Owning a home or condominium is for many, the single greatest investment of his or her lifetime. Discovering that your investment contains defective construction can be both worrisome and frustrating. Worrisome when your builder's customer service department informs you that your home is no longer covered by the builder's warranty program. And frustrating when your builder's customer service department denies the problem exists, or falls short of your expectations in making a repair. Some simple truths that contemporary homeowners must grapple with are, (1) that "they just don't build them like they used to" and (2) a builder's customer service response subtracts from its bottom line.
Fortunately, California law protects homeowners and homeowner associations by affording them the right to bring a construction defect action against their builder within 10 years of original construction, in certain circumstances. However, California law can also be very unforgiving by requiring homeowners and homeowners associations to file an action against their builder within one year from original construction.
The JCL Law Firm's primary goal in a construction defect action is to recover enough compensation for its clients so that they can make the necessary repairs to protect their investment. The firm emphasizes a well-planned, thorough, yet cost-effective investigation to achieve this goal.
The firm represents our construction defect clients on a contingency basis. This means we don't get paid unless we recover for you. In most cases, we advance the costs of litigation. Therefore, there are no upfront costs to the firm's clients.
If you believe your home or condominium suffers from a construction defect, call the JCL Law Firm at 1-888-498-6999 for a free consultation.
Construction Defect Defined
"Construction Defect" is a legal term which encompasses many different types of building deficiencies. A "construction defect" can include building code violations caused by original construction, variations from approved building plans, poor workmanship and defective building materials, to name a few. Not every "construction defects" is actionable under California law. That is, a homeowner cannot always sue his or her builder merely because his or her home contains a "construction defect."
California law defines an actionable "construction defect" differently depending on when the home or condominium was originally constructed. Generally, for homes built prior to January 1, 2003, an actionable construction defect requires a homeowner to prove two things:
- a defective building component in the home, and
- damage to another building component caused by the defective component
A homeowner must prove both. For example, an improperly installed window is a "construction defect." However, a homeowner cannot sue his or her builder for that "construction defect" until the improperly installed window leaks, causing water damage to the interior drywall or wood framing.
For homes built on, or after January 1, 2003, an actionable "construction defect" only requires that the homeowner prove a defective building component. In our previous example, a homeowner can sue his or her builder for the improperly installed window before it causes damage to the home.
Common Construction Defects
- roof leaks;
- window leaks;
- shower leaks;
- plumbing leaks;
- deck leaks;
- improper insulation;
- inadequate drainage;
- inadequate soil compaction;
- expansive soils;
- collapsible soils;
- slab cracks;
- concrete cracks
- stucco cracks;
- drywall cracks; and
- tile cracks