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Who is responsible for construction defects?

The housing industry has not taken much of a hit in the Sunshine State. Areas like Ft. Lauderdale have seen a boom in home construction.

What happens when you purchase a home only to find that things are not quite right? It may start as small issues, a crack here or there, and grow to something much bigger. When you find that construction defects have taken a toll on your home, you want to know who to hold responsible.

Examine your contract

A construction contract is an essential document to have on hand in the event of a defect. Check the terms for provisions regarding remedies in the event of a problem. Most construction contracts set forth a course of action on how to handle issues and the timing dictating it.

Not all contractors are equal

Many contractors hire third parties throughout the home building process. These subcontractors perform specific functions such as:

  • Roofing
  • Drywall
  • Painting
  • HVAC
  • Plumbing and electrical work

The contractor is the entity who oversees all work. Therefore, when it comes to finding the person responsible for issues with the house, you may have to go through the chain of installers and entities. However, it is the contractor you have the contract with who is the ultimate responsible party.

Architectural defects

If your home has a functional deficiency, it may go back to the building plans. In this instance, the original designer or architect of the property may bear the liability. While the contractor and subcontractors should have found the issue as they built the home, they do not always call out architectural or engineering flaws.

An example of a structural defect is a faulty staircase. Perhaps it is too steep, or the line of sight up or down the stairs impairs a person’s ability to traverse it safely.

Discovering that your new home is not up to par is frustrating and disheartening. However, understanding your contract and the process through which you can seek compensation is integral to getting it fixed.

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