Your new home should be perfect—free from any and all problems that older homes suffer from, such as leaks, mold, and structural issues, right? Unfortunately, far too many new homeowners find that their new construction contains a serious flaw that leads to expensive property damage:
- Façade leaks, including leaking walls and windows
- Warping wood floors
- Ventilation issues
- Inferior building materials
- Drafty windows and doors
- Structural problems
- Mold issues
While a home might look perfect when you move in, it usually takes a year for some of the above problems to be spotted. In some cases, it can take up to 10 years to discover a problem that has been present since the day the home was finished.
Who is responsible for the damage caused by new construction defects?
It can be difficult to know who is at fault for your new construction defects, or, more importantly, who will pay for the repairs. Many insurance companies will not cover the costs of repairing new construction defects unless you can prove that the construction defect was legally an “occurrence,” and that the construction defect led to significant property damage.
However, many new homes come with a builder’s warranty: a promise that aspects of your new construction will function properly for one, two, and ten years. If you regularly maintain your home and your property still suffers from defects, you may be covered by your builder’s warranty.
It is important to understand, though, that there are several exclusions in builder’s warranties. For example, your builder may not be held responsible for defects if:
- Damage is the result of a lack of maintenance on the part of the homeowner.
- Damage was caused by other workers in your home.
- Damage was caused by your own abuse of the home.
- Damage was caused by Acts of God or outsiders.
- Damage was caused by appliances or property that you brought into the house.
If you have discovered a new home construction defect, you should examine your builder’s warranty and your homeowner’s insurance policy. If you are having difficulty getting your construction defect repaired by the responsible party, you may wish to speak with a construction defect attorney.