Download Coughlan Homes Home Owner Manual.pdf here or review specific sections that you are interested or that apply to you below.
Upon moving into your home, you may find items in need of repair or replacement that were not listed on your Pre Delivery Inspection (PDI). To get these items addressed, please follow these procedures.
If the items are outstanding from your Pre-Delivery Inspection, nothing needs to be done as this list will be distributed to the appropriate contractor to rectify the problem. We will try to have those items completed within the first three weeks of your occupancy, however if certain materials are not available at the time, or weather conditions do not permit some items to be completed within the three weeks, those items will be completed as soon as availability and weather permits.
After you have been in your home, any new items that have appeared should be recorded on your 30-day Form (within 30 days) or on your 1-year Form (after 30 days). Tarion offers a convenient online service for Homeowners through “MyHome”, which allows you an easier, faster way to manage your warranty. You can submit your personalized warranty forms online, receive e-mail alerts for important warranty deadlines and receive e-correspondence from Tarion instead of paper. Register now at https://myhome.tarion.com
If you are unable to submit a Tarion Warranty Form through MyHome and require a paper copy, please contact Tarion at 1-877-982-7466.
Upon receipt of your list, a member of our team will contact you to arrange an appointment to have these items checked, or a contractor will contact you directly to come and inspect/repair the problem. Items of an urgent nature will be attended to immediately. All other warranted items that are NOT urgent, and not recorded on the 30-day Inspection, will be attended to at the year end.
Although this procedure limits the number of lists received from home owners, we will in the event of emergency situations make an exception and treat such items with priority.
Please note that in order to complete any work inside your home after closing, someone must be present for the scheduled time, or we will gain access by using the key you have provided to us. We will not enter your home without confirming the appointment with you.
If access is not permitted for any reason whatsoever, expedient repair of warranted items cannot be guaranteed.
We trust that by following the above procedures we will inconvenience you as little as possible and allow you to get maximum enjoyment from your new home. Please read the following Maintenance Guide and keep it handy for future reference.
If you require further information or have any questions, please contact Coughlan Homes Service Department at 905-427-5559 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all warranted weekend and after hour’s emergencies:
Call the contractor listed at the bottom of the page first.
If you do not receive a reply after 4 hours, then call our emergency pager at
All non-warranted or out of warranty emergencies are the responsibility of the homeowner. For calls made to the contractor, which are determined to be non-warranted upon assessment, please be advised that there may be a charge for the service call, which will be at the homeowner’s expense. Please be advised that before calling this emergency number, that you check the back of your warranty certificate to determine if the condition falls within the builder warranty period.
Items considered to be an emergency are:
* Emergency situations due to the failure of the municipality or utility to provide the service are not covered by warranty as they are out of the builder’s control.
For additional information regarding emergency circumstances, please refer to page 15 of your Homeowner information Package, or page # of this manual.
Please note that water seepage throughout the foundation walls or windows is not considered an emergency and is to be addressed to our Service Department in writing on the next business day.
Please be advised that Coughlan Homes will not be responsible to reimburse homeowners or occupants for any repairs carried out by unauthorized Contractors during the warranty period. In the event of a true emergency contact Coughlan Homes Service Dep’t or alternatively the emergency numbers below.
Plumbing: Sentinel Plumbing – 416-235-0704
Heating: Metro Air Home Comfort Solutions – 416-747-6288
Electrical: Expressway Electric Ltd. – 905-420-9663
No Hot Water: Cricket Energy – 1-855-663-2577
(30-Day, 1 Year, 2 Year and 7 Year Warranty)
At some time prior to your closing date you inspected your house together with a representative. This Pre Delivery Inspection was mandatory. At this inspection you completed a TARION CORPORATION Certificate of Completion and Possession which enrolled you in the New Home Warranty Program. This listed any defects which were discovered during this inspection, but your warranty is not limited to these items. Please refer to page #12 of your Homeowner Information Package or to TARION’s website (www.tarion.com/HomeownerInformationPackage) for more detailed information on this coverage.
The One-Year Warranty covers:
The Two-Year Warranty covers:
The Seven-Year Warranty covers:
A major structural defect is defined in the Act as:
1. We cannot guarantee an exact colour match of any replacement material.
2. We cannot accept responsibility for any damage to counter tops, cabinets, floor coverings, and plumbing fixtures brought to our attention after closing or not mentioned on the pre-delivery inspection report.
ALUMINUM SIDING/SOFFIT/FASCIA/EAVES TROUGH
Vinyl or aluminum siding should be washed with mild detergent and water once a year to retain its original beauty. However, you should not allow lawn sprinklers to spray upon the vinyl/aluminum surface as this may cause discoloration.
