What is a construction defect?
The construction defect attorneys at Anthony Law Group in Arizona can help you prove or defend a claim and advise you on the recommended next steps. If the situation develops, we adopt alternative dispute resolution methods to attempt to resolve disputes out of court.
Whether you are a construction business or professional who has received a Notice of Claim from a building owner or need to prove a construction defect, your next move is crucial.
With the threat of litigation – and all the expense and delays associated with it – seeking the assistance of legal representation that aims to resolve your dispute as quickly and effectively as possible could save you considerable time, money, and headaches.
What is a construction defect?
Almost any condition that reduces the value of a building, home, condominium, or other property can be legally recognized as a design, workmanship, or materials defect.
Disputes can escalate quickly as the professional integrity of the construction professional may be called into question.
Consumers in Arizona should be aware of the statute of limitations for bringing legal action for construction defects, which is typically six years. The state has a six-year statute of limitations for claims to correct a contract breach (ARS § 12-548). However, there is a two-year statute of limitations for negligence actions (ARS § 12-542). This implies that any legal action regarding building flaws must be filed within two years.
In Arizona, there is no set statute covering new construction. A homeowner has eight years from the completion of their house to bring a lawsuit against the builder (ARS § 12-552(A)). If the problem is discovered in year eight, they have one more year to file a claim (ARS §§ 12-552(E),
What are the most common construction defects in Arizona?
We see the same construction defects again and again in the Phoenix area and throughout Arizona. Heavy rainfall and high winds during the monsoon season, coupled with substandard workmanship on a building, often trigger a construction defect claim.
With temperatures reaching as high as 125 degrees during the summer, buildings need special protections to combat the extreme elements.
Most commonly, the subject of athe defect claim is one of the following:
• Water seepage through roofs
• Water entering through windows and sliding glass doors
• Siding, facade, and stucco deficiencies leading to leaks
• Foundation slab leaks or cracks
• Faulty drainage
• Improper landscaping and irrigation
• Termite infestation
• Improper materials used
• Structural failure or collapse
• Defective mechanical and plumbing systems
• Faulty electrical wiring
• Inadequate environmental controls
• Improper security measures and devices installed
• Insufficient insulation or poor sound protection
• Inadequate firewall protection
• HVAC problems (poor installation)
• Shower enclosure leaks
• Ponding of water on balconies and decks
Filing or defending a construction defect claim
Depending on your situation, you may need to file a construction defect claim and prove it to win your case. Whether you are filing or defending a construction defect claim, it is essential to hire an experienced Arizona Construction Lawyer to assist.
In Arizona, you generally have two years from the date the defect was discovered or should have been discovered to file a claim.
However, no matter when the defect was discovered, the deadline to file a lawsuit for a construction defect is generally eight years from the completion of the construction. It is important to discuss these deadlines with an experienced Phoenix construction attorney.
Before filing an action against a contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or designer for construction defects in Arizona, an aggrieved property owner is generally required to serve a Notice of Claim at least 60 days before the suit is filed.
The party alleged to be responsible for the defective work then has the opportunity to inspect the problem and the “right to cure” or fix the issue.
The responsible party must respond in writing within 45 days and this letter usually includes one of the following:
• An offer to fix the defect at no cost to the owner (by a certain date, with a detailed description of repairs)
• An offer for a financial settlement
• A combination of the above
• A statement disputing the claim, or
• A statement to the effect that any financial payment will be determined by their insurance company within 30 days of notifying the insurer of the claim.
If you receive a settlement offer, you must accept or reject it within 45 days of receiving it.
It is advisable to obtain legal advice from a construction defect attorney in preparation and pursuit of your claim.
Your lawyer will help you gather evidence to prove your claim and file the lawsuit against the responsible party.
Defending a construction defect claim
Suppose you are alleged to be responsible for a construction defect as a contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or designer and you dispute the claim. In that case, the construction defect attorneys at Anthony Law Group can help you respond to a Notice of Claim and defend you in the event of a lawsuit.
Many claims are unwarranted and made in the hope of an easy settlement.
We are extremely experienced in cases involving construction defects. Once we understand the nature of the claim, our attorneys will assess your position and advise you on the recommended next steps.
Arizona construction defect attorneys
Proving that a defect exists and filing the lawsuit or defending against a defect claim can be challenging and expensive.
Independent experts with the necessary training, education, and experience may be required to give testimony in court. Their opinion on the defect’s cause and recommended steps to “make good” will carry a lot of influence.
For instance, a building envelope expert familiar with waterproofing design and installation would be in an excellent position to testify for an unexplained building leak.
And while a general contractor or roofing contractor can repair a damaged roof, he may not be the best person to act as your expert.
This is why it is wise to consult with counsel before making any moves.
Book a consultation about construction defect issues
Anthony Law Group represents clients throughout Arizona in various construction law matters.
We have extensive experience in construction defect litigation, including building envelope, water intrusion, and other defect claims, and a network of experts to assist in any defect case.
Call us today at (602) 362-2396 to arrange a consultation or complete a short form and let us know the nature of your issue.