Real Estate

What voids Tarion warranty?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 20th, 2021 9:03 am
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2021
148 posts
97 upvotes

What voids Tarion warranty?

Hi RFD!

Background: Wife and I have recently purchased a pre-con home in Stouffville that comes with Tarion Warranty (Standard: 1/2/7 year). We are looking to do a number of upgrades with our builder..however, we are definitely considering to do a lot of the upgrades after occupancy as their prices are astronomical to say the least. You may be asking why or how I know this; I strictly speak from experience having just renovated the entirety of our current home in early 2020; new kitchen, washroom, removal of structural walls, floor+subfloor- you name it we did it. So we're pretty well versed in what it should/could cost. Not to mention, we've sent our floor plan to get quotes ahead of our appointments with the builder and they are coming in considerably cheaper lol

The only thing that worries me and has been brought up repeatedly in other threads is that we may "void our Tarion Warranty". I've tried researching online what would be considered as void but am only coming up with anecdotal examples that aren't really applicable to us.

What we're looking to do following occupancy:

- Open a pass-through/picture area between our Great room/Dining Room (Builder refuses to do so... even though I have images of that wall clearly showing how easily this can be achieved (no re-routing of HVAC or electrical required)
- Replace entire kitchen cabinetry + Countertops
- Put in fireplace on our desired wall
- Pot lights throughout the home (interior and exterior)
- Desired hardwood throughout home
- Seperate basement entry from side of home (Permit pending of course)
- replacing fixtures & hardware (kitchen + bath)

Would really appreciate some clarity so any feedback is welcome!

Thank you kindly in advance.
12 replies
Sr. Member
Jan 21, 2011
741 posts
303 upvotes
GTA
Try to do separate entrance with builder if cost is reasonable, it never looks as good when it is done after the fact.
Deal Addict
Sep 6, 2017
3798 posts
2403 upvotes
Do your upgrades after the warranty expires if your are worried. You can't like remove the upgrade and bring it back to stock if something happens like on a car or computer.
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
4232 posts
3758 upvotes
Ottawa
The Tarion warranty provides coverage on items and the build as it existed on closing day. Any changes that you make to the home after closing are not warrantable. So how could this unfold?

Take the example of a leaky pipe in your home that causes damage in your new kitchen and hardwood that you installed after closing. Under the warranty guidelines, the builder is only obligated to repair the pipe and if there is a need to replace kitchen cabinets and hardwood flooring due to water damage the builder's only obligation is to replace it with the items that you had on the closing date. The builder has no obligation whatsoever the replace it with the same quality of items that you since replaced. In this case you would need to contact your home insurance and put in a claim for the damage.
Deal Addict
Nov 16, 2011
1339 posts
1036 upvotes
HAMILTON
skeet50 has provided the absolute best answer so far. If you change the way the house was on closing date, most changes could result in non claimable damages.

Fireplace, just an addon so should not be an issue.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2021
148 posts
97 upvotes
lamin wrote: Try to do separate entrance with builder if cost is reasonable, it never looks as good when it is done after the fact.
Would love to do it with them but they are unwilling to even quote it- they cite that "exterior of the home with the exception of the basement windows, can not be altered".
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2021
148 posts
97 upvotes
cristianosham wrote: Do your upgrades after the warranty expires if your are worried. You can't like remove the upgrade and bring it back to stock if something happens like on a car or computer.
I would, but im not really looking to wait 7 years until I can upgrade my home.

Wasn't planning on bringing it back to stock to claim anything either.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2021
148 posts
97 upvotes
luckystrike1 wrote: skeet50 has provided the absolute best answer so far. If you change the way the house was on closing date, most changes could result in non claimable damages.

Fireplace, just an addon so should not be an issue.
skeet50 wrote: The Tarion warranty provides coverage on items and the build as it existed on closing day. Any changes that you make to the home after closing are not warrantable. So how could this unfold?

Take the example of a leaky pipe in your home that causes damage in your new kitchen and hardwood that you installed after closing. Under the warranty guidelines, the builder is only obligated to repair the pipe and if there is a need to replace kitchen cabinets and hardwood flooring due to water damage the builder's only obligation is to replace it with the items that you had on the closing date. The builder has no obligation whatsoever the replace it with the same quality of items that you since replaced. In this case you would need to contact your home insurance and put in a claim for the damage.
Thanks for the reply. Understood on both and makes sense.

So in the case of the pass through/opening I would want to create between my great room and dining- since that would effectively require me to create a "window" in the wall thus cutting out some 2x4's in the wall and creating a support.. would that effectively void all of my structural warranty or just that isolated area? This is the grey area that I'd like some clarity on.
Newbie
Dec 18, 2017
77 posts
38 upvotes
ollywood wrote: Thanks for the reply. Understood on both and makes sense.

