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Inside Your Home From A to Z

INSIDE YOUR HOME FROM A TO Z

Basement

The nature of concrete is such that surface pitting, superficial cracking and “marbling” sometimes occur. All of these are part of the curing process and little can be done to prevent it. The concrete floor may crack but this is generally due to shrinkage.

Should you choose to paint the concrete floor, be sure to use a product with a concrete conditioning agent, which will permit continued curing. You can purchase paints made especially for this purpose from a reliable paint dealer.

 

Basement Walls

In order to construct your home, the earth is excavated to form a hole, which allows sufficient room around the perimeter of the new basement. After completing and damp-proofing the wall, the soil is replaced around the outside of the house to a height known as grade. This back filling puts a stress on the wall, which may lead to minor settlement cracking of the wall in its early life. This is a normal and acceptable condition.

Basement walls are also subject to expansion and contraction caused by extreme seasonal temperature changes, which will also cause minor cracking. It is not necessary to repair minor cracking, as it doesn’t affect the wall strength.

The grade to which the wall was back-filled was designed to permit drainage away from the house. The damp-proofing agents applied prior to back filling repel surface water below grade. Walls, however, can still become slightly damp and this is normal. Running water into the basement is not, however, and suitable measures must be taken to repair the leak. It’s the new owner’s responsibility to keep walls and grade clear of obstacles to allow proper drainage. Any re-grading or improper subsequent landscaping that causes a leak is not the builder’s responsibility.

 

Caulking

Caulking around windows and doors provide a watertight seal to the exterior finish on your home. It should be inspected every six months, for cracking or shrinkage and replaced if the seal is broken.

 

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is a beautiful, serviceable finish. To clean, tile only needs to be wiped over with soap and water. Harsh, abrasive cleaners should not be used. Due to the expansion & contraction of the wood used to make up the floor structure, there is a possibility for floor tile to crack. Our policy is to replace only the broken tile and only during the first 2 years.

The area between each tile and between the tub and floor/wall is grouted. Due to shrinkage, the grouting may crack or separate at the tub joint. Re-grout or caulk the tile immediately with products that can be purchased at your local hardware store.

 

Condensation

Condensation in a new home can often be a great cause of concern. Because homes are built to endure less airflow, the lack of new or replacement air in the home will increase humidity, resulting in condensation.

If the air of your home is too moist, the infrastructure and your personal belongings may be damaged. Air can only hold so much water and when warm moist air comes into contact with a cold surface, it releases condensation; frost on the windows during sudden drops in temperature is considered normal and will disappear if the humidity in the house is maintained at an acceptable level.

During the year, the materials in your home will dry by evaporating moisture, and increased humidity levels can be caused by your life style. A few guidelines to practice during the drying-out period will help to reduce condensation:

• Air out your home regularly, especially if it has been completely closed up all day.

• During bathing, washing or drying clothes, or boiling water to prepare food, always use the exhaust fans where provided, or open the window to ensure the excess moisture is vented.

• Don’t let wet clothes drip or hang in the house to dry.

• Ensure that your laundry dryer is vented to the outside. Doug Tarry Homes cannot accept responsibility for condensation discomfort or damages caused to your home. Condensation is a lifestyle condition that must be monitored and controlled by the home owner.

 

Cabinetry & Countertops

The Cabinetry in your home should be treated with care, cleaned regularly and not abused by overloading shelves or banging doors. Each cabinet door can be adjusted at the hinges using a Phillips screwdriver.

• White cabinets with low gloss finish should be cleaned with warm water & baking soda.

• During the cold dry months, there may be gap between the countertop and the wall. This is due to the wood in the wall shrinking due to dryness. This gap should close during the more humid, warmer months.

• The countertop should never be used as a chopping block/cutting board or be cleaned with abrasives or bleach. Hot pots or pans will leave marking rings. Consult with your local hardware outlet or your cabinet supplier listed in the Contact & Emergency Numbers at the beginning of this guide.

Your cabinetry and countertops will perform well if you follow these simple rules. Should any door twist or other operating part become defective, Doug Tarry Homes will replace or repair as required within the first year.

