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Overview of rights: Construction defect claims

This post takes a closer look at construction defect basics. For starters, there are different types. The main categories include:

  • Design defects relating to faulty architectural or engineering designs;
  • Material defects relating to faulty building materials;
  • Workmanship defects relating to poor installation or work that was performed; and
  • Subsurface defects relating to ground conditions that the builder may have failed to account for in the construction.

After discovering a defect and determining its type, the next step would be to consult with a real estate lawyer to explore your legal options. An attorney will investigate whether the defect was due to negligence, based on the standard of reasonableness in the profession.

Keep in mind that there may be multiple legal theories upon which to bring a claim. For example, an attorney may review the contract to see if the defect relates to a specific provision in the contract. According to case law, there are certain implied warranties that apply to a home, such as exterior walls that can withstand normal weather conditions. Finally, there may even be a claim of fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation if the developer intentionally misrepresented the quality or design of its homes in sales documentation.

Given the above, it follows that a construction defect lawsuit may also name several defendants, in addition to the developer or general contractor. Given this complexity, it is a good idea to have an attorney review your case, develop a strategy, and gather the evidence needed to present a persuasive case at trial. An attorney can also protect your interests during any settlement negotiations.

Source: “Construction Defect Basics,” copyright 2017, Thomson Reuters

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