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What is Housing and Construction Defects Law?

A home is the most expensive long-term investment most people will make in their lifetimes, so it's important to know when to pursue legal action for construction defects. In the best-case scenario, simply contacting the builder or contractor and explaining the defect will resolve the problem. Building a home is a big project involving multiple parties, so construction defects are not uncommon. But sometimes, particularly when mold or other health hazards are present, you may need legal representation. Defects also can lower the value of your home, undermining your investment.

A construction defect may be rooted in a faulty design, defective materials, or the actual work performed on site. This is an important distinction, since it will help you determine which party is liable for a given deficiency. In any event, a housing and construction defects attorney will work to help you resolve the problem.

Terms to Know

  • Contractor: One that contracts to perform work or provide supplies; one that contracts to erect buildings.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Toxins released by certain types of mold which can cause respiratory illnesses and other health problems.

Types of Construction Defects

A homeowner may encounter any number of construction defects in a new house. Some defects aren't discovered until many years after the home is completed, such as an unsteady foundation that slowly unbalances the house. Common construction defects include water leakage; faulty electrical or heating systems; mold growth in interior walls; and dry rot.

Common material defects include faulty or cracked windows, deteriorating flashing, and problems with inferior drywall or other materials used in damp areas. Defects also can result from an insufficient design. Even a well-constructed home using the best materials can suffer from a lack of structural support or other architectural errors.

An attorney will be able to help you resolve the issue if one or more of the parties involved in the design, manufacturing, or sourcing of materials is responsible for a defect.

Toxic Mold

Toxic mold is especially problematic, since it creates volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause serious respiratory problems, flu-like symptoms, headaches, and other ailments. Only a few strains of mold can cause illness to residents and occupants, but tend to flourish in homes with inadequate ventilation or faulty materials.

If you have become ill due to toxic mold, you may have a valid injury claim against any number of parties involved: contractors and subcontractors, architects and engineers, material suppliers and manufacturers, or the previous homeowners (if they failed to disclose such problems). Find a toxic mold lawyer near you.

Related Practice Areas

Find a housing and construction defect attorney near you if you would like to consider your legal options.

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