Study Raises the question of what information is a new homeowners right
VANCOUVER, Jan. 20 /CNW/ - CONASYS Inc., a provider of information management services to the Canadian construction industry, released statistical findings that indicate that new homeowners receive only 10% of the information required for proper care, maintenance, and warranty coverage for the components in their new home.
The study, which compared the information typically provided by builders against the 7,000 homes in Canada for which CONASYS has provided services, shows that the typical builder provides an average of 9 formal sets of documents, usually referring to appliances, contact information for 12 sub trades, and a generic home maintenance manual. Conversely, each CONASYS Home Information Package listed an average of 68 companies (manufacturers, suppliers and installers) that were involved in the homes construction , 77 components (unique separately manufactured parts) and an average of 130 formal sets of documents regarding maintenance, operating instructions and warranty information.
In Canada, warranties on new homes (and their components) can be complicated as builders, suppliers, manufacturers and third party insurers all provide some degree of coverage. Over the past few years provincial governments and the construction industry have been implementing consumer protection programs such as builder licensing and New Home Warranty Insurance (provided by a third party insurer). For some components this third party coverage is often shorter than the manufacturer or supplier standard warranty, therefore, access to the manufacturer's warranty would extend coverage.
Regardless of whether the warranty comes from a third party insurer or the manufacturer the coverage may be dependent upon the home owner doing proper maintenance, which usually requires being able to refer to the manufacturer's instructions. To be compliant the homeowner would require access to these specific instructions. This documentation for branded components (such as appliances) can easily be searched online, however, a majority of components are built in, such as hardwood floors, windows, tiles, or pot lights, and it is difficult to identify the manufacturer or supplier.
New home warranty programs have made significant progress to protect new homeowners over the past few years', however, this analysis would suggest that the volume of information required to advance even further will require extra work from the builders and the use of technology to manage this large amount of data. While CONASYS started as a value added service for builders to provide customized closing manuals, its expertise in data collection and its advanced technology platform are proof that further home owner protection can be added cost effectively. The company collects and stores all maintenance, operating and warranty documentation for every product used in the construction of a home including contact information for all manufacturers, supplier, and installers. The company provides a home specific on-line portal to homeowners and project portal to builders for instant access to all the information on a customized web site unique to each home. The system will even send proactive reminders, via email, to homeowners on what maintenance is required and when to do it.
"Systemically coordinating suppliers, trades and installers to collect this information and then keep it in good condition is difficult," says Bob Deeks, President RDC Fine Homes and current Canadian Homebuilders Assn BC President. "Home owners may misplace documents and builders do not want to be searching for replacement copies so a web based solution makes sense."
"As the new breed of buyers (Gen Y) emerges onto the marketplace, the industry will need to adapt sales and marketing campaigns, community plans, building design, and customer service methods to address this group," added Greg Stolz, EVP at CONASYS. "As this group lives on-line, any adaptation will need to incorporate the web."
"We started this business to help builders improve customer satisfaction and save costs", says James Christensen, CEO of CONASYS. "Now that we have this aggregate data on thousands of homes we can see how the service can help protect consumers, which will ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction for the builder and for the industry."
In their December/January 2010 issue, BC Homes Magazine recognized the importance of this analysis, "CONASYS has no doubt set the bar on what homeowners should expect from their builder with regards to warranty and service. They should be given the tools and documentation to fully take ownership of their new home and every new homebuyer should be asking for it. It is your right".
CONASYS Consumer Assurance Systems Inc. is an information management company which provides web based tools that assist companies and consumers with warranty and after sales service. The company has over 300 builder clients across Canada and has 20,000 new homes coming on-line. It is a private company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
SOURCE CONASYS CONSUMER ASSURANCE SYSTEMS INC.
For further information: For further information: CONASYS Inc. - Home Information Packages Contact: James Christensen, CEO, Phone: (604) 988-0690, Toll Free: 1-877-744-7547, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.homeinformationpackages.com