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Navigating the Tarion New Home Warranty

What Is the Tarion Warranty?

The Tarion Warranty Corporation stands as a beacon of reliability and assurance in Ontario’s residential construction industry. What is the Tarion Home Warranty and how does it impact new homes? Established by the Ontario government in 1976, Tarion serves a dual purpose: to protect home buyers and to regulate builders. This statutory corporation ensures that every home built in Ontario by a registered builder is backed by a comprehensive warranty. But what exactly does this entail for homeowners and why is it so critical?

The Essence of Tarion’s Warranty

At its core, the Tarion Warranty is designed to provide protection to purchasers of new homes against construction defects. This coverage is not just a promise. It’s mandated by law, with specific terms set out in the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. For existing homes, there’s some protection offered by things like the real estate disclosure statement or the traditional home inspection that is often a condition in the purchase agreement.

Coverage at a Glance

The Ontario’s new home warranty program covers new homes for up to seven years. Coverage is segmented into different periods:

  • Year 1: Covers almost all defects in work and materials.
  • Years 2 and 7: Offers protection against water penetration through the exterior, issues with heating, electrical and plumbing systems, and major structural defects.

The Role of Tarion in the Home Buying Process

Tarion also plays a crucial role in the home buying process itself. Before taking possession, homeowners are encouraged to conduct a pre-delivery inspection (PDI) with their builder, guided by Tarion’s standards. In the PDI, you become a kind of home inspector. This ensures that any defects are identified and noted before moving in, setting the stage for any necessary warranty claims.

Moreover, Tarion provides a wealth of resources for homeowners, from detailed guides on understanding and maintaining their warranty to a platform for filing claims. Their commitment to education and support empowers homeowners, equipping them with the knowledge to navigate their warranties effectively.

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Why It Matters to Ontario

Understanding the Tarion Warranty is more than a bureaucratic checkbox. It’s an essential part of the home buying journey in Ontario. With Tarion, homeowners can rest assured that their new home meets both their expectations and the rigorous standards of Ontario’s construction industry.

Who Needs the Tarion Warranty?

The Tarion Warranty serves as a protective shield for homeowners in Ontario, but who exactly is eligible for this coverage, and why is it considered essential?

Eligibility for Tarion Warranty Coverage

The Tarion Warranty is mandatory for all new homes and condominiums built in Ontario by registered builders. The requirement for this warranty is not just a formality; it’s a critical consumer protection.

Home Buyers and Homeowners: The Primary Beneficiaries

  • New Home Buyers: Before you even move into your new home, the Tarion Warranty offers peace of mind knowing that your builder is held to high standards of quality and accountability. For new home buyers, understanding the breadth of this warranty is crucial in navigating the home buying process with confidence.
  • Current Homeowners: Even after taking possession, homeowners benefit from protection against major structural defects and other issues. This long-term coverage ensures that the quality of your home stands the test of time, safeguarding your investment for years to come.
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Why Newly Built Homes Need Protection

The Tarion Warranty is more than just a policy. It’s a comprehensive program that ensures the integrity of new home construction across Ontario. It provides a standardized approach to warranty coverage, offering a clear framework for both builders and buyers. This warranty not only holds builders accountable for their workmanship but also gives homeowners a clear path to resolution should issues arise.

Moreover, Tarion’s role extends beyond just warranty coverage. It includes regulating the industry, licensing builders, and ensuring they meet the province’s high standards for new home construction. This regulatory framework maintains trust and confidence among buyers by ensuring their new home comes with a warranty and is built by a builder who meets Tarion’s stringent requirements.

What Does the Tarion Warranty Cover?

Understanding the coverage provided by the Tarion Warranty is essential for new homeowners in Ontario. It keeps you well-informed about the protection you can expect for your new home. The Tarion Warranty offers comprehensive coverage to homeowners, safeguarding against various defects and issues that could arise after taking possession. Warranty coverage begins on the date you take possession of your new home. Coverage is transferrable to new owners on sale of the home.

Comprehensive Coverage Explained

The Tarion Warranty covers most defects in workmanship and materials used in the construction of new homes, splitting the coverage into three periods that each cover different house elements over varying time frames. The one year portion of the warranty is the most comprehensive. The two-year warranty’s highlights include plumbing, electrical, and water penetration and the seven-year warranty covering major structural defects.

Additional Protections, Home Builder Delays

In addition to these primary coverage areas, the Tarion Warranty includes protection for deposits and delayed closing or occupancy, offering financial safeguards for homebuyers. This aspect of the warranty compensates buyers for any undue delays or if a builder fails to complete a home purchase agreement. See Tarion’s Description of its Financial Protections for new home buyers.

The Role of Tarion Warranty Corporation in Coverage Enforcement

Tarion not only provides this warranty but also enforces it, ensuring that builders adhere to their obligations. Homeowners can report issues within the specific warranty periods, and Tarion steps in to mediate and ensure that builders rectify the problems. This process underscores Tarion’s commitment to upholding the standards of quality and reliability in Ontario’s home construction industry.

