Buying a house should be one of the most exciting times in a family’s life, but it’s fraught with opportunities to be taken advantage of.

If you’re planning to buy new construction, it’s important to realize that although your home looks shiny and perfect, there can be big issues hiding under the surface.

If you suddenly realize that your new home isn’t everything you thought it was, it’s important to enlist the services of a construction defect law expert like Rachel Khirallah right away. To avoid this situation, however, it’s best to know what common construction defects to look for before you buy.

Five Common Types of Building Defects

1 – Facade Leaks

Unique, modern facades are often made up of complex curtain wall systems that are comprised of dozens of smaller features. All it takes is for one of these components to fail because of improper sizing or installation, and you’ve got a big problem on your hands. Alarmingly, facade leaks are often difficult to detect when they are in their early stages. If you have discovered a facade leak, you need to take corrective action right away — it is very likely that there are even worse problems hidden under the surface. 

2 – Window Leaks

The most common reason for window leaks is faulty installation, but if it’s an oddly-sized or very detailed window, fixing it could be very complicated. In addition, fixing a window-related building defect can be expensive. If you have discovered problems with your property’s windows, you should consult with an expert.

3 – Wood Floor Problems

Hardwood floors are one of the most sought-after features in both new and existing homes, but most homeowners fail to realize that it both expands and contracts over time. All that it takes is a hasty contractor who puts the floor down in humid conditions to create a problem that could absolutely ruin the look of your home.

4 – Fire-Stopping Deficiencies

In order to make homes as safe as possible, they’re required to have certain firestopping features that prevent a blaze from spreading through floors and walls. If a subsequent inspection reveals that these features are lacking or inadequate, it leaves your family at risk and could affect your homeowner’s insurance. A property owner may be required to put a considerable amount of money into repairing or remodelling their home to fix a serious fire-stopping deficiency.

5 – Ventilation Problems

Proper ventilation and exhaust features are absolutely necessary in any home, but especially in multi-family dwellings like apartment buildings. Without them, the entire property is at risk for heating and cooling issues, as well as undesirable odors. Similar to other common construction defects, property owners often only recognize ventilation problems when there is already a serious issue under the surface.

What to Do if You Have Discovered a Building Defect

If you have discovered any type of building or construction defect, it is imperative that you take action to protect your legal rights. The biggest mistake that you can make is to simply ignore the issue. The problem is not going to go away on its own. The good news is that buyers may have legal options and legal remedies available. Depending on the nature of your case, it is possible that you could hold the seller, a real estate professional, or a contractor/subcontractor legally liable for building defects that are caused by:

  • Poor design;
  • The use of substandard materials; or
  • Poor craftsmanship/negligent construction.

Further, if the building defect was known by the seller, they have a legal duty to disclose the problem. Even if you did not ask about the problem directly, that does not eliminate the seller’s legal obligation to disclose material information.

After you have noticed a problem, your first step should be to identify exactly what type of building defect you are dealing with. Next, property owners need to determine who can be held accountable for the construction defect. An experienced real estate lawyer will be able to help you determine how you can prove the building defect in court. Finally, as in other civil legal cases, plaintiffs must demonstrate damages.

You must show exactly how much damage the building defect has caused you and how much more damage, if any, it is likely to cause in the future. In some cases, construction defects can be fully repaired. However, it is also possible that a construction defect may cause permanent damage to the market value of your property.

Contact Our Dallas, TX Real Estate Litigation Attorney Today

Ar Khirallah PLLC, our Dallas real estate litigation lawyer has extensive experience handling building defect cases. If you’ve recently purchased a property and think that you’ve discovered one of these defects, it’s important to contact an attorney who is trained in construction defect law.

To schedule a free, fully confidential initial consultation, please contact our law firm today. Our construction defect lawyer will conduct a comprehensive review of your case and help to determine what steps you need to take to protect your legal rights and financial interests.

Author Photo

Rachel Khirallah

Rachel E. Khirallah is the founder of Khirallah, PLLC. She was admitted to the Texas Bar and U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas in 2005 after graduating from Texas Tech University School of Law, and admitted to the U.S District Court, Eastern District of Texas in 2006.

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