Holding Builder Responsible For Problem In New Construction Home

Q. We purchased a new home in 1997. After moving in we noticed water leaking into basement. After numerous complaints to the builder, he finally agreed to saw cut the floor and clean out weep holes. But that didn’t fix the problem.

Next, the builder then decided to dig up around the foundation and backfill with stone. Also, he painted inside the walls with a waterproofing paint. While, this appeared to work at first, I have noticed black mold growing in some areas around where he supposedly fixed the problem.

Since the builder didn’t resolve the problem, can he be forced to repair and resolve this issue?

A: The answer to your questions depend on the state in which you live.

In some states, you may have a right to pursue an action against the builder, in others, the time in which you could have brought your case against the builder might have expired.

Recent court cases in some states would preclude your ability to sue the builder. If, for example, the builder gave you a one-year warranty on the home and you did not sue the builder during that one year period, you would then lose your ability to later sue the builder.

In other states, the fact that the builder tried repeatedly to fix the problem might be sufficient for a court to find the builder to be liable, even today, for the problems arising from your home.

You should talk to an attorney that specializes in construction litigation and has sued builders for these types of issues to understand your legal options.

Finally, you need to make sure that your mold problem is caused by the recurring water problem issue that was claimed to be fixed by your builder. It is possible that the water problem occurring in your home is being caused by a new problem.

Investigate the cause of your mold first, then determine what can be done to fix it. Only then will you know whether the construction of the home was faulty or if the problem is new.


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