Why Coverage Matters

The Tarion Warranty’s extensive coverage provides homeowners with a significant level of protection, ensuring that their new home or condominium meets both their expectations and the Ontario Building Code’s rigorous standards. By understanding what the warranty covers, homeowners can better navigate the maintenance and care of their new home, ensuring that it remains a safe, enjoyable, and valuable part of their lives for years to come.

Detailing Warranty Coverage Periods

A key aspect of the Tarion Warranty that sets it apart is its structured approach to coverage over time. This tiered warranty system addresses the various types of issues that can arise at different stages of a home’s life.

The 1-2-7 Warranty Structure Explained

  • First Year Coverage: The initial year of coverage is the most comprehensive, addressing virtually all aspects of workmanship and materials used in the construction of your home. This includes doors, windows, flooring, paint, and the electrical and plumbing systems. The goal during this period is to ensure that your home is exactly as you expected, free from defects that could impact your enjoyment and use of the space.
  • Second Year Coverage: As we move into the second year, the focus shifts slightly to include protections against water penetration through the basement or foundation, along with defects in the electrical, plumbing, and heating systems. This period also covers exterior cladding, windows, doors, and seals, ensuring that the building envelope remains intact and protected against the elements.
  • Seven-Year Coverage: The longest period of coverage, extending up to seven years, is reserved for major structural defects (MSD). This critical component of the warranty safeguards homeowners against significant issues that affect the load-bearing function of the home’s structure, ensuring long-term stability and safety.

Structured Protection For New Home Buyers

This structured approach to warranty coverage reflects the reality that different components of a home age and fail at different rates. By categorizing coverage into these specific periods, Tarion ensures that homeowners have adequate protection against both immediate and long-term issues. It also highlights the importance of regular home maintenance and understanding the lifespan of various home components.

Understanding these warranty protection periods is crucial for homeowners, providing a roadmap for navigating potential issues and claims. It empowers homeowners to take proactive steps in maintaining their home and to communicate effectively with their builders and Tarion when issues arise.

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How to Make a Tarion Warranty Claim?

Navigating the process of making a warranty claim can seem daunting for new homeowners. However, understanding the steps involved in filing a claim with Tarion can simplify this process, ensuring that you can effectively address any issues that arise with your new home.

It is important to note that when dealing with any insurance claim with any insurer, the onus is on you to understand the coverage, document everything, and contact the insurer via their mechanisms and procedures and keep contacting them until you are sure they’re moving. Insurance companies like nothing better than to deny your claim based on a technicality; a missing form, a missed date, a missing piece of documentation, a wrong word: all of these are good news for insurers and bad news for you.

Step-by-Step Guide to Filing a Claim

  1. Identify the Issue: The first step in making a claim is to accurately identify the defect or issue. Consult your homeowner’s manual and the Tarion website to understand what is covered.
  2. Document the Defect: Take detailed notes and photographs of the defect. This documentation will be crucial in supporting your claim.
  3. Report to Your Builder: Before filing a claim with Tarion, report the issue to your builder. You can often resolve many issues directly with the builder, who is responsible for addressing warranty-related defects initially.
  4. Submit Your Claim to Tarion: If the builder does not address the issue, submit your claim to Tarion through their online portal. Include all relevant documentation and a clear description of the problem.
  5. Tarion Assessment: Tarion will review your claim and may conduct an inspection to assess the defect. They will assess if the issue falls under the warranty coverage and determine the necessary repairs.
  6. Resolution: If Tarion upholds your claim, they will instruct the builder to make the necessary repairs or, in some cases, may compensate you directly if the builder fails to do so.

Important Deadlines and Tips

  • Be aware of the deadlines for submitting warranty claims. These vary depending on the nature of the warranty coverage (1, 2, or 7 years).
  • Keep a record of all communications with your builder and Tarion. This can be critical in resolving any disputes. You have to show Tarion that you tried to resolve the issue with the builder. Take notes with dates and descriptions. Keep emails. Save voicemails.
  • Understand the limitations of your warranty. Understanding the scope of your coverage is crucial, as not all issues may be covered, helping you manage expectations.
  • There is not a team of investigators on your case. There is no case until you report issues to your builder and or Tarion. You MUST jump through the Tarion hoops and push.

Utilizing Tarion’s Resources

Tarion provides various resources to help homeowners through the claim process, including detailed guides on their website and customer service support. Taking advantage of these resources can provide clarity and support as you navigate your warranty claim.

Why Filing a Claim Matters

Filing a warranty claim helps keep your home or condo in good condition by ensuring any construction defects are addressed promptly. It upholds the standards of construction in Ontario and holds builders accountable for their work.

The Role of Builders in the Tarion Warranty

While Tarion provides the warranty, builders play a critical role in delivering on its promises. While Tarion offers the warranty, builders are crucial in fulfilling its promises. The collaboration among Tarion, builders, and homeowners ensures that new homes in Ontario meet high quality standards and that homeowners’ rights are safeguarded.