ASPHALT DRIVEWAY AND CONCRETE GARAGE FLOORS
Minor settlement, tire markings, and stones that may flake out, are normal characteristics. Be careful to avoid the following potential causes of damage to your asphalt:
1. Oil or gas drippings from a car. As soon as they are noticed, the driveway or garage floor should be washed down with a hose.
2. During warm weather, pointed objects, such as; chair legs, bicycle kick stands, etc., tend to sink into asphalt.
3. Heavy vehicles should not be permitted on the driveway.
CERAMIC FLOOR AND WALL TILE
Ceramic floor and wall tiles are very durable and will last for many years. Normal shrinkage and settlement in a new home may cause hairline cracks in the grout lines and on rare occasions may cause a tile to crack or come loose. Coughlan Homes will repair any of these minor deficiencies within the builders warranty period. Always use non abrasive cleaners on ceramics and clean up spills immediately as grout is slighting porous and stains may occur. Maintenance of silicone caulking is extremely important. All areas that have silicone in tub and shower areas should be checked every 3 months. We cannot be responsible for repairs due to silicone that has come loose for this is a maintenance item that should be monitored by the home owner. If silicone has come loose it should be replaced immediately. Completely remove any loose silicone and grout and thoroughly clean the area with an acetone cleaner. Allow the area to dry completely. Reapply new silicone overlapping existing. Let stand for at least 24 hours before reusing the tub/shower. A grout sealer may be used on floor and wall tile, consult a local tile retailer for more information on this product.
During the first year you may experience some minor dampness in the basement of your house resulting from condensation. Condensation, as you are probably aware, is caused by warm, moist air coming into contact with a cold surface. There is a high level of humidity in a new house caused by the drying out of the material from which the house is constructed, and it is this humidity which may result in condensation occurring in the coolest area of the house - the basement. The following comment on this subject is taken form the Warranty Program Manual: “even a perfectly dry basement can have wet walls and floors (even running water, in some circumstances) due to moisture in the air because they are up against the earth, which has a lower temperature that the air in the basement.”
Generally speaking, this type of condensation dampness in the basement is only likely to occur during the first year of occupancy
The basement itself is constructed of poured concrete which has been damp-proofed in accordance with the building code. It is possible that a damp-proofed basement may experience some water penetration, especially during excessively wet weather. It is also possible that the basement wall may experience some non-structural cracking; this is due to settlement and/or shrinkage. Again we reprint a comment from the Warranty Program Manual on this subject:
“The builder shall repair excessively non-structural cracks by surface patching. These repairs should be made toward the end of the first year of ownership to permit normal settling of the home to stabilize.”
Of course, Coughlan Homes will honour its warranty obligation with respect to basement leakage. However, we will not be held responsible for any damage to contents resulting from water leakage.
Again, if it is your intention to finish the basement area, we strongly recommend that you delay this until after the first two years, keeping in mind, removal and restoration of finished material are not the responsibility of Coughlan Homes.
If you are using the basement as a storage area, take care to keep possessions away from the walls and up off the floor.
Because of the nature of concrete, it is impossible for us to prevent basement floors from cracking due to shrinkage and minor settlement.
To keep down the dust level in the basement, it is recommended that the floor be sealed with paint. The simplest type of paint to use is a latex floor paint, as this eliminates the need for etching the concrete and has no lingering odour from the fumes.
POURED CONCRETE PORCHES
Similar to garage floors, porches are subject to the elements. The use of corrosive salt may cause flaking and should be avoided. If your porch has a cold cellar beneath, any alterations to the surface (i.e. interlock stone) should be avoided. Weep holes in the brick and fresh air vents may become obstructed and cause water penetration into the cold cellar.
CABINETRY AND COUNTER-TOPS
All cabinetry and counter-tops should be kept clean and dry at all times. Areas exposed to moisture will swell if not kept dry, especially the rolled edge at the front of any sink and joint seams.
The carpeting in your home should be vacuumed at least once a week, more in high traffic areas, such as doorways and hallways. During the periods of high humidity, it is normal for new carpet to have rolls appear in some areas.
CONCRETE SLABS OR WALKS
During winter months, care should be taken not to apply salt or calcium to precast concrete slabs or walks as it damages the concrete and mars the finished surface. Slab walkways are susceptible to minor settlement and upheaval, and are the responsibility of the home owner.
