Buying a new home is exciting and should be a happy time. One of the drawbacks of purchasing a new residence is the potential for construction defects. In California, tens of thousands of new homes are constructed and sold each year. A house is typically your single most valuable financial investment, so many buyers are upset upon discovering home defects months – or even years – after closing. Unfortunately, defects are rarely discovered before one purchases a house.
Not only can home defects require major repairs, but they have the potential to reduce your home’s value. Most defects are not noticeable until after you move in. Problems can arise in your new home whether its new construction or previously owned. Issues with pipes, flooring, and even the foundation can make the American dream feel like a nightmare for homeowners. As a homebuyer, do you know what to do if construction issues make your new home unsafe or unlivable? If you answered no, keep reading to learn more about California construction defect law.
What are Construction Defects?
Construction defects arise from issues in how your home is designed, built or maintained. These types of flaws happen on projects of various types and sizes. They impact nearly everyone associated with the project – from architects and general contractors to electricians and roofers. A construction defect usually results in financial harm to the homeowner.
A typical house is made up of more than 3,000 different parts. All those components must be put together with care and skill to meet building code requirements and make your new home safe and functional.
How to Look for Construction Defects
Most construction defect claims are not typically reported for several years. In California, homeowners have up to 10 years after the completion of a home to report latent defects. The areas of a house most often involved in construction defect lawsuits include:
- Heating and cooling systems
- Defective floors
Home inspectors are an excellent resource for finding construction defects. Even with months of planning, builders can still make mistakes. While this is in no way meant as a condemnation of the home-building industry, errors and defects still happen. Flaws in construction can be the result of inadequate supervision and workmanship. They are also caused by deliberate underbidding and cutting corners with the construction budget.
What to Do if You Suspect Construction Defects in Your Home
If you think you have found a defect in your new home, you’ll want to hire an independent contractor or inspector with experience dealing with the type of problem you have. You should start documenting the issue with photos and videos, taking note of dates that any issues began, as well as logging any other details that are relevant in discussing how the construction defect came to light. It’s important to determine whether the problem is with design, materials, construction, or something else.
How a California Construction Defect Lawyer Can Help
If you are sure your home has a construction defect, you should contact the developer with your concerns. If your developer does not agree to make repairs to your home, or the repairs are inadequate, you may then have to pursue a lawsuit. A qualified California construction defect lawyer will be a necessary and valuable resource if you go this route.
Real estate and construction defect attorney Timothy Norton specializes in handling all types of construction-related claims. Contact Norton & Associates today online or at 310-706-4134 to learn how our team of construction defect attorneys can assist you.