 

Carpet

Carpet is relatively easy to care for and a regular maintenance plan will protect the original appearance for many years. To maintain the optimum appearance:

• Remove spills immediately to prevent spots and stains

• Maintain heavy traffic areas daily by picking up surface dust and lint

• Vacuuming weekly to remove embedded dirt

• Clean seasonally to remove oily film on the carpet fibres

Professional carpet cleaning is recommended every year or two depending on use and appearance. This will ensure the best appearance and longest performance from your carpet.

 

Carpet Drafting: Environmental Soiling Problem

The condition called Draft Marking is an environmental soiling problem. Draft marking is described as discoloration in various areas of carpet. It may affect areas around the perimeter and middle of the room, as well as under doors. Light colour carpets are especially prone to this problem. A buildup of discoloration may become apparent soon after installation depending on carpet colour and outside dust levels. The lifestyle in a home, including cooking habits, smoking, and general housekeeping may also affect discoloration. Candle burning is not recommended in a new home as they often are found to be a source of this soiling problem. Other sources are cars idling in the garage and excessive street traffic. Use of your home’s exhaust fan helps this problem.

 

Drainage

Drainage is designed before construction begins and minor changes may be made during construction to facilitate particular lot conditions. The model home for instance, may have window wells in place and your home may not; this depends on the lot drainage. Should you have window wells, it is your responsibility to maintain them by keeping them clear of weeds, dirt, ice or anything that may cause a blockage and reduce the flow of water. Any leak as a result of a badly maintained window well will not be warranted.

To assist the flow of water, swales and catch basins are installed (dependent upon the area in which the house is built). Swales are not to be changed; it is advisable to keep them clean of leaves and other debris. During spring thaw, remove snow and ice to assist the flow of the water. If a catch basin is installed within your lot lines, it is your responsibility to keep it free of leaves and debris. During heavy rainfall and spring thaw, puddles may form over the already saturated soil. This is quite normal and no action is necessary.

You cannot change your lot grades, as this could affect your own drainage as well as your neighbour’s.

 

Eaves trough & Down Spout

The pre-finished eaves trough installed on your house is basically maintenance-free but, if it is not kept free from blockage by debris (twigs, leaves, ice, snow) it will not work properly. These blockages could result in serious water damage under the shingles or siding. Such damage is not covered by the warranty. Clean it out during the fall and winter to keep the trough clear and functioning. The City of St. Thomas requires downspouts to direct water to the street. This must be maintained where possible.

 

Exterior

Exterior doors are exposed to severe conditions because of the heat inside your home and the cold exterior side being exposed to the elements. You may have to apply a little extra pressure against the door to operate the dead bolt and grip set. Please do not adjust the door unless this condition becomes extreme.

 

Garage Doors

Your overhead garage doors are a manufactured steel product that will provide many years of service. The spring and rollers should be lubricated annually to ensure easy operation and component life. While the door is well sealed with weather-stripping, it is not intended to be completely weather tight.

 

Garage, Driveways & Sidewalks

Your garage has a concrete floor and it is impossible to prevent cracking due to the nature of the materials. Some natural settlement and shrinkage will occur.

Salt and other materials used on the road especially in the winter affect all concrete products. Frequently rinse the garage floor and driveway and use a non-corrosive snow and ice cleaning agent. Scaling of garage floor may occur and this most often results from salts and de-icers being applied to the concrete surface and is considered a home maintenance issue and is not covered under any warranty.

To help dispel car fumes and reduce condensation, occasionally leave a gap between the garage door and the garage floor for air circulation.

Precast concrete steps should never have ice-cleaning agents applied. This will cause popping on the surface. A good sealer applied on these steps is recommended.

 

Fireplaces

Direct Vent Gas

This natural gas fireplace will provide you with many years of trouble-free operation. While it is virtually maintenance-free, there are some procedures that should be followed.

Inspect the exterior exhaust vent periodically to ensure there are no obstructions on or around it. Your fireplace has specially designed glass that may discolour with normal glass cleaners. Use only fireplace glass cleaner to avoid discolouration. Your pilot light should remain on year-round to prevent condensation in the firebox.