Builders’ Responsibilities Under Tarion

  • Registration and Licensing: All builders in Ontario must be registered with Tarion. This process includes meeting strict financial, technical, and customer service standards, ensuring that only qualified builders construct new homes in the province.
  • Warranty Provision: Builders are responsible for providing the Tarion warranty on all new homes. This includes educating homeowners about their warranty coverage and ensuring that the home meets the Ontario Building Code and Tarion’s Construction Performance Guidelines.
  • Addressing Defects: Builders must address and rectify any defects reported by homeowners within the warranty periods. This obligation serves as a cornerstone of the warranty’s protection, ensuring homes meet the expected standards.

How Tarion Regulates Builders

  • Monitoring and Enforcement: Tarion closely monitors builders’ performance and compliance with warranty obligations. Builders who fail to meet their responsibilities may face sanctions, including fines and revocation of their registration.
  • Education and Resources: Tarion provides resources and training to builders, helping them understand their obligations under the warranty and how to deliver quality homes to their customers.

The Importance of Choosing a Registered Builder

  • Protection and Peace of Mind: Purchasing a home or condominium unit from a registered builder ensures the Tarion warranty protects your investment. It offers peace of mind knowing that you have recourse in case of construction defects.
  • Quality Assurance: Registered builders have met Tarion’s rigorous standards, providing an additional layer of assurance regarding the quality and reliability of your new home.

Tips for Homebuyers

  • Verify Builder Registration: Before purchasing a new home, verify the builder’s registration status with Tarion. You can easily confirm you are buying from a reputable source through the Tarion website.
  • Understand Your Warranty Coverage: Engage with your builder to understand the specifics of your warranty coverage. Knowing what is covered and for how long can empower you during the home buying process and beyond.

Navigating Construction Performance Guidelines

What Are Construction Performance Guidelines?

The Construction Performance Guidelines are comprehensive standards that describe the minimum performance required in the construction of new homes. Developed by Tarion in consultation with industry stakeholders, these guidelines cover a wide range of construction elements, from foundations and framing to finishes and mechanical systems.

How They Affect Warranty Claims

  • Basis for Claims: The guidelines provide a clear basis for determining whether a defect is covered under the warranty. They help to clarify what constitutes a defect, ensuring that both homeowners and builders have a common understanding.
  • Dispute Resolution: In cases where there is a dispute between the homeowner and the builder regarding the quality of workmanship, the Construction Performance Guidelines serve as a reference point for resolving these disputes.

Protection Beyond the Basics: What Else Should Home Buyers Know?

While the Tarion Warranty provides significant coverage for new homes in Ontario, there are additional aspects of protection and support that home buyers should be aware of. These elements offer further peace of mind and enhance the value of the warranty.

Extended Warranty Options

Some builders offer extended warranty options beyond the standard Tarion coverage. This builder’s warranty can include longer terms for certain components or additional coverage areas not included in the basic Tarion package.

Maintenance and Home Care

  • Proactive Maintenance: The Tarion Warranty underscores the importance of regular home maintenance. Certain warranty claims may require evidence of proper maintenance, emphasizing the homeowner’s role in preserving their home’s condition.
  • Home Maintenance Resources: Tarion provides resources and guides to help homeowners understand their maintenance responsibilities. These tools are invaluable for keeping your home in top condition and ensuring your warranty remains valid.

Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI)

  • Importance of PDI: The pre-delivery inspection is a critical step before taking possession of a new home. It’s an opportunity to identify any defects or unfinished work, ensuring they are addressed under the warranty before moving in.
  • Documentation and Reporting: Documenting issues found during the PDI and reporting them to both the builder and Tarion is crucial. This documentation serves as a baseline for any future warranty claims. Many builders will have a PDI concierge type of representative who will walk with you throughout the inspection making notes on issues you find. Some of these reps are helpful in pointing out covered elements that are issues. For example, you might find an unpainted wall or a broken tile or some missing trim or a missing electrical outlet. You or they will draft a “punch list” to give to the builder’s staff for address. Smart builders want to avoid unhappy customers and interactions with Tarion. You can get your own form at Tarion’s site.

Enhancements and Alterations

  • Impact on Warranty: Homeowners planning to make enhancements or alterations to their new home should understand how these changes might affect their warranty coverage. Certain modifications can void the warranty on affected components, so it’s essential to consult with Tarion or your builder beforehand.

Dispute Resolution Services

  • Tarion’s Role: In cases where there is a disagreement between the homeowner and the builder regarding warranty coverage or claim outcomes, Tarion offers dispute resolution services. This process ensures that homeowners have an avenue to seek fair resolutions.


Tarion is mandatory, so we don’t have to waste any calories making a go/no go type decision. The builder “pays” for it, but ultimately you know you’re paying for it. So take advantage of the statutory warranty coverage. What is the Tarion home warranty? This overview of the warranty should have given you enough of a start to understand the items covered by the warranty.

Your Ontario home’s warranty protects against major structural defects with a seven year warranty. Make sure when resolving warranty covered issues that you take the lead. The builder often will not. Tarion is there to nudge them along when they fall below Provincial standards. It is your job to prompt Tarion to embrace their mandate.