The exterior doors are steel clad insulated doors. During periods of extreme cold they have a tendency to warp, causing them to be slightly more difficult to lock and unlock. This is a normal condition for this type of door and the warp will disappear with the cold weather. Movement and settling of the wood framing will lead to warping of the wooden door frame. Slight pressure may be required during latching to compress the weather stripping. Exterior doors can warp to some degree because of difference in temperature between inside and outside surfaces.This is called a thermal in bow. A minor adjustment of the handle latch plates will reduce any gaps that allow air/light to enter.
The interior doors are hollow core Masonite. During periods of excess humidity you may find that they will bind slightly. If this binding is very severe, we will adjust the doors.
Upon moving into your home your may find that your driveway is not paved yet or your agreement of purchase and sale does not call for a paved driveway. The driveway will have a layer of gravel on it. Some minor settlement and puddles may be apparent during rain, and is considered to be normal.
The natural movement of lumber, shrinkage and the settlement of the house, all of which are beyond our control, cause the following: nail pops, tape roll, hairline plaster cracks, and defects that appear other than structural. Although these are not covered by the TARION CORPORATION, these are to be expected and will be repaired once (at the end of the first year) with a coat of plaster only. The homeowner will be responsible for finishing beyond this stage.
During the first year of occupancy, it may be necessary to enter upon the property to adjust or repair surface drainage or sod. It is therefore, not advisable to install any fencing or planting during this period which may impede such work. If such work is necessary, we will not be responsible for any damages to your fence and/or planting however caused. Private fencing should not be installed until final assumption of the subdivision by the town.
Refer to manual supplied with unit.
Foundation and basement walls are subject to many stresses and strains. The base of the wall, being in the ground, maintains a fairly constant temperature, whereas, the top portion extending out of the ground, is subject to extreme temperature changes from summer heat to winter cold. These temperature extremes cause concrete and other masonry to expand and contract. The curing process of the concrete may last for several months. The soil on which the foundation is placed may settle slightly which can create additional stresses. These stresses may cause some minor cracks to appear. These cracks do not affect the strength of the wall in any way and it is not necessary to repair them unless they leak. If the cracks should leak during the warranty period, then Coughlan Homes will repair them.
FURNACE, HEATING SYSTEM AND HOT WATER TANK
All service calls for the furnace should be directed to the contractor that performed the original work at your home. The phone number is located on the furnace. This is also an emergency number; therefore, Coughlan Homes cannot be responsible for reimbursing the home owner for any other contractors. Service calls for the rental water heater should be directed to your gas company.
Before you call for service, please check that the circuit breaker and furnace switch are both in the “on “ position. The filter in your furnace should be changed at least every 3 months during the heating season, in order to get maximum efficiency from your heating system. Follow maintenance manuals for any air conditioning units, humidifiers, or air cleaners.
Note: Modification of any of the components of your heating/cooling system may result in malfunctioning. Please consult the mechanical contractor mentioned above if you intend on modifying or adding any new components to your original equipment (i.e. air conditioner). Coughlan Homes and/or original contractor will not be held responsible for any resulting problems if alterations are made during the warranty period.
EXTERIOR BRASS PACKAGE: It is normal for the protective finish on the exterior hardware to break down after extensive use and exposure to the elements. If you wish to preserve a “like new” appearance, occasionally polish the locks with a brass-ware cleaning compound.
INTERIOR LOCKS: It is not necessary to use polishing compound on the interior locks. Wipe them occasionally with a damp cloth and polish them with a dry soft cloth.
LUBRICATION: It is advisable to lubricate both exterior and interior locks every six months. For keyed exterior locks, little powdered graphite dry operation (do not use liquid lubricants). For interior passage sets, a drop or two of sewing machine oil placed on the latch bolt with suffice.
Exterior hose connections should be shut off and drained in cold weather. To accomplish this a special stop valve with a drain screw is provided in the water line inside the house wherever a water pipe goes outside for a hose connection. Follow this procedure:
1. Turn off interior valve.
2. Open exterior valve.
3. Open drainage screw on interior valve to drain section to pipe going through the wall.
4. Close drainage screw.
This precaution will prevent frozen pipes in cold weather.
We find that one of the questions most often asked by new home owners relate to condensation and/or ice on windowpanes. This problem is not caused by a fault in your windows, but is the result of high humidity in your home.
In previous years, homeowners had to take measures to add humidity to their homes during winter months. Today, new building materials vapour barriers, and efficient weather stripping make your home much more tightly constructed than those of earlier years. As a result, your home is easier to heat and clean, but it contains a far higher concentration of water vapour sealed within it. The result, of course is condensation on you window panes.