The warranty for the gas fireplace must be filled out and sent by the homeowner within 10 day(s) of occupancy.

 

Flooring

Helpful tips to preserve the appearance of sheet vinyl flooring: Use furniture cups to prevent heavy furniture legs from cutting or denting the resilient flooring. These products are available from flooring suppliers and are to be used on furniture legs because they will mark floor surfaces.

Rubber back mats should not be put on vinyl floors as it can cause yellowing of the vinyl.

It may take a short time for flooring adhesive to set completely. Normal use foot traffic and the weight of furniture will aid this process. All resilient flooring is subject to some indentation and this should be regarded as normal.

Resilient flooring should be washed with lukewarm water and mild detergent. Harsh cleaner can cause fading and discolouration. Stubborn scuff marks can usually be removed with a damp cloth and scrubbing. Do not use steel wool. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning your floors.

The seams between sheets of flooring underlay sometimes show through the resilient flooring, especially in bright sunlight. There is no way to prevent this even through flooring contractors’ attempts to attain leveled surface using appropriate fillers.

Hardwood flooring is usually pre-finished at the factory. The manufacturer usually provides information on the care of these floors.

 

Hardware

All hardware installed is plated to obtain the desired finish, during normal use, this plating will wear off. The degree of wear will be minimal during the first year.

Door handles require lubrication every 6 months. Other than this, with normal use, the locks should be trouble free for many years. All locks and hardware carry a full one year repair or replacement warranty.

 

Heating, Cooling & Ventilation Systems

Your home’s heating system is designed to effectively heat your home to a comfortable temperature.

Heating equipment can be maintained at maximum efficiency only through regular inspections as outlined in the manufacturer’s specifications. If your furnace won’t start:

• Be sure the switch is on

• Check your breaker panel for tripped breakers

• Review the opening procedures in your manual

• Make sure the thermostat is set higher than room temperature

The furnace filter must be cleaned and/or replaced regularly. If your furnace filters are cleaned often, your furnace will operate better and your entire house will be cleaner and more comfortable. Your heating system was engineered to provide the maximum comfort at an optimum cost. Keep heating outlets and cold air returns free of obstruction so that the system functions efficiently.

Exhaust fans are designed to efficiently ventilate your home. Use these fans regularly to prevent excessive humidity build-up and condensation. A switch near the accompanying light switch operates the fan in each area. During windy conditions, a certain amount of back draft may be encountered but this is considered normal and should not cause any real discomfort.

 

Range Hood and Fan

Use your range hood regularly to remove excessive cooking moisture and clean the filter regularly to maintain its efficiency. Grease build up in the filter is a potential fire hazard. Wash the filters as per manual instructions.

 

Landscaping

It is your responsibility to water your soil and any sod that has dried out will not be replaced. Regular care and maintenance of landscaping and sod with the aid of some professional advice can save a lot of work and expense in the future.

Newly laid sod should be watered for an hour a day for the first two weeks and bi-weekly thereafter until the sod has been established.

 

Masonry

Brick work and other types of exterior masonry should not be enclosed with plants or anything else that prevents aid circulation to the brick. If the brick or mortar deteriorates due to such enclosure, Doug Tarry Homes will not undertake repairs.

 

Metal or Vinyl Siding

Metal or vinyl siding has little maintenance other than a yearly hose-down to regain its original colour. Over a period of time, the colour will fade. Please be aware that our warranty will not cover discolouration by the constant use of cleaners to remove animal urine or other stains or the constant spraying of a water sprinkler.

Any siding that is blown off during the first two years will be reinstalled or replaced. Only the section damaged will be replaced and we cannot guarantee exact colour blending. Metal siding is strong under normal conditions but will dent with impact.

 

Patio Doors

Patio doors are very heavy and should be used with care. Foreign material and debris in the door track can cause serious problems. Periodically vacuum the track to prevent unnecessary problems and ensure door operation.

