and then moving up the executive ladder to  become vice-president of Minto Communities”.  Because of the economic downturn, he became available to Mattamy Homes.

Now, I have no comment on Bob but, I find it interesting he once worked for the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton as an engineer.  Mattamy originally hired an ex-planner of Ottawa’s when they first began Fairwinds.  Now, there are concerns regarding flooding in the area and they hire an ex-Ottawa engineer.  Much like when they hired ex-Halton Chairman Pomeroy for their Halton concerns.  Seems they like to hire ex-government employees to enhance their company with the local governments.  One wonders for just what purpose and does it benefit the builder, electorate or taxpayer when they do this?

Who gets the shaft?

Remember, my case was dismissed while Mattamy gave money to Wellspring, a local concern of the mayor of Oakville.

“You really have to stay on top of customer service, make sure they are happy,  because in this age of Twitter and Facebook an unhappy client is never silent,”  notes Merkley” (president of the Home Builders Association).

I guess this is something Mattamy is finally beginning to realize.  In today’s world of rapid communication, it is hard to shaft people in isolation.  A tactic I am sure they depended on in the past but now, those of us who got the royal Gilgan shaft, are finding out we weren’t alone nor were we an oddity in Mattamy’s supposed high quality levels.

Even J.D. Powers woke up to the Mattamy quality scam.

” It didn’t help that Mattamy been recently lambasted by the influential J.D.  Power Group, which surveyed Ottawa buyers, asking them to rate their buying  experience. Mattamy landed at the bottom of the heap. (For the record, Monarch  was tops.)”

For those who are contemplating the Mattamy Dream and you’ve studied all the advertising and feel you will be safe.

Consider the past performance.

Mattamy has talked the talk but they haven’t perfected walking the walk.  Must have something to do with Gilgan’s BHAG.

Even Peter Gilgan sends out a warning about buying from him.

“A story last year in the Globe and Mail suggested Gilgan is on a mission for  Mattamy to be the best home-building brand in North America. “That’s my BHAG –  the big, hairy, audacious goal,” Gilgan said. “We wrote down that commitment  eight years ago and a BHAG typically takes 20 years to do it.”

Well, that’s Gilgan’s BHAG.

And he wants you to wait 20 years to see results.

They’ve had 8 years to perfect his BHAG but they still can’t get it right.  And he expects you, the homebuyer, to wait another 12 years for them to perfect quality.  Hey, I hate to say it Gilgan but, a lot of builders have had their BHAG perfected for years.  Look at Monarch – the company that got your trophy in Ottawa.

So, for those buying the newly advertised and polished Ottawa Mattamy Homes remember, they are still working on quality and other issues and if you want to help Gilgan get his BHAG right, then go ahead but, don’t say you weren’t warned.

If anything, I’d ask Mattamy if you could hire a house inspector (at your expense) to help them get Gilgan’s BHAG in better shape and maybe cut the timeline down a few years.  Cut it down enough so that you don’t have to worry about Gilgan’s BHAG. Oh, they’re talking about customer service reps but, just ask yourself.  Who do the customer service reps work for and just how far will they push for you?  Remember – they’d like to keep their job and you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Gilgan has hired an ex-Ottawa engineer to help with the Ottawa problems.  I suspect he is more of a land-use engineer and that might bode favourable in terms of maybe your basement will not leak but, what about all the other quality issues.  They also blamed the original mess on the fact their homes are so great that they sold them too fast and their infrastructure was not able to keep up the pace.  I would think a responsible company, one who has sold thousands of houses, would be able to judge how many to sell and how fast and thus ensure quality.  Obviously greed got in the way and they just sold to anyone coming in the door, even though a responsible company would know they couldn’t produce – especially when Ottawa had not told them they could build officially, with a permit.

Well, hopefully bringing in a local boy who knows the local government will help but I as a consumer will wonder about quality.  I saw what happened in Oakville when ex-employees had their finger in the pie.

If anything, hire a house inspector to ensure you get what you pay for.  Remember, Mattamy lost money in Ottawa over this and they will be looking for ways to get it back.  Shortcuts save money – just look at my issue.


DEVELOP YOUR OWN TEAM. (lawyer, house inspector)

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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.