HOW TO REDUCE HUMIDITY
1. Control sources of humidity; vent all gas burners, clothes dryers, etc. to the outside. Adjust or close humidifying devices (including your furnace humidifier). Run kitchen and ventilation fans more often and longer than usual (if they are vented to the outside).
2. Winter ventilation; procedures to follow in the event of extreme or excessive humidity. Air out your house for a few minutes every day. Air out your kitchen, laundry and bathroom during use and for 15 minutes after use.
Note: Coughlan Homes are provided with adequate ventilation in the attic, by way of soffit vents and roof vents. These should not be reduced or obstructed as they are vital to circulation of air in the attic.
During the summer months, the cold water pipes in your basement may sweat and drip. If you wish to overcome this, wrap the pipes with insulation tape.
Condensation is not caused by a fault in your windows, but by excessive humidity in your home. The cure is to control the sources of humidity, and ventilate your home more thoroughly.
Check the following chart for recommended humidity levels.
OUTSIDE AIR TEMPERATURES
RELATIVE HUMIDITY - INDOOR AIR
-29 C TO -23 C
NOT OVER 15%
-29 C TO -18 C
NOT OVER 20%
-23 C TO -18 C
NOT OVER 25%
-18 C TO -12 C
NOT OVER 30%
-12 C TO -7 C
NOT OVER 35%
-7 C TO +5 C
NOT OVER 40%
Relative humidity levels are base on an indoor temperature of 21 c. For higher temperatures, lower humidity levels are
Your new home has as much, and in many cases more than, the required insulation. However, no house is completely draft-free. Under extreme weather conditions, some air will be forced through slight openings, i.e. wall plugs and exterior door and window weather-strips.
PANELLING, WOODWORK, CABINETS, ETC.
The following characteristics are the results of natural movement of lumber framing and are common to all wood frame houses.
A. Minor cracks that appear in wood surfaces.
B. Minor gaps that appear between cabinets, vanities, countertops, and the walls.
C. Minor joints that open in door and window trim.
D. Fireplace mantels that shrink slightly from the wall or at joint.
E. Wood flooring that open between boards or settles away from shoe moulding at walls or under door jambs.
F. Squeaks in linoleum or tile underlay, oak flooring or stair treads.
G. Minor gaps between stair or mouldings and walls. These characteristics are to be expected and are not to be considered repairable under the warranty. However, if any of the above seem extreme to you, they will be checked by us and repaired if necessary.
All of the above can be reduced by maintaining proper humidity levels.
All service calls for plumbing repairs should be directed to our service department during the warranty period. For evening or weekend emergencies, please refer to the Emergency Procedures page of this manual. PLEASE NOTE: This number is for emergencies only. A service charge will be billed for calls that are not considered an emergency.
BATHTUB AND SINK CHIPS
If you should accidentally chip your sink or tub, the chip should be touched up as soon as possible. A matching touch-up enamel can be obtained at your nearest plumbing supplier.
If a sewer backs up in the basement, you should call Coughlan Homes, who will have the sewer line cleaned out. If domestic material is found blocking the line, the homeowner will be charged with the service call.
If your toilet backs up during the first two weeks of occupancy, Coughlan Homes should be notified. They in turn will have a plumber check the system. If the blockage is caused by misuse, you will be charged with the service call. If your toilet backs up after two weeks of occupancy, you should call a plumber of your choice directly.
If a power failure occurs in a house circuit breaker box, it should be checked to see if the breaker is in the on position. If this is so, the homeowner should contact the service department. If the stove does not operate, the fuses located as shown on the stove manual should also be checked in addition to the circuit breaker.
Note: In all instances when checking the circuit breaker, the switch should be switched off and on as the switch does not always move fully to the off position when the circuit is tripped.
REAR YARD BASIN-DRAINAGE PATTERNS & GRADING
Wherever there is a rear yard catch-basin installed on your property, it is your responsibility to maintain this drainage. In the spring and fall, leaves and debris should be removed to allow the proper flow of water. You must also ensure that the grass is maintained in all surface drainage swales to allow free flow of water.
ROOFS, AND THE NEED TO PREVENT ‘ICE DAMS’
During the winter months we are subjected to snow and periods of rain and freezing rain. Excessive loads of ice and snow should not be allowed to remain on the roof throughout the winter months. This situation may cause back up and enter your home. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to remove the ice and snow from the roof. REMOVE SNOW AND ICE WITH GREAT CARE, as it is easy to damage the shingles. Another way to reduce the danger of ice dams is by installing heating coils along the roof. These coils simply melt the ice and allow the water to drain off the roof. These coils can be obtained at your local building supplier. Drain troughs should be kept free of debris at all times.
