Understanding construction defects laws and the remedies available to consumers is becoming more important in our socially connected world. Witness today’s report on home construction defects by ABC News Brian Ross (@brianross). Though most builders’ warranties cover a variety of workmanship and accidental defects, not all states have the same statutes concerning how defects are handled. Knowledge is truly a builder’s best friend in this circumstance, as it is your best way to protect yourself from extraordinary liabilities.
Construction statutes differ from state to state. Seventeen states have what is known as a “Right to Cure” statute that protects contractors from homeowners filing suits against them without having an opportunity to fix the problem; this statute is good for both parties, ensuring a safety net for both without leaving too much room for loopholes. The “Right to Cure” statute states that a contractor will have a certain amount of time to correct any mistakes made by the construction crew before the homeowner or property owner can rightfully file for a lawsuit or reimbursement. Complaints by the consumer must be filed officially with the contractor and the necessary repairs can be made without compromising the contractor’s bottom line, while giving them a chance to fix their mistakes. States that have this statute include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, and Washington. A full list of “Right to Cure” states can be found here. The length of Right to Cure statutes varies from state to state. In Washington for example, a homeowner has a six year window of protection while California offers 10 years.
A builder’s warranty can protect the homeowner or property owner by creating a liability clause. Most warranties will typically cover major structural defects, such as a roof caving in or an unstable foundation, but rarely extends beyond that. Some aspects of non-structural damage may not be covered and can leave the builder and homeowner in a legal gray area.
With respect to siding, trim, paints, etc., most trades and suppliers need to stand behind their workmanship and products. Some manufacturers such as Belco Forest Products offer an extended warranty on the trim. Our product, ArmorCoat XT, is warranted for a full 20 years from the date of installation and is transferable to a subsequent owner. This is possible, because unlike primed whitewood, ArmorCoat XT is treated with Wolman® AG wood preservative. This unique blend of fungicides and insecticides allows ArmorCoat XT to meet the American Wood Protection Association’s requirements for all above ground applications. That lengthy warranty is one reason why Lennar #everythingsincluded, recently chose ArmorCoat XT for their new development McCormick Creek in Gig Harbor, Washington.