Austin Construction And Real Estate Law Blog

Is your construction project experiencing water problems?

Building a new construction project in Texas can be a lengthy, arduous process. Your progress is subject to everything from the weather to the whims of the contractor. It can be frustrating and expensive, but it may seem like all of the hassle was worth it when it's over and you can finally occupy the space. 

Days, weeks or even months after you move in, you may notice certain problems. With new construction, it is rather common to see cosmetic issues that fixing, finishes that need changing or other problems that need addressing. One of the most serious is water intrusion. Water issues are particularly serious because they can often indicate serious underlying problems and eventually lead to mold, structural damage and more.

Protect yourself from new home construction problems

When you purchase an older home here in Austin, the current owner likely already knows about the house's problems and issues. More than likely, the person who owned it when it was first built, who may or may not be the current owner, already found and repaired any defects from the construction process. For this reason, you can probably have some confidence that it does not have any major defects not already disclosed by the current owner.

When you enter into a contract to build a new home, you don't have the time and experience of other owners to rely on. All you have is the word of your construction contractor that the home does not contain any construction defects. You may want to take steps to help ensure that you can trust that statement.

Did you account for weather delays in the construction contract?

One of the biggest unknowns in any construction project is the weather. When you bid for a job, negotiate the contract and start the job, you can't predict what the weather will do from day to day after construction begins.

For this reason, you need to include provisions in your contract regarding what happens when weather stops work. You need to identify what weather events allow excusable delays and what kind of extension of time you receive.

What does a preservation easement mean for your land?

When you buy property in Texas, you probably have plans for how you want to use that property now and in the future. It's good to have a plan, but it's smart to know if any legal issues could stand between you and your plans. One of these things includes an easement.

An easement on a piece of land gives a person who is not the property owner the right to access that land for a specific purpose -- to enter their own property, access public space and more. There are also different types of easements, and one specific type that could affect your goals for your property is a preservation easement. Before you move forward, it is beneficial to learn more about this issue and understand what it could mean for your specific plans.

Is your neighbor's shiny new garage on your land?

You've probably heard the old adage that says, "good fences make good neighbors." It comes from a poem by Robert Frost, and it's good advice if you ever want to sell your property. Unmarked boundary lines can result in your neighbor building either all or part of a new garage on your land.

You might not have a problem with this at first since it doesn't interfere with how you live on your property. However, if you put your property on the market, a potential buyer could take issue with the garage's position. For this reason, if you even slightly believe that you could sell, you may want to address the issue now rather than later. Of course, the best time to do so would be before the structure goes up, but you may not have fully considered future problems when it happened.

Should you sue for breach of a real estate contract?

When it comes to contracts related to real estate matters, you may think that there is nothing left to worry about once all parties sign the contract. It can be shocking to learn that your objectives remain out of reach because the other party backed out. Whether it's a purchase contract or any other type of legal agreement pertaining to residential real estate, breach of contract is serious.

If you have experienced the negative impact of a situation involving a breach of contract, you may be wondering what is next for you. It may be appropriate for you to move forward with a lawsuit to seek appropriate damages. Before you initiate the legal process or make any important decisions, it may help to first learn more about all of the legal options available to you.

Is your neighbor a pain in the neck? You may have legal options

When you bought your home, you probably had plans for how you hoped to enjoy your property in the future. Perhaps you wanted to fence in the backyard so your dog could run, or maybe you hoped to put in a pool so your family could enjoy long summer days together. Your plans for the future and enjoyment of your property can come to a halt when you live next door to a neighbor who is a pain in the neck. 

If you live next door to a neighbor who is a nuisance, you may think that there is nothing you can do except move or ignore it. However, behavior that was once annoying or aggravating may eventually step over the line, and you may be able to do something about it. When involved in any type of neighbor dispute or real estate issue, it can be helpful to take steps to learn about your legal options.

Is there something wrong with your construction project?

When you pay a construction company to complete a project for you, you have the expectation that the company will do what you paid them to do. Construction is complex, and various problems can arise along the way. You may discover that the company did not do what they were contracted to do or there are defects with the completed project.

What can you do to protect your interests when you learn there is a problem with your construction project? Construction companies are not typically quick to claim responsibility for issues, and it can be difficult to get the problems fixed. In some cases, it may be necessary to undertake legal action in order to fix the problem or get appropriate compensation.

Is your supplier a liability risk for your construction job?

Whether you fell into the construction trade after a summer job or you always loved using your hands to build, you now have the privilege of contributing to construction projects in Texas, either commercial or residential. Owning your own general contracting business has many positive elements, including the enormous gratification of completing a challenging project to the satisfaction of the project owner.

Unfortunately, you may also face conflicts and disputes with a project owner, particularly if the owner accuses you of using substandard materials for the project. Facing litigation for defects in your construction can be ruinous to the financial well-being of your business as well as your construction company's reputation. If you do face claims of using defective products, you may be able to share the liability with your supplier.

Where does your property end and your neighbor's begin?

Like many Texas homeowners, you may not give much thought to the exact location of your property lines. For many, this is not a pressing matter until an issue arises that gives you a reason to want to know exactly where your property ends and your neighbor's begins. Boundary line disputes are often complex, and it's smart to seek a beneficial resolution in a timely manner.

Boundary line disputes can arise from issues such as the installation of a fence, installation of a shed or building a pool. While it is sometimes possible to resolve these issues without legal action, it is always appropriate for you to take action to protect your property rights and the financial investment you made in your property.

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