Note: Coughlan Homes will not accept responsibility for any damage caused by excessive snow load or ice damming.
The shingles on your roof are self-sealing gravel coated tarpaper and with proper care should last many years. During your pre-move inspection, check the roof for missing shingles and note this on the inspection form, as any shingles that are damaged by wind or ice or snow after your occupancy are not the responsibility of Coughlan Homes. Any such damages should be reported to your insurance agent.
Every spring and fall all flashing and caulking should be checked for shrinkage, which could cause leakage resulting in damage to the interior of your home. We will correct any shrinkage reported to us within the first year of possession.
Your new lawn has been installed quite recently or will be in the near future and requires immediate maintenance. Although the lawn is delivered and laid in as fresh a condition as possible it will not stay that way unless the following main steps are followed by you.
1. Water the lawn immediately and frequently. Do not water in hot sun, it is better to wait until evening or early morning. For the first 14 days of installation it is recommended that the lawn be watered twice daily. It is imperative water completely penetrates through sod. Periodically lift sod to ensure complete saturation.
2. Do not walk on freshly laid sod. The topsoil underneath is soft from watering and footprints and other damage could result. We will not be responsible for such damages.
3. Fertilize the lawn, preferably in the spring and fall of the year. Do not over fertilize fresh sod which is already fertilized at the sod farms. It is best to wait until the following season.
In the early spring when the snow begins to melt, care should be taken not to let any snow or ice remain in one area, as this will cause a “Winter Killing of Sod”. If you notice this condition forming, you should spread the snow or ice to allow it to melt. Any major shrinkage which occurs in the lawn due to ground settlement will be repaired by Coughlan Homes the following year. It should be noted that having a skating rink on your lawn might kill the grass. Carbon dioxide produced by the grass cannot escape through the ice, and thus trapped, it can suffocate the grass. Coughlan Homes will not accept responsibility for lawns damaged by skating rinks, or other ice build-ups.
*Homeowner assumes full responsibility for the lawn if proper maintenance is not followed.
After the house is built, a survey certificate which accurately located your house on the lot is prepared as part of your legal documents. Should you wish to install a fence after your first year, it is advisable to obtain the services of a surveyor to locate the lot lines and ensure that the fence is built on your property. Please note that we do not stake out your property for you, nor provide any boundary markers.
TREES ON YOUR PROPERTY
Coughlan Homes attempts to save trees whenever possible during construction of your home. However, it is impossible to guarantee their survival. You should immediately start a maintenance program to facilitate the continuation of the tree life. The builder will not replace any trees that die.
Coughlan Homes offers the protection of a one-year warranty on every tree newly planted by the builder. In general, we find that though the trees we plant are very hardy, they do require some maintenance and protection.
In your own best interest, you should observe due care in tending your tree, including regular watering and fertilizing especially during the first year of growth. Wire guides should remain in place for at least one season, until the tree is well rooted.
WEATHER STRIPPING (FOR WINDOWS AND DOORS)
Twice yearly you should lubricate the weather stripping and the tracks on the windows and doors. The material used for lubrication can be petroleum jelly, silicone or a bar of soap on the tracks. Although windows and doors are weather stripped they cannot be 100% leak proof in extreme conditions such as rain driven by high winds.
WINDOWS AND GLASS
The thermopanes are guaranteed against defects by the manufacturer. Any glass breakage for reasons other than seal failures, become your full responsibility.
These steps should be followed in caring for your windows.
1. Lubricate all moving parts with a silicone lubricant 2 - 4 times a year as required.
2. All caulking must be inspected annually paying attention to any signs of loss of adhesion. Such faults or cracks should be repaired immediately, using a superior grade of caulking. For additional warranty information from the manufacturer which can be found in the Appendix section of the manual.
DuriItems not covered by Coughlan Homes or Ontario New Home Warranty Plan Act
Please refer to the following pages in order to determine warrantability of the items listed on your reports. The following 9 pages will clearly outline how the builder or TARION Warranty Program will make decisions when builders and homeowners disagree about an item covered under statutory warranty.
For a complete listing of items, please refer to the Construction Performance Guidelines, published by the Ontario New Home Warranty Program at www.tarion.com, or call 1-877-982-7466.
Please note that the following residential building industry agencies contributed to the development of the guidelines.
Technical Standard Sub-committee of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association/Ontario New Home Warranty Program Liaison Committee.