Bump Article #5
Should I take a Home Inspector to the PDI?
This is a great question. Even most Home Inspectors get this one wrong.
Here is our answer.
You could take a Home Inspector with you for your PDI, but NOT for a Home Inspection.
A home inspection is a specific process. It is a top to bottom complete examination of the home and the functional equipment in the home. In order to benefit from your Home Inspection, you will need to live in, and use the house for at least 25 days.
The purpose of the PDI is for your builder to show you your new home in it's completed state, and to make note of scratches, dents, chips, or any other damage to counters, floors, doors, walls, cabinets, cupboards, mirrors, toilets, tubs, windows, glass, etc. It IS NOT the time to do a complete home inspection as your builder, who owns the home during the PDI is not required to allow a Home Inspector to crawl around the roof, open the furnace or electrical panels, examine the attic etc. This can and should be done later.
The Builders Rep is responsible for, and controls the PDI process. It usually takes one hour for every 1000 square feet.
Note everything that is incomplete, damaged, and items that are in good condition. Note areas that are dirty as this dirt, IE- on a hardwood floor, will make it impossible to do a thorough inspection of that floor.
Before your PDI, review the Construction Performance Guidelines on Tarion's website for all issues that will not be covered after the PDI if not detected during the PDI.
Be very diligent and carefully examine all hardwood floors and stairways. Not just for damage like chips and scratches, but also for cupping or crowning. This is very important.
If after you move in, you notice a dent on your front door and a big scratch on the hardwood floor, then you have a problem. Even if this damage was not done while moving in, it is still, at this point, not covered by the builder and they will not be required to fix it unless you can prove that the damage was there during the PDI.
During the PDI, take your list of upgrades, a digital camera, and a notepad. DO NOT take children. The PDI is not the time to show friends or family the home.
Our company, Halton Home Inspection Service
has developed our own unique service called PDI Assist.
For information on this service visit our website at http://www.haltoninspections.com
or call us by phone.
Andy Shaw - 905 876 4761
Bump Article #6
July 24, 2010.
Hardwood floors, "cupping", and the PDI
Cupping refers to boards on which the edges are higher than the center of the board across it's width. Cupping usually occurs when the boards have been exposed to moisture that causes the edges to swell. This moisture can be from a leak, but in new construction it is usually a result of excessive humidity in the home. In some cases the cupping will disappear after the moisture has been corrected and the wood has had time to dry thoroughly but in many cases the damage is irreversible.
The top picture is typical of cupping in a new home where hot weather and high humidity in the home has effected the hardwood. This cupping is more subtle but obvious when the floor is carefully examined.
The bottom picture is cupping caused by a leak and extreme humidity in an existing home. This floor will likely never recover from the damage and will need to be replaced.
A few unfortunate situations have recently come to my attention regarding hardwood floor conditions during the PDI.
During the PDI the new home owners felt that "something" was not right with the hardwood floors and in each case, the home owners concerns were dismissed by the builders PDI rep.
In the cases that I am aware of, the home owners discovered after the PDI that the hardwood had "cupped" and that this specific issue was required to be identified at the PDI if it was to be covered by warranty.
Tarion condition number 12.21 specifically states -
"Strip hardwood flooring shall be installed without cupping."
"Cupping caused by excessive humidity due to failure by the homeowner to maintain adequate ventilation is excluded from the statutory warranty."
"Cupping identified at the time of the PDI shall be repaired."
"The homeowner has a responsibility to maintain indoor humidity levels through humidification, ventilation, air conditioning or dehumidification to prevent permanent, irreversible damage."
Now these homeowners are faced with the burden of keeping track of and maintaining specific humidity levels in the home, in faint hopes that the condition will correct itself.
I contacted a hardwood floor expert and he said.
"The builder should not be installing hardwood in the home where humidity levels are not controlled."
As you know, when new homes are built in the summer, humidity levels in the air can be very high. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers are not employed during construction to control humidity in the home. This exasperates the situation and contributes to an environment where "cupping", warping, and other hardwood conditions like crowning can occur.
I am waiting to be impressed by "some" PDI reps. They should be trained professionals who are able and willing to step up to the plate and acknowledge and identify symptoms and conditions in the home other than the standard counter scratches or dent in a wall.
During your PDI, check the hardwood floors carefully for a wavy appearance. Get down on the floor
, run your hand over the boards to feel if they lie flat. Use a straight edge across the floor boards to confirm that they are flat. If any cupping or crowning is found then you must insist that the specific issue is noted on the PDI form.
Buying and taking possession of your new home should be an enjoyable experience that is not tarnished by a feeling that you have been taken advantage of.