There is a critical first step all new home buyers in Ontario must take when your new home is ready for occupancy, known as the Pre-Delivery Inspection or PDI. Much more than just a quick tour, the PDI represents the first opportunity for buyers to view their home in its completed state and thoroughly assess its condition.
All builders of new homes and condominiums in Ontario are required by Tarion Warranty Corporation to conduct a PDI with their customers prior to a home's date of possession. Tarion is a private corporation that protects home buyers according to the terms of the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, which requires that builders provide warranty coverage on every new home built in the province.
“The PDI is an important starting-off point in the new home warranty process,” according to Carol Metcalfe, Director of Claims at Tarion. “Most builders are committed to constructing a quality product, but today's new homes are large and complex, made up of many different systems and components. The PDI therefore provides homeowners with a prime opportunity for assessing a home's overall workmanship and features.”
The PDI takes place when your new home is ready for occupancy, making it the first opportunity to view your completed home and assess its condition before you take possession. During the PDI, you and/or an individual you select to attend (your designate) will be given the opportunity to examine the interior and exterior of the home with your builder or your builder's representative present. The objective of this inspection is to make a written record of all items that are incomplete, damaged, missing, inaccessible or not operating properly.
It is the builder's responsibility to explain how the various systems in your home work – including the heating, electrical, plumbing and air conditioning – thus making the PDI a good opportunity for your builder to go through them with you. It is very important that you understand how to operate your home's systems because not using them properly could affect your warranty coverage.
During the PDI, homeowners should carefully examine the home both inside and out. While inside, they should look for things like chips in porcelain sinks or scratches on counter tops, damage to floors or walls, and doors and windows that are not secure or do not open and close easily. Outside they should check things like the quality of brickwork and siding, whether window screens have been installed, and the appearance of the driveway and landscaping.
Additional information on the PDI, including a complete list of things to look for during the inspection, can be found in Getting Ready for the Pre-Delivery Inspection, a brochure produced by Tarion. Copies can be obtained by calling 1-877-9TARION or downloaded from tarion.com.