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Straightforward Answers To Construction Defect Questions

Last updated on August 22, 2022

When a developer, property owner, contractor or another party encounters a construction defect, resolving the problem can be incredibly complicated. Construction law is full of detailed regulations from the municipal level to the federal level. When trying to resolve an issue relating to a defect, you may end up with more questions than answers.

Fortunately, we can provide the answers to the myriad questions that arise. At the Law Office of Tom Murphy, both individuals and business entities come to us for counsel regarding construction defects of all varieties. Our attorney, Tom Murphy, takes the time to answer his clients’ questions and guide them to the solutions they need. Call 512-774-6883 to schedule a consultation with him. You can also read some frequently asked questions and answers below.

What qualifies as a construction defect?

If a residential or commercial building has a defect in workmanship, design, materials or land movement that may reduce its value, a court will likely consider it a construction defect. Some of the most common types include:

  • Leaks in the ceiling, siding or pipes
  • Foundation crack
  • Roofing issues
  • Stucco defects
  • Cracks in the walls or flooring
  • Collapsed walls
  • Faulty wiring or pipes
  • Improper grading or drainage

Granted, if the developer, contractor, manufacturer or another party that worked on the building is not responsible for these flaws, the property owner may not have grounds for recovery.

As a property owner, how can I prove a construction defect exists?

You must work with independent experts such as engineers, contractors, and home inspectors who can identify a defect and prove that another party is liable. The burden of proof is on the party seeking to prove the claim or defense. If you and your attorney can demonstrate that the other party acted with negligence, breached the contract or warranty, or misrepresented their workmanship, you may have an actionable case.

What happens after finding a construction defect?

The first step is to consult an attorney who can guide you through the legal process. The next step is typically for outside experts to inspect the problem. Likewise the other party has the right to hire their own experts to inspect and repair the defect. Sometimes, the parties have to go through mediation or arbitration to reach an outcome. In rare instances, a trial is necessary.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit?

In Texas, property owners have up to 10 years to file a claim against the party they believe contributed to the construction defect. Failure to meet the statute of limitations means that property owners lose the right to recover damages.

I am a contractor. What should I do if someone accuses me of causing a defect?

One of the worst things that a contractor or subcontractor can do in these situations is to hope that it all just goes away. A proactive stance is your best option to resolve the problem, protect your rights and protect your finances. You have the right to hire an attorney who can defend you aggressively and pursue your rights.

What if there is a lien on my property?

A lien is a type of claim that allows a creditor to collect the payments owed to it by claiming a secured interest in your property. Some liens, like mortgages, are common. Others, like mechanic’s liens, mean that a contractor or builder may not have received full payment for their work. By working with a lawyer, the parties may develop a payment plan, negotiate the amount of the lien or contest the lien in court.

Still Have Questions? Get More Answers.

We hear even more questions every day. You can discuss your questions and concerns with Mr. Murphy via email, phone or in person when you schedule an initial consultation. To contact our Austin office about your consultation, please call 512-774-6883 or send us an email.