Without a doubt, it’s one of the most thrilling parts of the new home in Ottawa purchasing process – touring your beautiful, newly finished home shortly before you take possession. This is when the space you’ve been dreaming about so long is crystallized into reality.
All of the finishes and features you’ve chosen with so much care are assembled together: for the first time, you’re able to see the way the way the drawer pulls on the kitchen cabinetry complement the lighting fixture, or the way the coffered ceiling and gleaming hardwood floors create the most glamorous dining room you could have imagined.
That’s the fun part. But there’s a serious purpose to the pre-delivery inspection (PDI), which is a necessary step for Ottawa new home buyers enrolled in Ontario’s compulsory Tarion Warranty Program. This is your opportunity to go over your new home with a fine-toothed comb, the builder at your side.
This is the time to speak up if you see incomplete items, workmanship that doesn’t meet your expectations, or if one of your finishes has been substituted without your authorization. (I always remind my clients to read their purchase agreements carefully, as such substitutions may be perfectly legal once you’ve signed the dotted line.)
Tarion provides builders with a standard PDI Form that lists all the items contained in a home, from faucets to furnaces to flooring. Outdoor elements such as landscaping and driveways are all included. As you inspect the home together, the builder is responsible for noting any unsatisfactory items on the form, while you are responsible for signing each item indicated. This document stands as proof of your home’s condition before you’ve moved in, so there can be no question about responsibility.
The inspecting process differs somewhat for Ottawa new home condominiums, depending on which elements are considered “common” to the building owners. Items such as furnaces and air conditioning systems are sometimes inspected by the condominium Board of Directors rather than the individual purchaser.
If you feel hesitant about your ability to recognize properly installed work or systems, I’d strongly encourage you to hire an independent building professional to come along. Missing a deficient item isn’t the end of the world – there are other opportunities to notify Tarion. But, by my calculations, paying a little bit more for a lot more certainty is always a good investment.
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