Many people purchase a recently constructed home for its low-maintenance appeal, expecting no major issues to arise in its initial years. However, cracks, leaks, damage, and other premature problems that suddenly appear in newer homes may result from a construction defect. At Grimes Teich Anderson LLP, our North Carolina and South Carolina construction defect lawyers can help homeowners associations and individual homeowners seek compensation for damage caused by poor workmanship and broken promises. With experience and determination, we can identify any potential claims that you may have and all of the parties responsible for the flaws. Our attorneys also can assist you with any eminent domain issues that arise with regard to your property.Common Claims Related to Construction Defects
A construction defect broadly refers to the use of faulty design, workmanship, products, or systems that results in the failure of a component parts of the building and financial harm to the owner. For example, cracks in the foundation of a house, leaking roofs and windows, a defective air conditioning system, a malfunctioning fireplace, and chimney, failed plumbing systems, and Chinese drywall have been subjects of lawsuits. Builders, developers, contractors, architects, manufacturers, suppliers, and others involved in the project could potentially be liable for a construction defect.
Construction defect cases are often brought as negligence, breach of contract and breach of warranty claims. Our construction defect attorneys can advise North Carolina and South Carolina homeowners on which theories may be applicable to their case. A breach of contract is a failure to perform any promise made under a contract. If a builder fails to comply with the building plan, fails to use appropriate materials, or fails to meet any other obligation as agreed under the contract, they may be liable for the breach. An express warranty may also be included in the contract, providing guarantees regarding the quality and duration of a product or the work performed.
In addition, the homeowner may be protected by implied warranties. There are several recognized by North and South Carolina, but perhaps the most significant is the implied warranty of habitability. It provides that the builder of a new home implicitly warrants that the home and the fixtures within it are sufficiently free from major structural defects, and it is constructed in a workmanlike manner that meets the standard of quality existing at the time and place of construction.Filing Deadlines to Consider
In general, actions for breach of contract, breach of warranty, or negligence must be filed within a certain time frame. In North Carolina, for example, they must be filed within three years from the date that the breach or negligence occurred. For personal injury or property damage claims, the case must be filed within three years from the date that the injury or defect was discovered, or when it should reasonably have been discovered. Despite the discovery rule, no actions for an unsafe or defective improvement to real property generally may be brought more than six years (in North Carolina) or eight years (in South Carolina) after substantial completion of the project. Fortunately for many plaintiffs, however, there are some exceptions to this deadline, which is known as the statute of repose.
As you can see, the deadline to file a lawsuit based on a construction defect will vary depending on the claims asserted and whether an exception to the time limit applies. Due to this fact-sensitive inquiry, consulting with an attorney who understands the details of your case is useful in determining the precise filing deadline.Learn More from a Construction Defect Lawyer in North Carolina or South Carolina
Construction defect cases are complicated, often involving multiple claims in overlapping areas of law. The attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP can clarify the legal process and provide trusted guidance to residential homeowners and other plaintiffs. Our North Carolina offices are located in Franklin, Rutherfordton, Asheville, Waynesville, and Spruce Pine, while we have South Carolina offices in Greenville, Gaffney, and Spartanburg. To arrange a case evaluation with one of our North Carolina and South Carolina construction defect attorneys, call 800.533.6845 or contact us online. We also can assist people who need a personal injury or product liability attorney to assert their rights.