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View Full Version : First time buyer, post delivery dilemna!


karma
2011-03-14, 11:35 AM
We closed our very first house last week and it has been a battle for us to run around the builder to fix all the scratches, paint, broken kitchen cabinet.The builder keeps giving us that they have 15 days (since PDI) to fix things and we need to provide them access to the house.

First: I just noticed that my standard feature list includes "professional duct cleaning before occupancy", I asked the on-site person in the trailer and he said its been done. But I mentioned to him that I checked under most of the vent caps and there is good amount of debris, wood scraps, dust etc. His reply was that duct cleaning doesn't include cleaning of that. I thought a clean vent would be indication of good duct cleaning???? please correct me. What else can I ask to confirm?

Second: This weekend I noticed something unusual about the ceiling our master bedroom (this is the no-windows wall, attached to the other house as its a semi), the line where the wall and ceiling met appeared slanting. I took measurements and the left corner height came out to 95 3/4 inches and the right corner is 96 1/2 inch. I was like no way, not another thing to go around running.

Am I just being paranoid? or there is some clearance acceptable in new houses. I really hate going back and forth to the builder, leave voice mails go on-site..wish I had bought a older house. I believe there is a longer structural warranty.....please advice on how to tackle this and more to come !

PJD
2011-03-14, 12:00 PM
We closed our very first house last week and it has been a battle for us to run around the builder to fix all the scratches, paint, broken kitchen cabinet.The builder keeps giving us that they have 15 days (since PDI) to fix things and we need to provide them access to the house.

First: I just noticed that my standard feature list includes "professional duct cleaning before occupancy", I asked the on-site person in the trailer and he said its been done. But I mentioned to him that I checked under most of the vent caps and there is good amount of debris, wood scraps, dust etc. His reply was that duct cleaning doesn't include cleaning of that. I thought a clean vent would be indication of good duct cleaning???? please correct me. What else can I ask to confirm?

Second: This weekend I noticed something unusual about the ceiling our master bedroom (this is the no-windows wall, attached to the other house as its a semi), the line where the wall and ceiling met appeared slanting. I took measurements and the left corner height came out to 95 3/4 inches and the right corner is 96 1/2 inch. I was like no way, not another thing to go around running.

Am I just being paranoid? or there is some clearance acceptable in new houses. I really hate going back and forth to the builder, leave voice mails go on-site..wish I had bought a older house. I believe there is a longer structural warranty.....please advice on how to tackle this and more to come !

First of all, you can relax, not everything has to be fixed before you move in. You will have to complete a 30-day, a 1-year and a 2-year warranty form. Often, I think it's best that the big items be listed on those forms that go to Tarion. Your PDI list does not.

Generally, the duct cleaning that the builders do is poor. It's just meant to take out big items like coffee cups and whatever else the workers may have thrown in the ducts when mistaking them for garbage disposals. :rolleyes: Usually, if it's done there is a sticker on your furnace indicating the date it was completed. This is up to you of course, but it may be wise to hire a company to do a good/real duct cleaning. I know many people who did and I was one of them.

As for the wall, put it on your 30-day list. You do not need to keep contacting the builder about these things, let them fix the PDI items and you will find more things once you move in anyway. My experience was better dealing with the customer service staff who came for the 30-day list than the PDI workers/super. I have my 1-year coming up soon.

Again about the wall, they have clauses usually in your agreement which permits some level of errors and this may be supported by Tarion. However, you would need to look at the Tarion construction regulations with regards to this one and whether it would be considered acceptable or not. If this is too complex for you, you may also hire a home inspector to come and take a look and give you their professional opinion. I used one for my 30-day list who knew the Tarion Guidelines very well if you want a referral.

Don't panic. Everything will work out. It just seems overwhelming right now. :)

PJD
2011-03-14, 12:19 PM
Sorry, I just realized that you did move in. Not that this changes any of my advice. But I just wanted to add one thing that I forgot to comment on:

Yes, they do have timelines to fix things. I forget what it is for the PDI but you better grow patience because their timelines for the 30-day and the 1-year are quite long. I believe they have 4-5 months to complete the list. Just take it one day at a time. You'll notice a lot of things when you first move in and potentially more when you're there past the 30 days.

