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New construction litigation: Protect your rights

Building a new home is supposed to be one of the most enjoyable times of your life. You get to choose everything from the layout to the features to the location. However, just because you're building a home, as opposed to buying a preexisting property, doesn't necessarily mean everything will go as planned.

It's possible you could find a serious defect with the home, thus putting you in a compromising position in the future. On one side of things, you want to enjoy your home. On the other, if you simply let the problem slide, it could lead to additional safety and financial concerns down the road.

While new construction litigation can result from a variety of defects, here are five of the most common:

  • Water damage: Water has the potential to damage many parts of your home, from the foundation to the roof to the attic. And if left unattended, water can result in the growth of mold and mildew, both of which are harmful to your health.
  • Foundation damage: Your entire home rests on the foundation, so it's critical that it's structurally sound. Any type of damage, even a small crack, requires your attention. A minor foundation problem can become much more serious if left alone.
  • Defective windows: It doesn't matter if it's the actual windows or mistakes during installation, defects require immediate attention. Not only is this a safety issue, but it can also impact the environment within your home.
  • Pests: Don't assume that a new home can't have a pest problem. In fact, due to the construction process itself, this is quite common. For example, if doors and windows are consistently open while the home is being finished, it invites pests inside.
  • Grading and drainage: This goes along with water damage. Proper grading of the lot is meant to move water away from the house, which helps prevent damage to the foundation.

If you run into one or more of these problems, it's best to first consult with the builder. It's your hope that they take care of the issue before you have to take additional action. But if they don't, learn more about your legal rights in California and the steps you can take to protect them.

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