CALGARY- Complaints have been pouring into the city, over damage caused to neighbouring homes by infill construction.
Pat Bartsch is just one affected homeowner, who is now battling with a builder after his home was damaged during construction of the house next door. He says his sidewalk cracked and sunk during excavation, stucco splattered on his house and his garage wall was chipped.
The builder fixed some of the issues, but still hasn’t paid for the concrete repair.
“I’ve just totally come to the end of my rope where they damaged property,” Bartsch complains. “They need to fix it. It’s this right of entitlement they seem to think they have.”
He adds that the builder, Lux Homes Inc., was also not proactive.
“There was not once that I came home and there was a message saying ‘we’ve done some damage, we’ll take care of it, don’t worry about it.’ It was always me coming home and finding they’ve done some damage.”
The city says there are guidelines in place to help resolve such disputes.
“The builders have to oblige by the building code, not creating damage to neighbouring properties, and if investigation goes to that extent they will be found obligated to correct those measures,” explains Marco Civitarese, manager of building regulations for the City of Calgary.
However, the city can’t force builders to repair damage, unless it’s a violation of the building code.
“If the case is of civil nature, the civil courts might have jurisdiction, but where we can help we will,” says chief licence inspector Kent Pallister. “We can offer some mediation between the customer and the business…we can do some conflict resolution.”
In regards to Bartsch’s complaint, Lux Homes Inc. says they are questioning the concrete claim, and waiting for proof that their company is responsible for the damage.