Victor11
2011-03-14, 12:57 PM
Hi Karma, PJD's advice is very helpful. As for duct cleaning, I see 1 or 2-inch holes along my duct in the basement. They made holes for cleaning, and closed them up by caps when done(approximately holes are made every 5 ~ 7 feet). I'm not sure if they can clean the duct without making holes, but in my house, the builder used a separate duct cleaning company, after all the duct assembly was done. So if you see holes, the builder has done something. If the duct is not clean, putting it up on your 30-day report is the best way. I think you should contact the builder immediately on emergency cases, such as water leaking, etc., but for normal cases, the build has months to fix them (with some push of course :)).

karma
2011-03-14, 01:42 PM
Really really appreciate your advice. Yes, as you mentioned its really overwhelming and feels like loosing patience at times. I was under the impression that first few weeks are crucial and Tarion is just one of those government formalities that may or may not be taken seriously by the builder. But looks like I will still have chances to request as the house settles down.

So PJD, how is your 1 year coming to, I hope the list is not long. Thanks again and do advice on anything specific to look and put on 30 day list.

Also, though this might sound picky, during PDI wife noted that our faucet and sink are a mismatch of shade. The faucet is glossy(almost mirror finish) Moen and the sink sort of brushed faded steel Blanco. I checked our feature list and quote "Upgrade Moen "Camerist" single lever kitchen faucet with Double Stainless Steel Ledgeback Sink " I am not sure what Ledgeback is? is it a brand or style? Does faucet and sink usually match ? The lady included it in the PDI but said let me tell you beforehand this probably wont go thru.

thanks again for prompt advice. :)


Sorry, I just realized that you did move in. Not that this changes any of my advice. But I just wanted to add one thing that I forgot to comment on:

Yes, they do have timelines to fix things. I forget what it is for the PDI but you better grow patience because their timelines for the 30-day and the 1-year are quite long. I believe they have 4-5 months to complete the list. Just take it one day at a time. You'll notice a lot of things when you first move in and potentially more when you're there past the 30 days.

PJD
2011-03-14, 08:50 PM
Really really appreciate your advice. Yes, as you mentioned its really overwhelming and feels like loosing patience at times. I was under the impression that first few weeks are crucial and Tarion is just one of those government formalities that may or may not be taken seriously by the builder. But looks like I will still have chances to request as the house settles down.

So PJD, how is your 1 year coming to, I hope the list is not long. Thanks again and do advice on anything specific to look and put on 30 day list.

Also, though this might sound picky, during PDI wife noted that our faucet and sink are a mismatch of shade. The faucet is glossy(almost mirror finish) Moen and the sink sort of brushed faded steel Blanco. I checked our feature list and quote "Upgrade Moen "Camerist" single lever kitchen faucet with Double Stainless Steel Ledgeback Sink " I am not sure what Ledgeback is? is it a brand or style? Does faucet and sink usually match ? The lady included it in the PDI but said let me tell you beforehand this probably wont go thru.

thanks again for prompt advice. :)

Hey Karma. Saw your post after I replied to your PM. Glad I could help ease things a little. ;)

No, the first few weeks are not more critical. The PDI is only critical for the cosmetic items which they could later accuse you of causing yourself while moving or living there i.e. paint scratches, dents in drywall, etc. After that, best to prepare for your 30-day.

Tarion is not a government agency. The Tarion Board of Directors is made up of Presidents/CEOs of some of the mass builders. No conflict of interest there. :rolleyes:

In my opinion, it's more important that your significant items be on your Tarion forms because then the builder has to address them within a certain time period & they are on paper as warrantable items that need to be fixed. Pay attention to the timelines. Tarion will not honour your list if it's late by even one day.

My 1-year list is likely to be very short and not have any major items on it. My builder's been pretty good so far.

I am confused about your faucet issue, was it an upgrade that you paid for? If so, they should install it or give you your money back. But you know, that's an easy upgrade to do later on if it's their standard faucet and you don't like it. Generally, builders install the cheapest things and chrome is cheaper than stainless steel. You can address it again with the customer service rep. I wouldn't worry too much about what the people tell you at the PDI. If it's anything like my experience, I was given the impression during the PDI that they would not go for fixing certain things and I had no issues whatsoever getting the customer service guy to agree to put the same things on my list.

What to look for, my goodness, feels like a hundred years ago since I did my 30-day list. lol. I started writing down everything I saw as I saw it or else you will forget. If you hire the inspector as it looks like you might, this will help because he will look at your roof, attic, foundation, windows, and many other things. If you go on Tarion's website they have a list to guide you. Do your outside and then your inside. There is a lot to look at. If you have any particular questions, let me know. I feel like it would take me forever to list them all. But as I said, you may notice things at a later date as well. Start early so you can go back to it when you think of something else and so that you feel good when itís time to send it in. You will see that the month goes by fast.