Real Estate Law and Construction Defects: How To Protect Your Rights As A Homeowner

Real Estate Law and Construction Defects: How To Protect Your Rights As A Homeowner

Your home is probably the most valuable asset and investment you have. But sometimes for first-time homebuyers, the dream of owning a house can quickly turn into a nightmare because of construction defects. In extreme cases, defects can be serious enough for a family to abandon the property altogether. There is a shocking rise in construction defects as developers hurry through things in order to meet the growing housing demand.

You should speak with a dedicated construction defects attorney to recover financial compensation for any hardships related to construction defects, whether in a new property or renovation of an existing house.

Types of Construction Defects in California

Construction defects laws are in place for protecting homeowners. They cover a wide range of issues, such as code violations, faulty designs, cracked foundations, and unsafe structures. These are a few common types of construction defects:

Design deficiencies

These result from the work of engineering and design professionals, such as architects and structural engineers. Design deficiencies arise when professionals end up making errors or fail to respect applicable professional standards and building codes. For instance, if a roof is not designed as per applicable engineering standards and building codes, it can lead to inadequate support and water intrusion.

Material deficiencies

This includes the use of improper and defective building materials. For instance, the construction plan may be based on using a particular grade of wood for providing strength to the structure. Based on this, the contractors substitute it for a different grade when it’s time to build the element. Certain materials required for the structure may get damaged during transit, which is overlooked by the building contractor. A malfunction may occur in this situation because of the defective material.

Construction deficiencies

These are the result of poor workmanship during the construction of a building. Deficiencies in construction can lead to dry rot, cracked foundations, plumbing problems, electrical problems, and pest infestation.

Subsurface deficiencies

Deficiencies may occur in the preparation of the subsurface. This happens when soil conditions are not suitable for the structure, causing it to become unstable. Building on unstable subsurface can result in the development of cracks in walls, floors, and the foundation of a structure.

Most construction defects occur because the construction industry is highly competitive with many companies trying to offer the lowest bids for contracts. They salvage profits by employing unqualified workers, cutting corners, and poorly supervising subcontractors. If you are an unsuspecting homeowner that is left to foot the bill for these practices, get in touch with an experienced construction accident attorney today.

File a Builder’s Warranty Claim to Recover Costs

If the damaged or defective item in your house is covered under the builder’s warranty, you may be able to recover costs by filing a claim. Many warranties need homeowners to send a written notification to the builder. Sending your request in writing is always a good idea since it leaves you with the available evidence.

Make sure to keep notes of every conversation you have with the builder along with relevant dates. Your attorney may use this to prove that the builder failed in taking any remedial action. It’s essential that you act quickly. In some cases, all it takes is to alert the builder of problems within the warranty period.

You may want to consult an attorney since some warranties can be cleverly written to allow the builder to string a house owner along and delay making repairs. Never bring in outside contractors to take care of the issue. This may result in you losing the warranty benefits.

Causes of Action in a Construction Defect

You can file legal action if your house has a construction defect and you have suffered damages because of it. Besides, the legal claims you can bring against the property developer depend on a number of things, including the type and extent of damages. There are several different types of legal actions for construction defects. These are:

  • Negligence
  • Breach of contract
  • Implied and expressed warranty issues
  • Professional negligence against a design professional
  • Breach of a homeowner association’s declaration or covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs)

An experienced construction litigation attorney will be able to help you determine the right type of legal action to take for your particular construction defect.

Remedies for Construction Defects in California

There are different types of costs you can recover by winning a lawsuit for construction defects. These depend a lot on your circumstances. The remedies for construction defects are usually limited to the following categories:

  • Diminution of the value of property
  • Cost to repair the defects
  • Loss of the use of property
  • Legal fees
  • Recovery for litigation expenses
  • Inconvenience losses if you have to move out for repairs

Our Trusted Construction Defects Lawyers Can Provide Strong Legal Advice and Support

At Peterson, Martin & Reynolds LLP, we will thoroughly investigate your construction defect claim, hire engineering or construction experts as necessary, and prove the liability of the builder or contractor. Our attorneys are skilled in handling the most challenging construction or renovation defect cases. To schedule a consultation, call us at (415) 399-2900 or fill out this online contact form.