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What homeowners need to know about construction defect claims

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Real Estate Law |

Most homeowners view an investment in the property where they live as a wise financial choice. They can expect to recoup those investments in a higher overall sale price when they eventually list their home.

However, not every new construction, remodeling or expansion project turns out the way that a property owner anticipates. Occasionally, there will be defects with the construction work that diminish the value of the work performed and may even impact the livability and fair market value of the property negatively. As a result, those who are hoping to pursue a construction defect claim in North Carolina need to know about the state’s rules regarding such lawsuits.

There are state rules limiting defect claims

Anytime one party wants to use the civil courts to pursue justice, there are numerous state laws that apply. The first and most important consideration is whether or not the circumstances meet the standard for bringing such a claim. There will need to be issues with the property or obvious deviations from the contract signed with the construction professional or company. Additionally, the property owner will need to establish the financial impact that the defect has had either by decreasing the property value or requiring revision work on the property.

Finally, they have to take timely action after discovering the defect. The statute of limitations for construction defects is longer than the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims. After all, shoddy workmanship may not be obvious in the first few months after the completion of the work. It could be several years before someone realizes that their contractor used cut-rate flooring or otherwise did not adhere to best practices within the industry. Property owners generally need to initiate litigation within six years of the completion of the project. Otherwise, they may lose their right to take legal action.

How construction defect claims help

A successful construction defect claim could lead to financial compensation for the property owner. Either the contractor or company will need to reimburse the homeowner, or their insurance policy may provide compensation. In some cases, judges could order specific performance, effectively requiring that a contractor or company redo certain work as a means of compensating the homeowner by bringing the property into the condition that they initially expected.

Fighting back by taking legal action after a contractor or construction company does not do a job properly can help homeowners protect their most valuable investment and potentially recoup what they have spent on substandard services.