Building or renovating a home or business in Virginia requires close attention to detail. People depend upon construction professionals to meet standards that ensure quality for both workmanship and materials. Failures in one or both of those areas result in construction defects. To negotiate a settlement for damages or prepare for litigation, you need to specify the legal basis for your claim.
Civil litigation could arise due to claims of negligence. Negligence occurs if a contractor does not follow industry standards as set by building codes and professional organizations. Obtaining defective materials may also be considered negligence, although evidence could reveal that the true fault lies with the supplier.
Occasionally, construction defects result from the builder or another party misrepresenting the quality of construction. You were essentially misled about what you were buying, and the builder intended to deceive you for profit.
Breach of contract
Construction litigation frequently involves allegations of contractual breaches. Noncompliance with a contract’s terms might include builders agreeing to hire licensed contractors but then employing unlicensed workers. Similarly, the contract could specify that the contractor is responsible for confirming that the materials supplied to the job site are free of defects and appropriate for their intended purpose.
Breach of warranty
Building contractors typically include warranties in their contracts or in separate documents. A warranty promises that the workmanship or materials will serve their purpose for a set number of years. Defects that emerge during a warranty period could obligate the contractor to fix the problem.
Disputes can arise about a breach of warranty for a couple of reasons. The contractor may attempt to disclaim an implied warranty or argue that the building’s owner did something to cause damage.