 

Painting & Decorating

You inspected all the painted, varnished or stained areas of your home at the pre-occupancy stage. Doug Tarry Homes is not responsible for repainting marks not reported in the Pre-occupancy Inspection Report. Check your move-in package for an information sheet from the paint manufacturer on the correct procedures for cleaning painted surfaces.

 

Plumbing

With reasonable care, your home’s plumbing fixtures, faucets, and piping should provide a lifetime of use.

Minimize the disposal of grease, fat and other wastes (especially petroleum products) through the plumbing system. Over an extended period they will accumulate on the inside of the piping, reducing its efficiency. Disposing these wastes in large quantities can affect municipal systems and even interfere with sewage treatment plants, resulting in pollution.

 

Toilet or Sewer Back-up

If your toilet or sewer backs up, please call Doug Tarry Homes during regular business hours. If the backup happens in the evening, on the weekend or during holidays, please call the plumber listed in your contact list or any 24-hour emergency plumbing service. If the problem is found to be caused by construction, you will be reimbursed.

Low flush toilets require more care in operation than older styles. Please follow the flushing instructions shown to you during the Pre-Delivery Inspection.

Lint, diapers, rubbish, sanitary napkins, and similar items can also plug up toilet and sanitary sewer lines. Normally, stoppages caused by construction debris are usually evident within a short time after occupancy. If your sewer blockage is the result of a domestic item, the costs are your responsibility. If construction materials or settlement has caused the blockage, repairs will be made at no charge.

 

Frozen Pipes

All exterior hose bibs (taps) must be winterized to avoid bursting. It is your responsibility to turn off the shut off valve in the basement and open the outside valve. Remove the adjacent small brass cap to allow the water to drain out.

 

Whirlpools

Doug Tarry Homes will not be responsible to repair or replace a whirlpool tub that has been damaged by misuse. Do not operate your whirlpool unless the tub is filled with water. Bubble bath products should not be used while the pump is in operation.

 

Sump Pump

The sump pump is located in the basement in a sump pit or well. The pit collects water from around the footings via the perforated weeping tile. The function of the sump pump is to move the water up to grade level and toward the storm sewers.

Sump pumps require some regular maintenance to ensure that they are functioning as required. Periodically start the pump manually to make certain it is operating. On pedestal-type pumps, gently lift the float switch; on submersible pumps, fill the sump with water until it engages. If the pump fails to start, first check that it is plugged in and the electrical breaker is activated in your electrical panel. If it still fails to start, disconnect it (unplug it) and check for obstructions blocking the pump impeller.

During dry spells, the sump pit may smell and need to be flushed out by filling it with clean water to activate pump.

Your sump pump will have a check valve that prevents the water from running back into the sump. It is not unusual or abnormal for this valve to ‘thump’ as it closes at the end of the discharge cycle.

 

Roof

Your new roof is constructed to be maintenance-free for many years. Slight colour variations are a normal result of shingle production.

After storms or high winds, check the roof for lifted or broken shingles. All shingle installations are warranted for the full two years, but after the shingle period, replacement is the owner’s responsibility. During the first two years, you must advise Doug Tarry Homes the next working day after observing damage so that repairs can be completed quickly.

Slight variations may be observed in the roof’s level. In the case of asphalt shingles, the sun’s heat often causes shingles to expand and rise between the nails. As long as the condition does not affect the utility of the roof, it is not considered a defect.

Large accumulations of snow and ice on the roof may cause leakage and it is the homeowner’s responsibly to periodically check the roof for snow and ice build-up. This condition is referred to as “ice-damming” and it is considered to be a maintenance item. The orientation of each home’s roof to the sun and the resulting shadows will cause similar styles of homes to experience a variety of maintenance challenges during the winter months, including ice damming.

 

Settling Against the Foundation Walls

During construction, much of the ground is disturbed for the installation of services and the foundation. While every effort has been made to back fill these trenches, some settling will occur as depressions in walks, drives and patios. While the most settling usually takes place in the first year, minor settling may occur later.

While most settling is beyond the builder’s control, Doug Tarry Limited will fix settlement around the house perimeter and those that effect proper drainage in the first year after your purchase, and on a one time only basis.

