New Home Pre-Delivery Inspection and Tarion Warranty Activation

Our Pre-Delivery Inspection went on as expected on our HUG date – that’s the Quality Homes guaranteed completion date. Even with the bumps along the way, Quality Homes actually pulled this one off! Since we had a few days before moving in, we set our anxiety over the occupancy permit aside and allowed ourselves to enjoy the excitement of the wrap-up with our Construction Manager.

Did You Know…?

Somehow, (probably excitement or wishful thinking) I had it in my head that we should be able to move in on our scheduled completion date. While technically complete, our home wasn’t quite ready for us to move in. I’ll come back to this in a bit but I don’t want you to miss my biggest piece of advice for the completion of your home: 

Schedule your move-in for at least a few days after your scheduled completion date. Okay, now I can get on with the story! 

1 Week Prior to Completion of Our Home

We could tell that work was winding down on the completion of our build because the details were starting to be taken care of. Little things were being tended to; things like: 

  • Trim details on the exterior of the home were completed
  • Drywall imperfections were being repaired
  • Missing cabinet pulls and a shelves were installed
  • Scrap materials were being cleared out. 

We figured it was time to do our own walk-through to check for anything that we’d want to be sure was fixed prior to the big PDI/Hug Inspection. With Brian’s eye for detail, and my pen and sticky-notes at the ready, we set to work. We scanned every inch of what we could see (the countertops and floors were still covered), looking for repairs to be made or little missing things.

We quickly realized that it was a little like an easter egg hunt; we had to look very closely to find things to note. It appeared as though Quality Homes had also noticed most of the little things that we had been mentally noting for a few weeks. We also came up with a bit of a plan for what we’d need to do before moving in, like installing the pantry shelving (we decided to do this on our own, even though our builder could have done it).    

What Does Pre-Delivery Inspection Day Mean?

I humbly admit that I was a little mistaken about what this inspection really meant. Somehow, I had it in my head that this would be the day that the builder hands the home over to you so you can move in. I thought the purpose of this inspection was more of a formality, to close out the build phase, and that we should (technically) be able to move in. It’s really so much more. This is where you: 

  • Learn about how your home operates, 
  • Learn how to maintain it, 
  • Create a deficiency list that will be the start of your Tarion New Home Warranty documentation. 

The homeowner may still have work to do before moving in. You may have to – or want to:

  • Complete some steps to get your occupancy permit! 
  • Complete some services such as your water treatment system if you haven’t already
  • Set-up of your HiQ home monitoring system (this won’t delay moving in)
  • Do some work on the exterior of your home 
  • And you’ll probably want to do your own cleaning – just like moving into any other home you’ve had in the past.

What is Tarion and what does it have to do with the Builder’s Warranty?

Tarion is non-profit organization, created by the Ontario Government to oversee builder warranties and advocates for fair resolution of disputes between builders and new home owners. They ensure that the builder fulfills their warranty obligations. This adds an added layer of confidence that your builder will honour their warranty.

Does your builder have to be registered with Tarion? Yes! I found this in the Builder’s section of the Tarion website:

 “It is a provincial offence to offer to sell, agree to sell, or begin construction of a home without first obtaining the applicable licences from the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) and the necessary authorizations from Tarion.”

Are there any loopholes that can get a home built by a builder without being a part of Tarion? Probably … but I’d be very cautious about buying that home!

You can find out more about Tarion through their website. Be sure to check out their great resources so you can confidently manage your post-delivery relationship with your builder. There, you’ll find things like this handy Inspection Checklist: 

Tarion Inspection Checklist

The Inspection

The excitement of this day ranks right up there with the day the trucks delivered the modules. Brian and I both worked in the morning; for me it was more to keep my mind busy so I didn’t burst with anticipation. As exciting as the day is, it’s also very important so we wanted to keep our eyes and ears focused on the tasks at hand.

After meeting with our Construction Manager and his dynamic duo finishing crew, we began our inspection. First, we walked around the exterior of the home and found little to note, just one small piece of j-trim on the peak of the roof on the back deck. Then we moved inside via the garage. This inspection was so detailed that we even stopped at the front door to discuss the operation of the keypad entry and switching from the construction keys. 

When I say this was a detailed inspection, I mean: 

  • We tested window openers, 
  • Kitchen cabinet door closers, 
  • We looked at the face of each cabinet door, 
  • Checked the under cabinet lighting (we already knew there was one lens missing and wanted to see if it had been replaced)
  • Looked for nicks and cracks in walls, doors, floors and even the ceilings,
  • We went into the crawlspace to inspect and learn about the mechanicals. 

Our Construction Manager noted all the things directly onto the Tarion Pre-Delivery Inspection Form and one of the finishing crew followed behind us, repairing what he could along the way. I know it’s a serious thing to do, but we sure had fun doing it!

This is our VERY short list of deficiencies

Once the inspection was completed, we reviewed the list and signed the Tarion form. All things considered, you can see there was little to note and none of it was critical to the enjoyment of our home. So, the Quality Homes crew wrapped up and left us to it. 

The Home is OURS! 

I’m pretty sure we stood there, dumbfounded for a moment or two, as we realized that this has really happened; we’ve built our dream home! It’s all ours now! It’s really happened! 

Of course there’s still lots to do to get us moved in and settled but holy smokes! This actually happened! 

Tarion Activation

A few days after the Pre-Delivery Inspection, we received an email from Tarion welcoming us to the program and inviting us to set up our account. This activates our warranty period with Tarion. Quality Homes has 30 days to rectify as much as they can from the inspection day list – and they did. About one week prior to the 30 days, we received an email from Tarion with instructions on documenting any outstanding, or newly found work items.

Let’s Get Ready to Move in!

Alright, enough admiring “our” handiwork, it’s time to get ready to move in!

The Cottage Wife

In addition to hiking, biking, reading and writing, I like to focus on making as light an impact on the land possible, while still living a modern life.

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