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Trouble in the Neighborhood: Are Construction Defects Turning Your Dream Home into a Nightmare?

Homebuyers whose dream home turned into a nightmare because of construction defects may have legal recourse against negligent builders. Buyers frequently put down significant amounts of money for new houses.  In fact, generally, one’s home is their biggest financial investment. When these dream homes begin to fall apart, new homeowners may face significant financial challenges.

Builders May Be Liable for Construction Defects

Even when homes are brand new, they are not necessarily free from defects. Builders can cut corners to save money or make mistakes in construction. Negligent builders and contractors can be made to pay in litigation because homebuyers may be entitled to a home that is free from defects.  State law (e.g. Nevada vs. California) vary in procedure and available damage recovery, which is why it is important to consult with a construction defect attorney.

Construction defect claims generally involve two basic issues: 1) work that was not done in accordance with a written contract, plans or specifications or 2) work that was done in violation of code and/or standards and is causing damage. These defects can be patent (obvious to the naked eye) or latent (hidden defect generally discovered by an expert). 

If a construction defect lawsuit is successful, depending on local state law, the homeowner may be entitled to recover for: cost of repairs, diminution of value, loss of use, expert fees, litigation costs, and sometimes attorney’s fees. 

New Homes with Serious Defects

In some cases, construction defects appear quickly after moving into a new home.  In other instances, the defects could take years to start showing damage to put a homeowner on notice of a potential issue.  For instance, defective soil conditions could result in damage within the first year or could take many years to appear depending on dry or wet winters.  Evidence of defective soil conditions could include: cracking exterior stucco, cracking interior drywall especially at windows and doors, cracked tile floors, and difficulty opening and closing doors/windows. Anytime a homeowner sees excessive cracking at their home, an expert should be contacted because there is likely an underlying defect that is the cause of the cracking.  

Even when purchasing a newly built home, it is a good idea to hire a third-party home inspector to check for defective conditions that a lay homeowner might not see or know is wrong. However, unfortunately, even with a good home inspector, some defective conditions may not appear until years after moving in.  Once a homeowner sees or experiences defective conditions in their home, they should document the evidence with photos and videos as much as possible and put the builder or contractor on written notice immediately.  If a homeowner is unable to get the builder or contractor to repair issues with their new home, it is important to contact a construction defect attorney because the time clock could be running out to pursue a claim.  A homeowner needs to be careful not to let a builder or contractor drag things out because the homeowner could be at risk for a barred claim under applicable statutes of limitation or statutes of repose.  Bottom line, when in doubt, a homeowner should contact an attorney to make sure they understand their legal rights.

What Our Clients Say

My family and I are thankful to Maddox, Segerblom and Canepa for their assistance during a three year case regarding construction defects to our home. We are truly appreciative of their knowledge, determination and assistance during this process. They were always courteous, and available to answer any and all of our concerns and questions. Thank you for the wonderful resolution. Many thanks to you and your staff.

Frances Castelli

We used Maddox, Segerblom & Canepa to represent us in a legal suit re problems in construction on new properties that we purchased from a developer.

We were very pleased with the representation provided by this law firm. They were fully communicative, responsive to our questions and were very knowledgeable about the issues that required resolution. Even after we reached a resolution, they have been responsive in making sure to point us in the right direction for help with repairs that are required.

We would recommend them to others with similar issues that require legal help.

Atam & Margo Lalchandani

Maddox, Segerblom & Canepa did a FANTASTIC job in our construction defects case. I interacted with several people from their office throughout our 2 year litigation. Their staff is friendly, knowledgeable and always prompt about getting back to you when you have questions/comments/concerns. I especially enjoyed working with Darcy, Ardea, Eva, and Sandra. Being part of a lawsuit is no fun for anyone, but if you have to be a part of one, I can’t say enough positive things about this firm!

Victoria Fox

The law firm of Maddox, Segerblom, and Canepa were amazing to work with. They were thorough and always available for any questions we had. We worked a lot with Sandy who was always professional, friendly, always on time for appointments and just a great person to represent this firm. We have never been involved in a law suit before and they made it comfortable for us. We appreciate the hard work the lawyers and people who work for the firm did and would recommend them.

Becky Loudenburg
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