Remember the time you bought a new car? Chances are, you spent a fair amount of time with the salesperson, going over all the vehicle’s features and gadgets to become familiar with your purchase before you drove off the lot.
When you buy a newly built home or condo, that final inspection is just as important.
Just before you take possession, your builder is required to meet with you and take you on a tour through your completed home. This is called a Pre-Delivery Inspection, or PDI, and it is a critical part of buying a new home.
Why is it so important?
Well, for one, it is your first chance to inspect your completed home, inside and out, with your builder present.
While inside the home, train your eagle eyes on all of your finishings to make sure they are what you ordered and they are in good condition.
Look for scratches on windows or mirrors. Check your countertops for chips or scrapes. Is there damage to any of the walls? And is the paint well-applied and the proper colour?
What about the floors? Is the hardwood scratched or cupped? Do the tiles have chips or cracks?
Check to make sure the light fixtures are installed and in good working order. Make sure the doors and windows open and close properly and have a good seal.
Is anything missing or incomplete? Look for things that have not yet been installed or finished, such as a backsplash or plumbing fixtures.
Your home’s systems are important too. Your builder should show you how your home’s ventilation, plumbing and heating systems work and how they should be maintained to ensure your home is comfortable and moisture levels are controlled all year round.
The PDI should also include your home’s exterior
As you wander outside, inspect the exterior cladding of your home, whether it be brick, siding, wood or stone, for damage and completeness. Take a look at the roof and your eavestroughs and check to see whether window screens have been installed.
Your driveway and landscaping should be inspected too. Sometimes, these features are among the last to be finished by the builder if you have bought in a new subdivision or condo development. However, they are still part of your purchase and whether or not they are completed, it’s important you note their current state.
These are just a few of the items you should be checking during your PDI and recording on your PDI Form. For a more thorough list, Tarion has a handy PDI Checklist on Tarion.com that includes all of these and more.
If you spot any items that are damaged, incomplete, missing or not operating properly, it should be noted on the builder’s PDI Form. This ensures that you have a record that these conditions existed prior to you occupying the home.
Which leads me to the second reason why the PDI is so important – your warranty rights.
Every new home and condo in Ontario comes with a comprehensive, seven-year warranty that covers everything from defects in workmanship and materials to major structural defects.
Every new home and condo in Ontario comes with a comprehensive, seven-year warranty that covers everything from defects in workmanship and materials to major structural defects. The warranty kicks in once you take possession of your new home or occupy your new condo.
When your PDI inspection is over, you will be asked by your builder to sign the PDI Form. Any issues you see and record on the PDI Form will hopefully be corrected by your builder right away, before you move in.
But if they aren’t fixed by the time you get your home, you can make a warranty claim for these items by listing them on your 30-Day warranty form or your Year-End warranty form. Submit your warranty form to Tarion and any items you list that are covered under warranty must be addressed by your builder within a specific timeframe.
In short, the PDI Form is a useful piece of evidence of any problems that existed before you moved in and can be used to support your warranty claim. You can also use this PDI checklist to refer to during your inspection.
So, make sure you take full advantage of your Pre-Delivery Inspection: it is a good first step to take to protect your warranty.