To most people, purchasing a home or investing in commercial property is one of the biggest and most important investments they will make in their lifetime. It is a daunting undertaking, and the process is time-consuming, stressful, and emotional.
Home buyers in particular experience a roller-coaster of feelings, experiencing the hopes, disappointments, triumphs, and frustrations that accompany the steps of searching for a home or property that suits their wants, needs, and budget. Occasionally, homeowners decide to weather the building process with contractors and subcontractors to finally attain their dream home. The process usually starts off with several months of searching for the right home or property, then: putting in an offer; waiting for an answer; hoping that all the inspections and financial paperwork work out smoothly; closing the purchase; undertaking construction or making renovations or modifications; and then, finally, moving in.
As these last steps are completed, people assume that, whatever trials they have undergone, they will now be able to live “happily ever after” in their new home. But occasionally, that is when the real frustrations may just be emerging.
Unfortunately, construction defects are a fact of life for many homeowners. No matter how many inspections have been made, they may find that the home they have bought or built has construction flaws that virtually siphon off all of the joy and excitement they once had in the prospect of living in their new home. When that happens, a property owner may need to consult a construction defect attorney to determine whether they have any legal recourse.
The Oklahoma City construction defect attorneys at Shelton Walkley Mackey have many years of experience assisting homeowners and other property owners to seek and obtain remedies and damages for a broad range of construction defect issues. Construction defect law deals with problems encountered in both residential and commercial contexts, and can cover problems related to contracts, financial transactions, breach of warranty, liens or other security interests, negligence, environmental laws, and other issues.What Constitutes a Construction Defect?
Construction defects cover a wide variety of problems regarding buildings and other fixtures attached to the land, such as fences, driveways, parking lots, and so on. Some problems may be merely aggravating or troublesome, while others can make a building uninhabitable. Construction defects can manifest themselves immediately, or may not become apparent until some other event occurs, such as rainy or hot weather, while others only become apparent after the passage of time. Problems may include:
- Structural defects;
- Use of substandard materials;
- Use of materials different than those specified or mandated;
- Improper installation of systems, such as wiring, plumbing, appliances, and fixtures;
- Flawed building design;
- Failure to build to applicable building codes;
- Foundation problems, particularly in homes situated on hillsides;
- Roof failure;
- Improperly installed or sealed windows or doors;
- Improper drainage of the land or of the structure, leading to an unstable foundation, dry-rot, mold, or other moisture-related problems;
- Water infiltration through roofs, windows, siding, or masonry;
- Improper, inadequate, or incorrectly installed HVAC systems;
- Defective workmanship;
- Fraud or misrepresentation regarding materials, costs, labor, or compliance with specifications;
- Failure to disclose known defects or hazards; or
- Subsidence problems causing cracks, dips, sloping, or leaking due to improper analysis of the subsurface or due to an inferior or inadequate foundation.
One of the difficulties with construction defects is determining whether a property owner has recourse with respect to the party that caused the particular problem. That will depend upon facts such as the nature of the problem, the cause of the problem, how long ago the problem was created, and how long it has persisted. If feasible, a homeowner may be able to pursue a remedy by filing a breach of contract action or negligence action, by seeking a statutory remedy through Oklahoma’s Home Repair Fraud Act or Notice of Opportunity to Repair Act (provisions of Section 765 of Title 15 of Oklahoma Statutes) or by other means. Remedies may include requiring the at-fault party to repair the damage, or to pay money damages in compensation.Shelton Walkley Mackey Can Help You to Recover the Damages Caused by Faulty Construction
Property problems are aggravating. While property is usually an asset, it can become an anchor that sinks your financial well-being when the property you own is unable to be leased out or inhabited because of a construction defect. At Shelton Walkley Mackey, our Oklahoma construction defect lawyers possess in-depth knowledge of the construction industry, including building methods, building codes, structural engineering, and real estate law. If you own property, our attorneys can advise you on how to protect your biggest investment, and represent you in litigation to pursue a remedy. Call Shelton Walkley Mackey at (405) 605-8800 or use the online inquiry form on this website.