A home is more than just a place where you live and raise your family. Oftentimes, it's also one of the largest investments you'll ever make. When you opt for new construction and purchase a home directly from a builder or contractor, it's not unreasonable to expect that it's suitable for habitation, everything is in proper working order, and the residence is free of the problems and repair issues often found in older homes.
Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. Shoddy workmanship or the use of poor-quality or defective building materials can lead to devastating construction defects. Fortunately, when this happens, Florida's Construction Defects statutes give homeowners the right to pursue a legal remedy for damages.
Are you considering taking legal action in a construction defects-related contract dispute? Here's what you should know.
What Is a Construction Defect?
Defined as a flaw, deficiency, or error in a new home's design or assembly, construction defects can have significant consequences for homeowners. Serious construction mistakes can endanger the occupants' safety, decrease the value of a home, or even render it uninhabitable. In some cases, construction defects may force homeowners to move out or leave them holding the bag for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of unexpected home repairs.
Types of Construction Defects
Though construction defects can be wide-ranging, they can generally be divided into two main types: patent defects, which are obvious following the home's completion and latent defects, which are hidden and may not be discovered until months or years later. Examples of common types of construction defects include:
- Popped nails
- Peeling interior or exterior paint
- Mold and mildew problems
- Water and plumbing issues
- Defective heating and cooling, or electrical systems
- Cracks in the foundation, floors, walls, or roof
- Dry rot and other framing problems
- Structural failure
- Leaking windows
- Pooling water
- Faulty drainage and other landscaping errors
- Incorrectly analyzed or prepared soil
- Flooded foundation
Construction Defects: Common Causes
In Florida, common causes of construction defects include:
- The use of defective materials, products, or other building components
- Violations of applicable building codes
- Flawed designs that fail to meet the professional standards
- Poor workmanship that falls below accepted trade standards
Available Damages and Potentially Liable Parties
If your newly-constructed home has serious construction defects, you may be entitled to compensation for related financial losses. Potentially liable parties in Florida defective construction contract disputes include builders, developers, general contractors, architects, and designers.
Taking Legal Action
When a builder, developer, or contractor fails to complete your home according to the agreed-upon plans, specifications, and obligations, you may have grounds for a breach of contract or breach of warranty case. However, before you can file a lawsuit, Florida law requires you to notify the construction professional in question and give them an opportunity to make the appropriate repairs.
Florida also sets strict limits for how long you have to file a construction defects lawsuit. In most cases, the lawsuit must be filed within four years of the discovery of the defect or within 10 years of possessing the property, the issuance of the certificate of occupancy, or the completion of the contract with the builder or other construction professional.
Let Us Handle Your Florida Construction Defects Contract Dispute
Was your newly-constructed dream home riddled with defects and errors? Are you facing outrageous repair costs for what should have been a pristine new property? When a home builder has failed to meet their obligations, Good Life Legal Services is here to help homeowners hold the responsible party accountable and recover what was lost. We look at the big picture, and harness our small business background and mindset to deliver the efficient legal services and creative solutions you need and deserve.
Interested in finding out how we can help you resolve your defective construction contract issue? Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.