Construction Defects NationwidePosted on November 23, 2016 by Jessica Meeker
Colorado homeowners and community association managers have become familiar with construction defect issues. In our region, we experience extreme weather, an exceptional population boom, and a construction industry that has access to a limited workforce, a materials surplus and wealthy clientele. Of late, we’ve also experienced our local politicians and builder lobbyists working to make it harder for homeowners to hold their builders accountable for shoddy workmanship. This all in the name of “affordable housing.” Meaning: they’d like for it be acceptable that when people buy their homes, and those homes are built poorly and/or specifically with defects, the homeowners may not hold the builders and contractors legally accountable. It suggests the question of whether affordable housing means poorly built housing?
ABC News Investigative Unit aired a story last Wednesday (November 16th, 2016) that touches on this exact problem from a nationwide point of view. Homeowners throughout the country are reporting construction defects in their new homes and communities. When they contact the builders, including big names like D. R. Horton, nothing is being done to help them. In fact, the ABC News report suggests that builders aren’t responding and are even stalling homeowners in the complaint process until their warranties run out. Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), said in the news broadcast that he’s never heard of that happening and generally defended home builders.
This doesn’t come as a surprise here in Colorado. We’ve been through laws, ordinances, legal documents, mediations, arbitrations and jury trials all in the name of defending a homeowner’s rights. ABC News found an industry inundated with complaints far beyond Colorado, though, such that D. R. Horton told investors in its latest Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it has set aside over $400 million in each of the last two years to deal with hundreds of construction defect claims in its brand new homes. The company said in filings that this was the “ordinary course of business.”
The point is that construction defects are not unique to Colorado. They are a nationwide and national news-worthy issue. Mr. Howard of NAHB also says that homes are being built better than they ever have been and that is generally considered to be true, but with new materials, new technologies and new workers come new issues and new defects that affect the value of homes and the health of their inhabitants.
If your home or property has construction defect concerns, keep in mind that many builder warranties are far shorter than local statutes of limitations. A property owner should seek professional help as soon as a defect or construction concern is noted to avoid timing out on statutes, warranties and other legal limitations to their claim. A reputable construction defect attorney will be able to advise you of your claim’s viability and what your options are no matter what part of the country you and your property reside in. Hearn & Fleener, LLC is one such firm. We provide FREE, confidential consultations on all potential construction defect cases. You can find us at www.hearnfleener.com or 303-993-6835.