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stittsville resident 2019-01-20 08:16 AM

Tarion: How to confirm the work has been done
We are concerned about the builder patching up defeciciencies and poor workmanship in conditions where you cannot confirm they have actually fixed the problem. I'm unclear on what we can do to try and protect ourselves in these circumstances. I'll give a couple of specific examples:

Seasonal items - exterior caulking

From my understanding, you have until Oct 1st to report if seasonal deficiencies were not fixed correctly.

Our builder apparently ran out of sealant while doing our exterior, so a good portion of the vents are not sealed (caulked) at all, the front entry way has had the sealant separate at the bottom and a large front window has no sealant at the bottom of the frame and it has separated on the top. This creates a lot of drafts, but apparently the builder doesn't have to fix these issues until it's seasonal to do so and we have to deal with the many issues this poor work ethic causes.

My question is, how do we know they have fixed these properly leaks properly, because when they do this in summer, it won't be so easy to see ice, condensation or feel cold drafts.


Some of our windows have failed with condensation appearing between panes. The window company was going to replace one, but the one they brought was already failing before putting it in. You could see the condensation and ice between the panes because it was a cold day when they delivered it. Like above, if they fix these issues which cannot be so easily detected when it's not cold, how can we confirm they are actually replacing our defective windows with ones which are not?

One thing we know for sure is we cannot rely on our builder acting ethically, so I am seeking advice on what measures we could take or options we have because it seems like with Tarion, once the problem is "fixed" you're on your own. Maybe I am missing something?

GregS 2019-01-21 09:17 PM

This is a prime example of having a well educated Home Inspector in to fully investigate the house and mark down any sort of issues that may still be outstanding with the home.

stittsville resident 2019-01-22 02:00 AM

We just had a well educated home inspector, but we found so many issues in the days after their 2 hour inspection which they didn't. If you don't point out every issue, inspectors miss them and one can't afford to have an inspector in after every issue we find has been addressed by the builder.

Also, how can an inspector verify if a window is sealed? That's one of my specific examples. If a faulty window is replaced by another faulty window and no symptoms are showing up until weather conditions occur which expose them, but then warranty is up.

A home inspector isn't a solution from my experience. Only part of a homeowner trying to do their due diligence.

suezuki650 2019-01-22 10:51 AM

Try to get a builder agreement instead of signing off on the item. If you say something like, need to wait until weather is cold to verify fix, and then put in a builder agreement, it protects your Tarion options and gives you time to ensure the fix was done.

The builder may or may not warrant a repair for a year after. The problem with that option is there is no recourse if they decide not to.

stittsville resident 2019-01-22 11:04 AM


Originally Posted by suezuki650 (Post 335453)
Try to get a builder agreement instead of signing off on the item. If you say something like, need to wait until weather is cold to verify fix, and then put in a builder agreement, it protects your Tarion options and gives you time to ensure the fix was done.

The builder may or may not warrant a repair for a year after. The problem with that option is there is no recourse if they decide not to.

That's a good suggestion and something I understand because we've been doing that with some items already in a different way by saying things like, cannot tell if windows are scratched or dirty until builder cleans up after the exterior construction is done.

Thank you for the suggestion.

good2know 2019-01-22 02:41 PM

A few responses:

A window with a defective seal will fog inside in all seasons. Any inspections is as of the day of the inspection. Cant predict that it will fail next week.

The scope of most home inspections does not include minor defects and such. 2 hours is pretty quick. This inspector sounds sketchy, and doubly so if deficiencies were missed.

Its easy to tell if the caulking is done. Its very visible afterwards. It can also be done all year round using commercial grade caulking.

There is no serious water getting in concerns. If done properly, the house wrap will be taped and sealed against the window frame.

stittsville resident 2019-01-23 06:24 AM

I wasn't aware of that, because 2 of the windows with broken seals, I can only see fog or ice on them intermittently. I'll research if there is a way to make bad windows fog.

Yes, I understand they wouldn't find minor defects, but I did expect they would find air infiltration which is enough to cause ice build up on joists and vapor barrier with their infrared camera.

2 hours may have been enough time because there was 2 of them, but it seems like one of them wasn't doing all they could have been when we were following the other one outside. We had thought they would have been walking around the entire house with their infrared camera while we were outside, but that was obviously not that case given the large drafts missed and other defects missed which our amateur eye caught later. I contacted them about this and other issues and they only offered to come back at an hourly rate.

Hopefully there is no damage happening in the areas where there is no sealant because they wrapped like you described. I'm going to call Tarion though to see if there is any way they can be forced to apply sealant now, because it can be done and our house is not able to get above 19 degrees when the temp falls to -22 - -25 and even with the milder temperatures yesterday it takes 1 hour for the furnace to raise the temp by 1 degree. They are coming to look at the furnace tomorrow, but I think the furnace and ductwork is fine, there are just so many drafts that the house cannot heat properly.

Thank you for your insights. I respect your opinions, you're valuable to this forum.

good2know 2019-01-23 08:52 AM

Thanks for the kind words.

Ive never used a thermal camera so Im not sure how well they work in warm weather say 18 to 20 degrees. There may not be enough temperature differential to show up.

Even a tiny tiny hole will allow enough cold air through to condense or freeze on the inside. In a basement wall assembly there are many possible infiltration spots - too many to visually inspect. Almost impossible to see little holes and gaps.

For any new house we will go around with a roll of house wrap tape and tape up every hole and seam leak we can find. Cold temperatures make this easy.

What is very troubling is the 1 hr 1 degree. There are 2 key aspects - how many btu your furnace can produce, and the fan speed. Ask them to check air flow at the vents, and balance things for you.

Good luck ... very frustrating having these issues.

stittsville resident 2019-01-23 05:03 PM

Well the furnace people came today and confirmed that our heating problem is because the furnace is too small. Wouldn't a good home inspector know that and say something or am I wrong? Maybe not in Ontario? The home inspector opened up our furnace and even said that it was small, but wouldn't elaborate. Our furnace is 40,000 btu's. It's not even close to the right size, we need at least 55,000 and the furnace guy said maybe even 60,000.

I am kicking myself for not noticing this myself. I too often make the mistake of relying on others, but you know how it is. When you take on everything yourself it's very overwhelming.

At least I am less concerned about how drafty our house was, because I hadn't checked the size of the furnace myself yet and I was worried we had a black hole somewhere!

good2know 2019-01-23 05:20 PM

Good news and some progress.

Here's info on winter caulking if you need it:

IMO a good inspector would have caught this.

Edit to add: There is a relationship between btu output and fan speed and duct size. I dont know the formulas, but it may be that they need to upgrade the plenum sizes to accommodate the properly sized furnace.

Are they doing the replacement right away for you?

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