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Homeowner faced with hardwood headache
The gaps are wide enough to stand credit cards up inside them.
Published Monday, February 11, 2013 5:48PM MST
Last Updated Monday, February 11, 2013 5:57PM MST
A Calgary homeowner is less than satisfied with the installation of hardwood floors in his home and is looking for answers from the builder.
Grant Britton was surprised to find gaps between the boards of his brand new hardwood floor.
In several places, the gaps were wide enough to standup a credit card.
‘Things are gonna spill and go into the floor and then mould and all kinds of stuff is gonna grow,” said Britton.
Britton says his builder, Jayman MasterBUILT, tried to fix the problem by squirting filler into the cracks but Britton wasn’t satisfied and asked for a new floor.
He says that's when Jayman asked the Alberta New Home Warranty Program to investigate.
In its report, the home warranty agency determined that Jayman is off the hook for repairs because the gaps between the boards do not exceed 1.5 millimetres which is the warranty program's minimum standard.
Britton found out that he can't take the builder to court in the hopes of getting a different result since the terms of the warranty say the program's decisions are final.
"Be very careful what you're getting into because you're signing away your right to sue,” said Britton.
Britton called CTV Calgary Consumer Specialist Lea Williams-Doherty to see if she could help.
Lea met with a director of the Alberta New Home Warranty Program to ask how it sets the minimum standards new home builders must meet.
"To create this document, the workmanship and material reference guide, we met with builders, manufacturers, suppliers, installers,” said Ingo Viehweger from the Albeta New Home Warranty Program.
Lea then asked who has the consumer's back if the construction industry sets its own standards.
Viehweger told her that "it's a reasonable standard, you know, this floor meets the standard."
Next, Lea contacted Jayman about Britton's house.
The builder stated that:
"All homeowners are responsible for properly maintaining their hardwood floors...homeowners must maintain appropriate humidity levels and ventilation throughout the year...we make all homeowners aware of care and maintenance..."
The New Home Warranty Program says you can negotiate higher standards than the program requires with your builder at the outset.
That means going through all 330 pages of the Alberta New Home Warranties Workmanship and Material Reference Guide and then if you can get the builder to agree to a higher standard, you must write it into your home purchase contract to be enforceable.
Lea says that all of Calgary's major home builders subscribe to the Alberta New Home Warranty Program and that you will get the warranty with your home no matter what as the cost is written in to the home’s purchase price.