Q: I believe the house I bought in 2007 was built in 1992 without using pressure treated lumber on the bottom plate. I noticed it when I was replacing decayed Masonite siding. Do I have any recourse? Thank you in advance.
A: Probably not. The house is 17 years old, so any warranties that came with the house have likely elapsed.
I wonder if your problem wasn’t the lumber, but with your siding. I’m not a construction specialist so you might benefit by hiring a home inspector or contractor to review your problem. It’s possible that the source of your problem could be elsewhere, rather than stemming from the type of lumber used in the construction. Many of my readers report moisture and water problems in their homes and the source of those water problems are frequently quite difficult to determine.
While you might have to pay some money to hire a home inspector, you might benefit from the inspection. Many home inspectors can limit their fee to certain issues and you might be able to hire a good home inspector to help you out in detemining the cause of your problem. A good contractor can help also. If you have a good contractor, you can have that person evaluate the problem. It might not cost you anything to have the problem reviewed by the contractor, but you know you’re going to need to fix the problem.
If you determine that the source of your wood rot or decay was due to a manufacturing problem or installation defect, you may still be out of luck due to the length of time that has elapsed since the construction of the home.
If your problem is with your Masonite siding, there were a number of class action lawsuits against Masonite manufacturers that resulted in a recall for houses built from 1990 to 1998 with the material. The official website for the lawsuits is MasoniteClaims.com. Unfortunately, the deadline to file a claim has passed for at least these three major cases.
Although the filing deadlines have passed, you can get more information about the cases at ClaimSourceOne (claimsourceone.com/masonite-siding-lawsuit.asp), a company that helps consumers file claims in class action lawsuits.
For more details, please speak to an attorney.