No insulation

Edmonton family sours on ‘dreamhome’ after insulation oversight, other problems

House received city’s stamp ofapproval despite missing attic insulation

By JoseeSt-Onge, CBCNews Posted: Jan 11, 2018 7:00 AM MT Last Updated: Jan 11,2018 7:00 AM MT

CBC Caffeine Player 13.0.0
This is just a house, Not a home anymore. 1:56
Josee St-Onge is a journalistwith CBC Edmonton. She has also reported in French for Radio-Canada in Albertaand Saskatchewan.

An Edmonton man is urging otherhome buyers to be cautious after unresolved issues turned his family’s new homeinto a nightmare.
“It’s not a dream homeanymore,” Jaspreet Noorpuri said in an interview. “We don’t evencall it a home. We call it a house — a place where we come andsleep.”
Since taking possession of thehouse nine months ago, Noorpuri and his wife Richa Shota havediscovered multiple problems, ranging from electrical issues to a lack ofinsulation in the attic, despite an occupancy permit granted by the Cityof Edmonton.
“We noticed that ourupstairs bedrooms were like freezers,” Noorpuri said. “How canthe city say that this house is livable?”

The problems started when thetwo-storey, 1,710-square-foot home in the Laurel neighborhood of southeastEdmonton wasn’t ready for the agreed move-in date in late April 2017.
Noorpuri says he hadn’t beennotified that the $420,000 home wouldn’t be completed in time. He and hiswife were able to move in by May 4.
JaspreetNoorpuri and his wife Richa Shota, shown with their infant son Ayaan, say theirnew home wasn’t finished properly and didn’t have attic insulation. (JoseeSt-Onge/CBC)
In November, Noorpuri was in thebasement when he saw sparks coming from an electrical wire that had a nailthrough it. Concerned for his family’s safety, he turned off the breaker. Sincethen, half the house has not had electricity, he said.
In December, water from meltingsnow on the roof poured into the home, damaging the floors and ceilings. Waterseeped through two ceilings and dripped down a light socket in the family room.Noorpuri, who has a background in engineering, suspects the water enteredthrough vents in the roof.
Later that month, while Edmontonwas in the grips of an intense cold snap, the house became bitterly cold.
Noorpuri, Shota and theirinfant son Ayaan slept huddled near the kitchen for warmth. Noorpuri eventuallydiscovered that the attic had not been insulated.

JaspreetNoorpuri says his family’s new 1,7010-square-foot home in southeast Edmontonhas been plagued with problems. (Jaspreet Noorpuri)
“It’s my two-month-old sonthat I care about,” Noorpuri said. “He was sleeping in the cold, andcrying the whole night.”
The build was managed by HarpritSingh, who owns Hollymoor Homes, a small Edmonton construction firm.
Singh admits that the lack ofinsulation was a serious oversight, but is adamant that he wants to work withNoorpuri to resolve outstanding problems.
Build had city approval

Noorpuri doesn’t understand howthe City of Edmonton granted an occupancy permit for the home. He questions thethoroughness of the inspection.
"The city needs to step up,"he said. “The work needs to be double-checked to make sure peopledon’t end up losing money.”
Chad Rich, acting director ofsafety codes inspections with the city, said the builder obtained the correctpermits throughout the construction process. Inspectors are not required tocheck the attic for insulation, Rich said.
He said insulation within wallsis inspected during the framing phase, but attic insulation is usuallyinstalled later, after the drywall.
“We would recommend that thehomeowner get in touch with the builder to get it rectified as soon aspossible. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s an oversight and doesn’t getcompleted,” Rich said.
Noorpuri’s relationship withSingh has soured over time, and in September, Noorpuri banned the builder fromhis property.
Builder wants to resolve issues

Singh defends his work. He saidNoorpuri signed off on a walk-through when he took possession of the house.The insulation issue was the result of human error on the part of asubcontractor, Singh said.
He said he hasn’t had a chance tolook at the other problems in the house because he no longer has access tothe property.
Jaspreet Noorpuri says the attic of his new home was not insulated. Thebuilder has since been back to add insulation. (Jaspreet Noorpuri)
Noorpuri doesn’t accept Singh’sexplanation. He says the walk-through was rushed, and that the builder hadmultiple opportunities to fix his work.
The experience has left him tiredand stressed. Noorpuri, who works as a tow-truck driver, said he’s had to missshifts to deal with all the house problems.
“I know that I’ll be payinga mortgage for the next 25 years; my money is stuck in this house. So I’mstressed out. I’m to the point where I’ll be in depression soon.”
Hire a professional inspector

Noorpuri eventually turned to hisnew home buyer warranty provider for help. With the warranty provider acting asan intermediary, Singh returned on Jan. 5 to add insulation. The electricalproblem and water leak are still unresolved.
Singh says he will continue towork with the warranty provider until Noorpuri is satisfied.
Meanwhile, Noorpuri hopes hisstory will help others avoid similar problems. He wants people to be aware thatan occupancy permit doesn’t guarantee that a house has been properly finished.
Home inspectors in the Edmontonarea say that missing insulation in the attic is a rare occurrence.
Erik Schmidt from East Side HomeInspection has only seen it once in the last five years. He recommendspotential buyers hire a professional inspector to avoid problems in theirfuture home.

Thanks for posting Roy!

Nice to see one of our AlbertaACHI members (EriK) getting print time.

Damn, Roy. Great post!
There’s so much to glean. Where do you start?

Alberta moves to license home builders
I am surprised they do not have a builders registry.

