Construction Defects? Know Your Rights!

Is your home less than 10 years old? Are you experiencing water intrusion or other problems which could be related to defective construction?

During the construction explosion before the recession hit and even some houses built in the past few years, have experienced defects which may not be visible for several years. It is hard not to notice how fast new houses spring up and there are bound to be some shortcuts taken or simply mistakes made by some builders or subcontractors.

I have fielded calls from homeowners with problems ranging from Water intrusion due to improperly installed stucco to termites infesting cabinets which were installed when the home was built and a host of other issues in between.

Many problems do not become obvious to the naked eye until a few years after construction. Make sure to examine the exterior of your home routinely. The sooner you spot a potential problem, the cost is almost always a lot less than if the problem is ignored for even a short time.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these types of Defective Construction problems, you may have questions and need a construction litigation lawyer. John McMenamin is a Tampa construction lawyer.

Whether you are building an addition to your existing home, renovating the original space or building a brand-new house, you have invested a lot of time and money into your project. Most of the time construction goes exceptionally well, and the job is done properly. However, there are instances when construction is done poorly or improperly and defects surface weeks, months or even years after the construction is completed.

If you discover defects or damage which may be related to the construction process, we can assist you by contacting your builder in writing immediately.

Common Construction Defects Claims

Roof Installation defects claims

Normally roofs don’t get replaced until a leak presents itself. Be cautious that your roof is not removed and left open to the elements for an extended period, especially during the summer or rainy months. When the roof is completed, pay close to attention for leaks for a period after replacement to ensure there are no leaks. Report any problems to the roofing contractor immediately.

Faulty stucco or waterproofing claims

if your home is newly constructed or if you had any modifications to the exterior of your home performed, inspect the building regularly to look for cracking or other concerns regularly. If your home is more than one story, it is likely that the first floor is block construction and the second story is wood frame. Many times, the stucco or exterior coatings applied to the wood frame portion of the structure can express cracking and must be regularly maintained to prevent water intrusion. Excessive cracking or stucco falling off the building is a possible sign of a more serious problem. Another area of particular concern is the interface between the block and wood frame portions of the house. This is a common area where water and moisture intrusion can occur. Inspect this area regularly.

Plumbing issues

Plumbing problems are a fairly common occurrence. Drains can become clogged with debris from construction, nails or screws can be driven into sheetrock walls causing a small break in pipes or faulty construction can cause leaks or backups. The first few months in a new home will usually reveal most of the common problems that might arise. Pay close attention.

Improperly installed windows and doors

This can be a serious problem which may not show signs of this defect until its too late. Improperly installed windows and doors may allow water intrusion into the home but that water damage may not become visible for an extended period. by the time it is visible to the naked eye, you may already have more hidden severe damage and even mold growth.
Building code deficiencies, Slab and foundation issues and many other construction defects are possible. Nobody knows your home as well as you! Be aware of changes and address those concerns immediately.

Tips for the consumer:

  • Always hire a licensed contractor. Ask for a copy of their license and verify with the State of Florida.
  • Request proof of insurance for the contractor including workers compensation coverage for employees.
  • Ask if the contractor will be utilizing employees or subcontractors.
  • Request licensing and proof of insurance for each subcontractor.
  • Ask for references and verify the information with the individuals making the recommendation
  • Do an internet search for the contractor and the company to see if any negative comments exist.
  • Check with the local better business bureau for complaints.
  • Make sure the estimate is detailed sufficiently to readily determine what materials and labor are to be included to avoid “surprises”, misunderstandings or cost overruns.
  • A “Notice of Commencement” protects you from paying twice for work. This is usually required to begin work.
  • Make sure your contractor provides you with proof that his subcontractors and suppliers are being paid as the work progresses.
  • Consider placing time requirements for completion of steps for big projects as well as penalties for non-completion according to schedule.
  • Try to visually inspect the work as it progresses and ask questions if something just doesn’t look right.
  • Consider retaining an attorney to review the contract for a big job.

Free Construction Rights Consultation

Contact McMenamin Law Group today so that we can discuss your construction defects problems.

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