 

Shrinkage

Your home is subject to a certain amount of drying out or shrinkage as the building materials settle, as well as seasonal expansion and contraction. While every possible care is taken to minimize the effects of these occurrences, Doug Tarry Homes cannot be responsible for:

• Gaps between stairs or stair mouldings and the wall

• Squeaks in the tile underlay, hardwood floors and stair treads

• Joints in window and door trim

Gaps from shrinkage (other than seasonal shrinkage) can usually be filled with an appropriate caulking available at local hardware stores.

 

Windows

In cold weather you can feel that there are air leaks around windows even though they are tight and weather-stripped. When weather conditions are extreme, windows may not be completely windproof, however, in most cases the draft which you may feel will be due to internal air currents rather than air from the outside. Since the windows are cold and the room warm, this temperature differential may set up a cold air current.

It is important to lubricate the weather-stripping and tracks twice each year with a silicone lubricant, this will allow the window to open more freely.

Testimonials

I’m now living in my second Doug Tarry built home. When I bought my first home, I wasn’t thinking about resale, but being able to advertise a “Doug Tarry built home” really gave me a selling advantage.

This current home is actually my fifth new home I’ve lived in. I wouldn’t hesitate to build again with Doug Tarry. The standards for the home – insulation, framing, kitchen, plumbing, etc – are very high compared with other builders. This allowed me to put some additional funds into some extras, such as recessed lighting and hardwood flooring. The Doug Tarry group work very much as a team, from the home plan design, interior selections to sod. You are very much supported in the entire building process, and the follow-up for any issues after you move in is excellent.

Joan Rymal

Thank you Doug Tarry Homes for our wonderful home. Throughout the planning and building stages we found everyone we dealt with to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Any concerns or issues were promptly dealt with in a professional manner. The quality of our home, both inside and outside, is exceptional. (Even after one year we haven’t found a nail pop!) You go the extra mile and it shows. We would not hesitate to recommend Doug Tarry Homes to anyone.

Heather and Gary Vedova

Overall the home purchase went exceptionally well. We are pleased with the home and do not have any complaints. If there were any small things that we were unhappy with the staff at Doug Tarry (both office and tradesfolks) were always polite, quick at getting back to us and very knowledgeable.

Gord and Karen Ryan

I love my new semi home!  The transition from selling my family home to 3 Benjamin has been very pleasant and I owe that to the people I have come in contact with, especially Michele, Jason, Daryl, Lori and Elaine.  Your CoConstruct programme is very helpful and efficient.  Anything that needed to be addressed has had followup. 

Michele Fowler

We chose Doug Tarry Limited as the builder for our custom home because of their reputation for quality workmanship. Having our new home built at the same location as our current home we were able to witness first-hand the skill, quality, and pride of workmanship that each tradesman working on our home put into their work. We have had so many positive comments on the design and layout of our home, as well as the quality of the products used within the complete design. We cannot be happier with the finished product, and we highly recommend Doug Tarry Limited to anyone thinking of building a home.

Lisa and David Tenhor

As a family purchasing a new home, quality, comfort, energy efficiency & price were important to us. Doug Tarry Ltd. met and exceeded these needs.

Wayne, Angela DeVries & family

We loved the quality and building experience that we had with Doug Tarry Homes so much that we did it twice! From the quality of the construction, to the personalized help in making selections, we couldn’t have asked for more. Even after we took possession the follow up and communication to ensure that we were happy with our new home was thorough. We would definitely build with Doug Tarry homes again!

Ryan and Tara McDonald

My husband and I are retired seniors with very specific needs in mind for our retirement home. We found these and more in a Doug Tarry home in St. Thomas. From a well-designed floor plan to an exceptionally well-built house, we couldn’t be more pleased with our decision. Before, during and after the construction phase, the Tarry staff were extremely efficient and always ready to help with advice and recommendations. We’re very happy and comfortable in our new house. Well done Doug Tarry Homes!

