Re: Construction boom strains the system (Kenton Friesen, Business Edge, November 27)
Interesting article you wrote in the November 27, 2003, issue. I hope this will start to open the eyes of consumers and builders.
I recently built a new home in northwest Calgary, and the possession date was August 7, 2003. I paid $250,000 for my new two-storey, 2,000-sq.-ft home. It is amazing to think I expected some value and quality for a quarter million. Michael Webb is quoted as saying, “it isn’t fair to expect all three” – good price, quality and customer service. Scary.
As a consumer, I should expect all three conditions to apply to my new home. I had no control over the completion date, so the idea of delivery date is a silly one. Houses can only be built so fast. My builder told me when it would be ready, with a window of 30 days. I did not impose pressure on the builder. Also, the sales staff had no idea as well. Their job was to get you to sign off on the final plans and their job was done.
Therefore, no impact on closing. All the pressure comes from the builders biting off more than they can chew.
Greed makes people do crazy things. The builder should be the one penalized when quality and completion are not done, not the consumer.
I am a business owner and I would be out of business with an attitude like that. You’re right about the ‘weakest link’ approach – everything works that way. But at the end of the day, the builder is the only one in control of that.
Everything protects the builder, while nothing protects the consumer. The Alberta New Home Warranty is a joke, it protects the builder more than the consumer.
Your suggested solution about private building inspectors is a great one. But it should not be paid for by the consumer. You are also right about the safety issues on construction sites. I should not have had to visit the site every day, but if I didn’t, my house would not have been built the way I had asked.
Maybe part of Alberta New Home Warranty should include consumers being assigned an inspector for the period while their house is being built. This should also eliminate a percentage of the claims after the houses are completed.
Thanks, keep up the great stories.
– Dan Green, Calgary