So in the case of the pass through/opening I would want to create between my great room and dining- since that would effectively require me to create a "window" in the wall thus cutting out some 2x4's in the wall and creating a support.. would that effectively void all of my structural warranty or just that isolated area? This is the grey area that I'd like some clarity on.
Do you know if the wall is load bearing? if so, then you will be structurally altering the home then it may void all structural warranty as the loads of the home are not calculated in isolation. I personally think you should wait a bit to do the separate entrance and the window, just so you give sometime for the foundation to settle.
Last edited by Dealthrill on Apr 19th, 2021 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2021
148 posts
97 upvotes
Dealthrill wrote: Do you know if there is a structural supporting beam on that wall? if so, then you will be structurally altering the home then it may void all structural warranty as the loads of the home are not calculated in isolation. I personally think you should wait a bit to do the separate entrance and the window, just so you give sometime for the foundation to settle.
The entirety of the wall is structural for sure. The architect ive shown the wall has already mentioned the opening will require its own support system- similar to a window on the exterior of the house. But an alteration to the entirety of the wall will not be required.

Thanks for the input! I may wait but definitely not waiting 7 years lol.
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
4232 posts
3758 upvotes
Ottawa
ollywood wrote: Thanks for the reply. Understood on both and makes sense.

So in the case of the pass through/opening I would want to create between my great room and dining- since that would effectively require me to create a "window" in the wall thus cutting out some 2x4's in the wall and creating a support.. would that effectively void all of my structural warranty or just that isolated area? This is the grey area that I'd like some clarity on.
Depends on whether opening it up causes structural damage elsewhere in the home. We have the same thing in our home right now and we love it, but it was a feature of the home built by the builder.

Keep in mind the challenge with these type of issues is you potentially could face a lot of disagreement with the builder. Tarion is the warranty provider, but it isn't Tarion entering your home and making the repairs. It's the builder. And every time the builder has to come back for a warranty issue it is costing the builder money. Tarion really only provides the overall framework and administration for the warranty program and will only get involved when there is an unresolved dispute between the home owner and the builder. Changes that you are mentioning could potentially give the builder an easy out to say no, not covered because of the changes that you made.

Disputes do happen between builders, home owners and Tarion and many end up in legal action. Here's a link to a community in Ottawa that has major issues with the builder, the City and Tarion. The take away is that these issues don't get resolved very easily:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/h ... -1.4789234
[OP]
Jr. Member
Feb 10, 2021
148 posts
97 upvotes
skeet50 wrote: Depends on whether opening it up causes structural damage elsewhere in the home. We have the same thing in our home right now and we love it, but it was a feature of the home built by the builder.

Keep in mind the challenge with these type of issues is you potentially could face a lot of disagreement with the builder. Tarion is the warranty provider, but it isn't Tarion entering your home and making the repairs. It's the builder. And every time the builder has to come back for a warranty issue it is costing the builder money. Tarion really only provides the overall framework and administration for the warranty program and will only get involved when there is an unresolved dispute between the home owner and the builder. Changes that you are mentioning could potentially give the builder an easy out to say no, not covered because of the changes that you made.

Disputes do happen between builders, home owners and Tarion and many end up in legal action. Here's a link to a community in Ottawa that has major issues with the builder, the City and Tarion. The take away is that these issues don't get resolved very easily:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/h ... -1.4789234
Ah, gotcha. Now that I've reviewed the framework it makes sense. Tarion seems like the governing body if and when disputes happen...which I assume are frequent since builders never really want to spend money fixing things they've already completed.

I guess we have some decision making to do. For the example aforementioned pertaining to the opening, my fear would be that if another structural problem occurred in the home-even if its far away from the place of the opening- that they could leverage said opening as a reason as to why they wouldn't cover the repair.

If I replaced the kitchen I would never ask the builder to fix cabinets that have failed..likewise for any other upgrades aforementioned However, if there is a structural issue thats away from the upgrade ive created, I would hate to get into spat with the builder about that...something tells me thats exactly what would happen.
Deal Addict
Sep 6, 2017
3798 posts
2403 upvotes
ollywood wrote: Ah, gotcha. Now that I've reviewed the framework it makes sense. Tarion seems like the governing body if and when disputes happen...which I assume are frequent since builders never really want to spend money fixing things they've already completed.

I guess we have some decision making to do. For the example aforementioned pertaining to the opening, my fear would be that if another structural problem occurred in the home-even if its far away from the place of the opening- that they could leverage said opening as a reason as to why they wouldn't cover the repair.

If I replaced the kitchen I would never ask the builder to fix cabinets that have failed..likewise for any other upgrades aforementioned However, if there is a structural issue thats away from the upgrade ive created, I would hate to get into spat with the builder about that...something tells me thats exactly what would happen.
Well you have to weigh whether opening the wall now or wait the 7 years. :)

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