How Long is a Builder Liable for His Work?

You place a lot of faith in contractors when you walk into a building. If you don’t know anything about the construction industry, you may not be able to pick out construction defects from the outside. Even experienced contractors have a hard time detecting construction defects unless they take a close look at the structure. If you put a contractor in charge of a new building, how long is he or she liable for his or her work? The answer is that it depends.

A Contractor Is Liable for His or Her Work for Several Years

In general, a builder is liable for his or her work for several years. The exact length of time depends on the state. Every state is slightly different. For example, in the state of Washington, the statute of limitation for construction defects is six years. On the other hand, this number could be different for tort issues, deed issues, or other specific problems. Regardless of discovery, builders cannot be held liable for construction defects after the statute of limitations has expired.

Usually, these cases are treated as breach-of-contract cases. If there’s a construction defect, the builder may be held in violation via a breach of contract. If you have specific questions, be sure to work with a trained attorney who can navigate the legal system for you.

Common Examples of Liability Issues

You expect your building to be constructed appropriately. Unfortunately, mistakes happen. There’re several common liability issues that could plague a building that was recently built. Common examples include:

  • Perhaps the roof wasn’t constructed properly, and it’s begun to leak
  • Maybe the staircase wasn’t built properly and has collapsed
  • Perhaps the cabinets weren’t constructed properly, and they fell off the wall
  • Maybe there is an issue with the electrical wiring, leading to a fire

Anyone with questions or concerns about construction issues should reach out to their contractor for clarification.

Builders Are Responsible for the Quality of Their Work

When you start a new construction project, either for residential or commercial purposes, make sure you understand the statute of limitations for your project. That way, if something goes wrong with the building, you understand your options. If you have questions or concerns about the statute of limitations related to construction projects, reach out to an experienced attorney for help.

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