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New home under construction in winter

As demand for housing grows steadily across the country, new home builders are seeing an ever increasing demand for their products.

While new housing starts should be considered a positive trend, the quality of these homes often falls victim to watered down building codes, chain saw carpentry, demands for faster delivery and a general lack of skilled labour.

Often consumers are disenchanted with their new "dream home" and find that the largest investment of their lifetime may also be their biggest headache. Disputes with builders, municipal officials and warranty programs are not what the homeowner envisioned as part of the new ownership process.

The days of simply walking into a model home and buying a "problem free" product replicating what they may have viewed in the model, may be numbered. Consumers who feel that newer is a "safer" bet with respect to quality and finish in a home are sometimes very surprised to find that what they thought they bought, was not what they actually received. Then they discover that trying to rectify the matter may be an uphill battle.

Most provinces in Canada offer Warranty Protection programs for newly constructed  homes.
(please refer to the list of warranty programs found on our Links page)

If you haven't read them already, you may want to check these articles from our "In the News" page first...

One of the most reliable resources on builders is their past clientele. If you walk around any new housing project and knock on a few doors you should be able to get a pretty accurate read on builder satisfaction for after sales service and construction quality issues.

Don't sign any contract until your lawyer has read it over for you and seriously consider hiring a private home inspector to check out your home's progress during construction (if you do, have your lawyer include it as a clause in your purchase contract).

So how do consumers avoid buying a poorly built home?  Careful research, investigation and planning are required to assist in the decision making and home building process. The Canadian Homebuilders Association (CHBA) has some excellent tips for consumers with regards to the buying process as does the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).


Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation recommendations:

Home Buying Step by Step
A guide to the home buying process, providing handy tips, illustrative stories, charts, graphs and hands-on work sheets.


The Canadian Homebuilders Association recommendations:

The Typical New Home Buying Process

  • Before you start looking
  • Community
  • Your home
  • Financing
  • Exploring your options
  • The community/development
  • Model homes and plans
  • The builder
  • And you also need to know
  • Once you have found your new home

Read more on the Typical New Home Buying Process ...

The Typical Construction Process

  • Phase One: Pre-construction
  • Phase Two: Foundation
  • Phase Three: Framing
  • Phase Four: Interior and exterior work
  • Phase Five: From near-completion to hand-over

Read more on the Typical Construction Process...

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