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?”
- Edmonton home builder, owner point fingers in escalating dispute](http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/edmonton-home-builder-owner-point-fingers-in-escalating-dispute-1.3536338)
- Alberta moves to license home builders
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.