I thought Alberta would have licensed home builders the same time the home inspector licensing discussion was moving forward, or even before.

Daniel, wasn’t it a home inspector misunderstand of a new condo construction in Hay River that kicked off home inspector licensing in 2010 or 11?

Unfortunately there are examples of Alberta new homes issues on Google.

Edmonton home builder, owner point fingers in escalating dispute
Couple says their new home has been a complete disappointment but the home builder tells a different story.
The battle over a $700,000 dream home has lasted more than a year, so far, pitting a builder about to lose his company against unhappy owners about to lose their minds.

Jackie and Kristopher Koval say they’ve been living a nightmare since they bought a custom built house from Infiniti Homes.

“We’re losing whole days of our life when we should be a family, and instead we’re stressed out, we’re agitated, we’re annoyed,” Jackie says. “My husband says this has taken years from his life … this has been a phenomenally difficult situation for us.”

Things seemed wonderful in October 2013, she says, when they chose Infiniti Homes to build their house in Riverdale.

“Everything was great,” says Jackie. “They put the hole in the ground actually within a couple of weeks of our daughter being born. And it was so exciting. [We were] delighted with the design, delighted with the time process. This is February, we’re supposed to be in originally in August. And then that got bumped to October, still super excited, and then it just started to go wrong.”

‘It just started to go wrong’
According to Jackie there were endless problems during and after construction.

“When it came to [heating and ventilation], electrical, that kind of thing, we weren’t passing city inspection,” says Jackie. “It was just delay after delay … then October turned to March.”

The Kovals say the disappointment continued when they were finally set to take possession in March 2015.

“The walk-through was ridiculous, it was basically a complete waste of time,” says Jackie. “The basement was absolutely nowhere near finished. We had trades in our house at least three weeks after we got into the house, at least three weeks every day, and then after that it was kind of twice a week for a long time.”

‘Silly things like the windows being covered by drywall’
Jackie says they were dealing with a long list of frustrations.

“There were just tons of issues, silly things, like the windows being covered by drywall on the inside of the house. We had a flood at one point because the washing machine drain wasn’t hooked up properly. So a trade didn’t do his job and then the site supervisor never checked his work, and that was basically the story of our lives for the last year.”

“One person didn’t do their job, nobody checked that person, whoever was supposed to check the site supervisor’s work wasn’t checking.”

Not surprised by this, it has been my experience that this type of house (high end infill) is built by builders who have no clue for owners who have no clue. The owners want all kinds of features that do not belong in a framed house, and the builders haven’t got enough experience to realize it.
The Alberta builders who build most of the homes, know what they are doing and their houses are fine, unfortunately you probably won’t get them away from their new developments to build custom homes in older neighborhoods.

Building Inspection problems are not just in Alberta. Take a look at these two photos.

One in Niagara Falls and yes, they are trying to build another house that close!!

One in Kitchener Waterloo and yes, this sub-division now has 12 homes built on this floodplain.

Why are builders allowed to build like this?..Because the city inspectors don’t do their jobs right!

If people choose not to have a home inspection, then they run serious risks.

Len, I concur.
There are building site erection proposals and acceptance problems for one and two story homes in many rural committees off the greater island of Montreal. From my expense inspecting recently erected homes under provincial warranties, or by builders trying to avoid regulations, do we need more AHJ oversight, or better use of the internal municipal building resources that are in place now?
The system maybe antiquated and need updating. Like topographical and water sheds being placed on GPS as to alert problematic sites locations.
As well, I think the tax payers dollars would be better spent integrating federal and provincial governments resources from endless application overlapping.
Thoughts, Len?

Although the first building site excavation. It may appear to be too close to the adjacent building, but could it not be an expansion for that owner?
I am use to seeing attached homes on the island of Montreal so I see nothing wrong but could very well be mistaken.

Just the builder trying to squeeze some extra homes in where homes can’t really fit. This appears to be a case of encroachment and the local AHJ turning a blind eye to the local plan and bylaws. They did the same thing here.

The House on the left was built, then they squeezed the one on the right in between the existing house and the road. Minimum allowance is 2.4 metres here its more like 4.2 feet.

Good point Len. I take it, the 2.5 story home is at the end of the development lot? If so, the same goes on here. Remember, the AHJ ‘has jurisdiction.’

I was inspecting a newly erected 2.5 story home. As I was at the back of the lot doing EMF readings/measurements, as requested, the clients had young children and a baby on the way, closest to the hydro high voltage transmission lines the client asked me, “Robert the lot looks smaller than the dimensions they sent me.” “Any way to check that?”
Out came my 1000’ Stanley Measuring Wheel and I measured the perimeter dimensions of the lot and took GPS readings.

Presto. The lot was measured at the end of my inspection routine and he was right.
Clients returned to the developer, who intern renegotiated price.
It also meant new land size records had to be drafted.

At another inspection the developer measurements were off, too small, and although the exterior walls of the home were compliant to high voltage power lines, the yard was not and the EMF measurements could not be read on my meter that only measures up to 1,99 gause.
That reminds me. I am off to purchase another meter today.

Not like you, Len? The image requires reorientation. That’s unless the builder is trying to save even more space, but that would mean changing municipal residential high restrictions. LoL.

In many of Montreal’s municipal bureaus, builders can only increase the height of a new home built on an existing lot by 1/3rd the height of the tallest preexisting residential 2.5 story home.

Not likely the builders violated any bylaws or that city inspectors are not doing their job, first thing they do is go to city council and get a variance, against the recommendations of the people who know better. Fairly easy to influence politicians.