Don & Kathy MacRae

Our experience dealing with Doug Tarry Homes, from the moment we were greeted at the model home, to our closing date when we picked up our keys was a positive one! The decision to build with Tarry’s was easy because of their long standing reputation for quality, and a commitment to the environment. What was a bonus was the service orientation of all their staff. Questions and concerns were addressed quickly, the designer thoughtfully guided us through all our decorating selections, and all staff were courteous, friendly and genuinely cared. Without hesitation we would recommend building with DTL!

Rebecca Parkes and Gary Hodge

We just wanted to let Mr. Tarry know that our experience with every single member of his team has been nothing but amazing.  We started looking for a new home 2 years ago and spoke to Amanda Joiner here in Strathroy at the open house.  We left her office that day 2 years ago and we knew DTH was a perfect company for us to trust with our future. Amanda made us feel  comfortable and she was very helpful in every step of the way.  We can’t say enough good things about her.  We bought one of your quick possession homes on Rushby St and could not be happier.  Jason took us through the house for our final inspection, and again he was amazing.  So friendly and informative.  Took his time going over everything and explaining it all and answering questions.  We also met Joe, I believe he is the site supervisor.  Joe, again so friendly and goes out of his way to make sure we where happy. Daryl and Laurie in your customer care centre are phenomenal.  They have been nothing short of amazing.  I’m sure you probably realize that you have an amazing team working for you but sometimes when you hear it from an outsider it means a little more.  So we applaud you Mr. Tarry for assembling such a great group of people to represent DTH.  They are doing an amazing job for you and treating all of your customers like they are family and we appreciate it.  Thank you to all at DTH for making our experience nothing but AMAZING.

Jason Banks

We were into our new house yesterday! What a wonderful surprise to see the welcome gift basket!! We have been so impressed all along with Doug Tarry homes, from the people (you!), the quality of the house, the design, the materials, the basement, the air and temperature of the house, everything!! Liam used to build houses and he has been blown away by everything we’ve seen and experienced with Doug Tarry homes. He’s not easily impressed either and has a keen critical eye and he is over the top happy with everything, as am I. So a big thank you Michele, for everything. You’ve been so patient with us right from the beginning, when we first showed up over a year ago when we first started looking at the area in St Thomas.

Trish and Liam

This was our first time building a home. Doug Tarry Ltd made the experience enjoyable and so easy. Each member of the company was very approachable and easy to talk to. They took us step-by-step through the process of building a home and making our dreams come true. Thank you to the Doug Tarry group.

Jinder and Amy Virdee

Patty and I have purchased 4-new homes over the course of our evolving status; from raising two children to being empty-nesters. Without a doubt, Doug Tarry Homes has been ‘far and a way’ the most professional builder that we have had the pleasure to deal with. We’ve been very impressed with the quality and the attention to details with our home. The most obvious difference has been the professionalism of the Doug Tarry personnel. Their help and assistance through the various stages of the construction to the final delivery and accommodation with our move-in requirements was outstanding. The differences with Doug Tarry Homes continued throughout the immediate 12-month period after our move-in date by completing the scheduled follow-up items on a timely basis. I only wish that the customer satisfaction formula used by Doug Tarry Homes was utilized by other business enterprises.

Don and Pat Calder

After purchasing many new builders homes, the Doug Tarry experience was by far the most enjoyable. With the team’s recommendations, ideas and perfectionism, we ended up with a home that far surpasses any of our expectations. When we woke up after the first night in our new home, we both looked at each other and said “this feels like home”. We have never had that feeling after the first night in any of our previous homes. After 6 months we still at times say to each other ” Man I love this house”. Great work Doug and crew.

Borot & Petra Jansa

I knew our new house was energy efficient but not that much! At the time of construction, we decided to insulate the basement floor instead of me getting a cold storage cellar. We have a very efficient furnace with an ERV unit. It wasn’t that cold in December, but even with all the kids home for 2-3 weeks over Christmas, our gas bill was just under $40! Love it.

Shout out to Doug Tarry Homes for being a leader in the new home industry for wonderful construction and environmental consciousness.

Satisfied Customer