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Construction defect Q and A

Homeowners in Colorado expect their houses to be safe and free from defects when they take ownership. When it comes to new construction, this means they expect the builder to have done everything to code and to have used good quality products; and when it comes to existing homes, they expect the former owner to have been honest about the condition of the property. Unfortunately, these things do not always happen, construction defects are found, and those defects can be quite costly. When dealing with a construction defect, one might have a lot of questions that need answering. This week, this column will address just a few of them.

Question number one: What are the most commonly seen construction defects? There are many. Mold, drainage problems, electrical issues, structural failure and foundation cracks are just a few. All of these, and many others, can significantly reduce the value of one’s home and be insanely expensive to fix.

Question number two: What is needed to prove a construction defect case in court? Some construction defects are very obvious. They are noted quickly, and there is no other possible explanation for them. Other defects take years to present, and their cause is not immediately known. Either way, the testimony of a construction expert is usually needed to confirm the defect and determine an appropriate remedy.

Question number three: What damages are recoverable in a construction defect case? Every case is different. Generally speaking, homeowners can recover the cost of repairs, loss of property value, temporary housing costs and legal fees — among other things.

The state of Colorado only allows homeowners so much time to file construction defect claims against those believed responsible for their losses. Those who wait too long may end up having to cover the full cost of the repairs on their own. It just is not worth it. Legal counsel can assist homeowners as they seek to remedy the situation. Some may be able to achieve resolution through out-of-court negotiations, while others may have to go to court in order to seek maximum relief.