Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Dear customer, screw you.

As you've heard me mention before, the foundation of our home leaks. We purchased our home new in 2000, from a local builder, Reid's Heritage Homes.

Spring 2001 we had three leaks through cracks, all in the same wall, which they dutifully attempted to fix. More than once.

Spring 2002 was a drought, and the basement didn't leak.

Summer 2002, the warranty runs out. Yep, that's right, in Ontario, new homes only have a 2 year warranty for foundation leaks. There is also only a one year warranty on the general home construction and a 7 year warranty on the structural integrity of the basement. You can get a better warranty on an entry level Kia, than on a several hundred thousand dollar home.

Ever since then we have had water leaking in through one crack or another. We continued to pester the builder, and they fixed (or re-fixed) the leaks, but it was a hassle and a pain to get them to acknowledge it was their problem. Eventually we were down to one leak in the laundry room. It appeared outside the warranty in a wall that was previously always dry. We knew that there was no way the builder would fix that as it was way after the warranty period and it was not related to any previous issues. We were also expecting the birth of our first child, and needed to renovate the basement to a semi habitable state so as to move furniture out of our new child's bedroom.

It seemed we were doing OK. The one leak in the laundry room wasn't causing too much damage, and we were planning on having it fixed. Well, this winter a new leak appeared in the third wall that up to now was dry. This crack seeps so much water it came up through our plywood subfloor that I had laid. The subfloor has water diversion channels on the underside to prevent this. So the quantity of water was substantial.

Due to the damage, I started ripping down the drywall I had installed. Lo and behold, the other cracks the builder had repaired were leaking too.

That settled it, we knew we had to get our entire foundation excavated and have proper waterproofing applied on the exterior. Before we started calling in contractors to quote on the job, I wrote a letter explaining the history and sent it off to our builder and to Tarion.

Tarion responded quite quickly. Since we had not dealt with the warranty issues through them, and had gone direct with the builder, they weren't going to investigate the issue. Their motto? We Protect Ontario's New Home Buyers

Oh yeah riiiigghhttt. I had heard plenty from other homeowners how Tarion left them high and dry and protected the builder, and now I had my proof. Tarion, We Protect Ontario's Construction Industry from YOU!

It took several weeks for Reid's to respond to their copy of the letter. We finally received an answer yesterday. Here is the text of their reply:

"Reid's Heritage Homes submits this letter in response to your request for assistance to fix the foundation cracks in the letter dated Feb. 13, 2008.

Upon review of the matter we find the timelines quite extensive from the date of close. In the construction industry it is a normal occurrence to have settlement cracks in the foundation (this is not indicative of a poor concrete mix or workmanship). Please be advised the soil conditions in your area of the community are clay based which does not permit quick drainage - thus in some cases water entry. Reid's Heritage Homes declines the opportunity to fix the cracks in the foundation.

We understand your frustration and apologize for the length of time in responding to your request."

Well there you have it right from the horses mouth. Reid's Heritage homes knowingly builds in soil of poor drainage and acknowledges that it will cause water entry through cracks in a foundation. And oh by the way, you're on your own if that happens.

Well Reid's, I hope you're satisfied. Now the whole world knows how you feel about your customers.


Ken Breadner said...

"Declines the opportunity". Nice. And they're sorry it took so long to respond to you, but don't seem too sorry you're living through this.
One last resort--you might want to take this to Global News. They loooove tracking down shit like this. And it's amazing what a little TV exposure often does.

Anonymous said...

Is your house in Hespeler or Preston? Considering a Reid's home in Preston and wondering if it is in the same area?

Catelli said...


But the Preston houses leak too. Or the ones they built the same year as ours did.

The water table in all of Cambridge is high due to the city being at the confluence of two rivers (the Grand and the Speed).

Thoroughly investigate the waterproofing used by any builder.