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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > SSP: Local Calgary > General Discussions, Culture, Dining, Sports & Recreation

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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2014, 5:42 PM
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New Home Warranty - ever had to use it?

I asked this on CP, but I figured I would ask here too since there are probably more experts here.

Background: So we bought a semi-finished home in March that still needed a few things to complete (landscaping, garage exterior, and some bits and bobs), and of course a few things that needed to be fixed since (water leaks in the ceiling thanks to poor balcony sealing).

Our developer has been absolutely terrible when it comes to basic communication and fixing issues (which of course was much better before we bought). Doesn't answer phone calls (not once!), doesn't answer email (maybe twice over the last 8 months), so the only way to get a hold of him is when he randomly shows up on our site and I have to chase him down. At that point he's friendly and promises a lot....and then maybe it gets done. Maybe.

We've been here for 8 months now and still don't have any fencing or landscaping, and there are still a bunch of leaks and other internal issues to fix. Frankly it's embarrassing to be the one guy on the block with a front yard that looks like war-torn Sarajevo.

So I guess my question is, at what point does one reach out to the New Home Warranty program? Is there a way to do it that's more effective than others? And is it even effective? Does the warranty reimburse me if i hire people on my own? Or do I have to go through them, and they do it?

If anyone here has ever made a claim, I'd love to hear your experience.

Btw, we did have a hold-back to cover these things if they are not finished, but the hold-back just wouldn't cover everything that needs to be done, so I cant just back out and hire someone without taking a financial hit.
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2014, 6:24 PM
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I don't have any help to offer, but I do have a question.. I wonder if a FOIP request could tell you which homebuilder's purchases are having to use the New Home Warrenty the most..
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2014, 6:55 PM
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I feel that Alberta New Home Warranty is a bit of a joke. I work for a builder / developer the only protection they offer is their own.

They definitely won't let you choose your own contractor, and then reimburse you. Best is to contact them right away to try and get someone on the builder you chose, to finish up the work they started.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2014, 7:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Design-mind View Post
I feel that Alberta New Home Warranty is a bit of a joke. I work for a builder / developer the only protection they offer is their own.
That's kind of what I was fearing. So far my entire experience with the Alberta development/construction industry has been extremely poor, so I assumed the oversight would be equally lacking.

It's a real shame how there seems to be very little pride of craftsmanship. It's just slap shit together as quickly as possible, get paid, and move on to the next gig. And when a problem rises, blame some other trade.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2014, 9:07 PM
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I would contact them ASAP and get the ball rolling. I have worked with builder/developers before and I agree that ANHW protects the builder more than a buyer. But given the timelines that you are working with it should help you get some progress.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2014, 9:33 PM
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Thanks guys will do. I had my lawyer draft a letter with all the outstanding issues to send to their lawyer to see if that will get things going. I'm not expecting it to...so looks like trying through the Warranty it is.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2014, 10:37 PM
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We have never had to deal with the warranty program, thankfully. But I'm wondering how landscaping, fencing etc. would fall under that category anyhow. Your other issue - yes, but these ones? What I do recall when we bought our home (new but in framing stage) was that the developer would often times wait for landscaping, pouring driveways etc. until they had a number of homes to do on a street or in the neighborhood then hit them all at once. Perhaps that is what it happening with your place?

But I will echo your comments about dealing with the whole development/ construction industry. Nothing but headaches for us on the few minor items we had. No returned calls, never showing up on time etc. We even had one guy flat out tell me he wasn't going to bother coming back at all as it wasn't worth his time.
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Old Posted Oct 15, 2014, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lubicon View Post
We have never had to deal with the warranty program, thankfully. But I'm wondering how landscaping, fencing etc. would fall under that category anyhow.
That's a good question. Does that warranty cover things that are still not done?

I do have a hold-back ($10k) to cover the landscaping and fencing (deadline was already missed), but I doubt it's enough for me to get it all done at that price. Or maybe it is...not sure how much that costs on it's own these days.

Quote:
What I do recall when we bought our home (new but in framing stage) was that the developer would often times wait for landscaping, pouring driveways etc. until they had a number of homes to do on a street or in the neighborhood then hit them all at once. Perhaps that is what it happening with your place?
Definitely not that. This guy is a small developer who only does 1-2 projects at once. He only has one other place on the go at the moment, and according to his right hand man (who is at least communicative, if powerless to do anything) he's been unresponsive there too.
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Old Posted Oct 16, 2014, 6:44 PM
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Also I want to mention the ANHW makes you pay a fee when making a claim, or at least they used to. I think it is $50- $100. Best get the ball rolling as it might take a while for them to come out and assess the situation.

Also do not get your own contractor in as I just talked with someone who did this. They gave ANHW the invoice and ANHW turned around and closed the case because things were fixed. Now they no longer needed to take care of it, and it was no longer their problem. The people never saw their money.
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Old Posted Oct 16, 2014, 6:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Design-mind View Post
Also do not get your own contractor in as I just talked with someone who did this. They gave ANHW the invoice and ANHW turned around and closed the case because things were fixed. Now they no longer needed to take care of it, and it was no longer their problem. The people never saw their money.
Wow, where's the logic in that? Sounds like it's better not to do anything then!

The more I hear about these guys the more they sound like a lobby group for the development industry.
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2014, 7:10 PM
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https://www.anhwp.com/Board-Directors/

Can you say conflict of interest
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Old Posted Oct 16, 2014, 7:16 PM
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Haha, holy crap, so it pretty much is exactly that. How is that even allowed? Where is the government oversight protecting the consumer?

Right now, it looks like it's a nice way to get a few more $K out of the people to make them pay into a warranty that is only needed because of their shoddy work.
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Old Posted Oct 16, 2014, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorporateWhore View Post
Haha, holy crap, so it pretty much is exactly that. How is that even allowed? Where is the government oversight protecting the consumer?

Right now, it looks like it's a nice way to get a few more $K out of the people to make them pay into a warranty that is only needed because of their shoddy work.
The Alberta New Home Warranty Program was originally started in the 80's by a conglomerate of builders. The builders, at the time, were worried about the government imposing strict regulations and standards on home warranties and decided to cut the government off at the pass by putting together an industry controlled warranty program. The entire goal of the program was to essentially give the appearance of warranty standards for home buyers, while minimizing the cost for the builders and allowing the builders to control the process. This is why the board of directors is led by people in the building industry. That being said the government finally brought into law The New Home Buyer's Protection Act earlier this year, but it only applies to homes/developments that applied for a building permit on or after February 1, 2014.
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