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PURPOSE OF THIS DOCUMENT

The Construction Performance Standards (the Standards) will be used by the Saskatchewan New Home Warranty Program (the Program) when determining whether or not a condition is covered by the warranty. The purpose of the Standards is not to set new standards but to provide advance information as to how the Program will decide disputes between builders and homeowners about defects in work or materials. These Standards have been prepared in consultation with various trade and industry groups and the Program is grateful for their input. The Construction Performance Guidelines developed by the Tarion Warranty Corporation was also consulted as a source in the development of this document. The Program acknowledges and thanks the Tarion Warranty Corporation for allowing it to utilize their template and to reproduce portions of their document in the development of the Standards for the Saskatchewan New Home Warranty Program.

The Standards provide objective and uniform criteria that set out the minimum performance required in the construction of new homes. They relate to work and materials deficiencies and complement the Building Code. The Standards are designed to be supplemented by any applicable guidelines or standards produced by industry associations. They do not replace manufacturer warranties.

The Standards are designed primarily for conventional low-rise, wood frame construction. They may not be applicable in all respects for other types of construction or assemblies.

The Program will make its decisions based on the version of the Performance Standard that is in effect at the time a house is enrolled. The effective date is indicated on both the cover of the Standards and on the bottom of each page. (The Standards will be reviewed periodically and expanded or updated to reflect legislative changes and/or changes in construction materials and technologies.)

SCOPE OF THE CONSTRUCTION PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

The Construction Performance Standards should be interpreted with common sense. They deal only with the most frequent and typical items of concern to homeowners. The Standards describe the minimum acceptable performance or condition that homeowners should expect and builders must meet to satisfy the requirements of the warranties described in the New Home Warranty Certificate.

Construction is not an exact science and generally, the materials used have natural properties that must be considered when applying the Construction Performance Standards.

For example:
  • Wood grains and colours may not necessarily match in all cases;
  • Shrinkage of natural materials may result in squeaks and creaks.

Some items refer to specific dimensions to determine what is acceptable. These dimensions are used to evaluate the identified conditions. If the variation is minor, the Program may consider whether the variation significantly affects the performance of the item in determining whether the particular guideline has been met.

WARRANTY COVERAGE

Warranty coverage is set out in the Certificate of Possession and New Home Warranty and takes effect from the date a homeowner takes possession of a new home from the builder (the date of possession). It remains in effect even if the home is sold or otherwise transferred before the end of the warranty period. There are three types of warranty protection or coverages, including:

The One-Year Warranty. A builder warrants that, for one year from the date of possession, the home is free from:
  • Defects in workmanship and materials;

Builders should provide homeowners with all warranties provided by manufacturers, suppliers and subcontractors that may extend beyond the first year. Homeowners must make claims on these extended warranties directly to the manufacturer or distributor.

The Two-Year Warranty. A builder warrants that, for two years from the date of possession, the home is free from:
  • Water penetration through the basement or foundation walls;
  • Defects in materials or workmanship (including windows, doors and caulking) that result in water penetration into the building envelope;
Five-Year Major Structural Defect Coverage. The Program provides extended coverage for major structural defects for five years from the date of possession.

CONDITIONS NOT COVERED UNDER WARRANTY
It is important for homeowners to note what is not covered by the warranty. The following are exclusions from warranty coverage:
  • Defects in materials, design and work supplied by the homeowner;
  • Secondary damage caused by defects under warranty, such as property damage and personal injury;
  • Normal wear and tear;
  • Normal shrinkage of materials caused by drying after construction;
  • Damage caused by dampness or condensation due to failure by the homeowner to maintain adequate ventilation or proper operation of moisture-producing devices such as humidifiers;
  • Damage caused by the homeowner or visitors;
  • Alterations, deletions or additions made by the homeowner;
  • Settling of land around the building or along utility lines, other than beneath the footings of the building;
  • Damage resulting from acts of God;
  • Contractual disputes;
  • Damage caused by municipal services or other utilities;
  • Surface defects in work and materials not listed on the Certificate of Possession and accepted in writing by the homeowner at the date of possession;
  • Detached garages, decks, paving stones, patios, sidewalks, driveways and landscaping;
  • Unfinished homes. The Program does not employ contractors to complete homes or reimburse homeowners for the cost of completing a home in accordance with the Purchase or Sale Agreement. This is the homeowners' responsibility and should be provided for in the Offer to Purchase Agreement;
  • Normal cracking or heaving of concrete floor slabs;
  • Repainting or redecorating of the house after drywall repairs.


Warranty Items to be Corrected by the Builder – Certificate of Possession Form

These items should be recorded on the Certificate of Possession Form or in an attachment to the Certificate of Possession Form. Listing “surface” defects on the Certificate of Possession Form will provide a formal record of the existence of the condition before the homeowner took possession. Without this record it may be impossible for the Program to determine whether the item is covered under warranty if a dispute arises as it may not be clear who caused the damage or malfunction in question or whether an item was missing before the date of possession.

After possession, any items not rectified by the builder and any new defects that have emerged should be reported in writing to the builder within the applicable warranty period. Defects defined as non-structural must be identified in writing to the builder during the first year following possession of the home. In any event, the Purchaser must notify the Program in writing of the failure of the Builder to rectify the defects no later than six months from the expiry of the Builder's original one year limited warranty. Defects resulting in water penetration through the building envelope and foundation as described in the Warranty Certificate must be identified in writing to the builder before expiry of two years from the date of Possession of the Home. In any event the Purchaser must notify the Program in writing of the failure of the Builder to rectify the defects no later than six months from the expiry of the Builder's two year warranty.

HOW TO USE THIS DOCUMENT
The Construction Performance Standards are divided into articles based on construction sequence. The information is organized according to types of conditions, and in each case, the following is described:
  • Condition: A brief description of the identified situation.
  • What is acceptable: The acceptable performance standard of the condition.
  • Which warranty applies: The warranty that applies and any exclusions.
  • Required action: A description of the action that the builder or homeowner must take to rectify the identified condition.
  • Remarks: Information to help users understand and solve the problem.

New Home Warranty Program of Saskatchewan
Construction Performance Standards
Effective January 1, 2014