Defective Construction – Protect Yourself

Contractors can protect themselves from defective construction claims by hiring license and insured professionals to perform the work. Because most sub-contractors obtain future work through word of mouth, there is a built in incentive for contractors to police themselves and correct substandard work before it can negatively impact a project.
Some contractors provide an express warranty for work performed. While this express warranty may put homeowners mind at ease, in reality, a contractor remains responsible for any construction defects which are not determinable at the conclusion of construction.
In Florida, an owner may bring a claim against a contractor for latent defects up to ten years after the completion of Construction Progress Payments Example. For example, upon the completion of an owner’s new dream home the owner inspects the home and finds nothing out of the ordinary.
The owner moves in and after living in the home for nine years a water spot appears on a bathroom wall. Inspection of the cause determines that a defective solder in a bathroom pipe has allowed water to slowly seep into the wall and cause extensive water damage.
The owner may bring a claim against the contractor for a latent defect provided that the sub-standard work is the cause of the damage. The contractor can then seek to have the sub-contractor and its insurance cover any defect actually proven.
It is important to remember that while the owner has ten years from the completion of the work within Application For Payment Request which to bring claim, the owner must also bring the claim within five years of discovering a problem.
For example, in our previous discussion of the leaky pipe: if the owner noticed water stains on the wall in year one, but ignores it until year nine believing the source of the problem to be a leaky roof, which the contractor fixed, the five year period within which to bring a claim against the contractor will most likely have run.
The five year period begins to run at the time the water stain is discovered, not at the time the cause of the water stain is determined. Owner knowledge of the problem is a factual issue, which will depend upon each individual case.
As a result, if a subcontractor or contractor is faced with a claim for defective construction, legal counsel should be retained immediately to protect your rights.

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