Most construction defects fall into one of the following categories: defect in design, materials, or workmanship.
- Design defects can be structures, materials or systems that simply do not work or do not work adequately. This can include walls, railings, balconies, roofing, windows and doors, heating or plumbing, electrical, ventilation, exterior siding, irrigation, and flooring systems.
- Poor workmanship, perhaps the most common complaint, is generally due to lack of quality installation or construction on such things as foundation work, wall construction, windows and doors, railings, flooring, cabinets, plumbing, roofing, decking, pool construction, driveways, and masonry work.
- Building materials and structural components sometimes fail due to improper manufacturing, improper installation, or use in the wrong application. This may cause premature failure in roofing components, plumbing, windows and doors, siding and exterior surface materials.
Do You Have A Construction Defect Lawsuit?
In South Carolina, the most common types of damage that results from construction defects and faulty construction in homes, townhomes, villas and condominiums are:
- Water intrusion: When construction was not completed properly, water can get in, especially around windows and in defective roofing. The dampness caused can lead to interior damage and wood rot, as well as to growth of toxic black mold.
- Stucco-related claims: When contractors lacking sufficient experience attempt to build stucco structures, they often create flaws that take thousands of dollars to correct. These flaws lead to cracking, water intrusion problems and bug infestations.
- Foundation problems: When the foundation of a house has not been poured properly, the entire structure can be affected. Things shift, walls crack and the property value drastically diminishes.
- Roof leaks: Roof leaks are a serious construction defect that often requires extensive litigation to resolve.
- Balcony and deck failure: When external structures, like balconies, decks and stairs, are added on to a structure, special considerations must be made to ensure that they are structurally sound. If they are not, your safety and the safety of your loved ones could be at stake.
- HVAC failure: When heating, ventilation and air conditioning fail, mildew and mold often build up and can have a serious impact on a person's health.
If You Have A Construction Defect Claim, You Must Act Now.
The South Carolina Statute of Limitations on construction defect claims is usually 2 or 3 years, depending on the nature of the claim. Because calculating the statute of limitations for a particular case can be complicated once a homeowner becomes aware of, or even suspects, a construction defect, prompt action by an experienced attorney is required. Immediately have the issue investigated and, if warranted, make a claim.
Potential plaintiffs must also be aware of the S.C. Statute of Repose that extinguishes actions after a certain amount of time has passed, regardless of when the problem was discovered. Due to the South Carolina Tort Reform Act of 2005, the statute of repose was shortened from thirteen (13) to eight (8) years for construction defect cases. This act also produced a change in joint-and-several liability, requiring a defendant to be at least 50% responsible for damages in order to pay 100% of the damages. A defendant with less than 50% responsibility pays only his or her percentage of the damage.
Help Is Here
Navigating the complexities of construction defect lawsuits can be difficult. That's why the construction defect attorneys of Yarborough Applegate stand ready to offer support and counsel for people throughout Charleston and South Carolina. We're ready when you need us - and your first consultation is free. Please contact 843-972-0150 or complete our consultation form. Evening and weekend appointments are available.