The joy of purchasing a new home can quickly sour when homeowners discover construction defects. When a structure does not perform as the buyer intends, the owner may seek litigation to secure compensation.
Homeowners can speed up the claim process by isolating the problem and identifying the responsible party.
The types of construction defects
Understanding the type and cause of the defect helps plaintiffs build a case. Courts place construction defects into four classifications:
- Subsurface: Builders should properly compact and prepare subsurface areas, allowing for sufficient drainage and a solid foundation. A cracking foundation yields problems like structural damage as the house unevenly settles.
- Design: While materials and work can be up to standard, a home with poor architectural or engineering design has little chance of remaining in an acceptable condition.
- Construction: When problems result from shoddy work by contractors, courts term the flaws as construction deficiency.
- Material: Low-quality building materials fail, even after proper installation and use.
Parties that be liable
A homeowner can determine the liable party by understanding which entity bears fault for an error or miscommunication. For instance, a home inspector who fails to list any defects in the inspection report that they saw or should have seen may be liable for deficiencies. Inspectors cap damages in their contracts, so home buyers must carefully review liability limits.
A broker or seller may become liable by failing to adequately disclose a defect or transferring a property that is not in the appropriate condition. Understanding contract wording is crucial for buyers to avoid missing a deadline or mitigating detail.
Since Illinois has a four-year statute of limitations on construction defect claims, new homeowners should stay alert and not ignore signs of deeper issues. Prompt reaction to negligence can eliminate hefty home repairs falling unjustly on the homeowner.