Builder Warranty Claims
Texas Builder Warranty Types
As an owner of a newly constructed home in Texas, you have certain warranty rights regarding the quality of your home. There are three types of warranties:
- Statutory warranties, which have not been in effect in Texas since 2010
- Implied warranties
- Express warranties
Implied Warranties Applying to Texas Residential Construction
- The Implied Warrantee of Performance in a Good and Workmanlike Manner means that your home will be built with a quality and the level of skill equivalent to that which would be provided by any reasonably proficient builder doing essentially the same type of work in similar circumstances. This implied warranty refers to the builder’s conduct.
- The Implied Warranty of Habitability means that the home is suitable for human habitation and sufficiently safe, sanitary, and that you are able to live in it without threat to your health or well-being. This implied warranty refers specifically to the condition of the completed structure.
Express warranties, on the other hand, are written warranties included in the building contract. These are warranties negotiated and agreed to by both parties. They can add to the implied warrantees or in some cases supersede them. For example, a contract may include a specific description of how the work is to be performed, which would supersede the implied warranty of good workmanship. The contract cannot, however, disclaim the warranty outright. You should be careful when signing a builder’s “standard contract” so that you are not agreeing to lesser quality workmanship or materials.
A builder may not usually override the implied warranty of habitability. An exception is when the buyer has purchased the house with full and express knowledge of its specific defects and chooses to waive the warranty in writing. It is important that, when entering into any contract, you fully understand exactly what you are signing, including the small print, and to verify that the builder is fully insured. It is always a good idea to have an experienced construction lawyer review a contract before signing.
Obtaining Legal Assistance
If you are suffering with a house that has been poorly constructed, doesn’t fully comply with building codes, or is unsafe or unhealthy to live in, and the builder will not fix the problems, your best option is to hire an attorney who regularly handles construction defect cases. Builders who breach implied and express warranties may be subjected to severe penalties under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act —up to triple the amount of your damages plus attorney fees
Why You Need a Construction Defect Lawyer
A skilled attorney can build your case by documenting where the workmanship on your home fell short of the implied warranty of good workmanship. You will need to have a lawyer with the resources and connections to bring on board structural engineers and other industry experts to identify issues and provide expert testimony in support of your claim.
If the home is uninhabitable because of water intrusion, extensive toxic mold growth, structural defects, or failure of plumbing, HVAC, or electrical systems, your lawyer will document these issues and gather proof of your economic and non-economic damages. This may include inspection reports, medical records and bills for medical treatment you or family members suffering from house-related illnesses received, records of your out-of-pocket expenses for repairs, the cost of alternative housing, and the value of damages to your quality of life.
If you have signed a contract that contains express warranties that affect the habitability of the home (other than an agreement to purchase the home with specific defects, which have been itemized), your attorney will argue that the law does not allow a disclaimer of the implied warranty of habitability.
You have invested a lot of money into your homebuilding project, in addition to your expectation of a comfortable, healthy, and happy life enjoying your new home. The stakes are high, and the pursuit of justice in obtaining compensation for damages is often difficult and complicated. You will want to be represented by an attorney who has significant experience and a successful track record in procuring recoveries for clients in large and complex residential construction claims.
Choose a Houston, Texas, Construction Attorney You Can Trust
To get experienced and effective legal representation when the high end-end Texas home you contracted to build is substandard and a threat your well-being, call the Houston law firm of attorney Ernest Freeman early on. The construction attorneys of the Freeman Law Firm have decades of experience and a track record of success in obtaining satisfactory resolutions for clients, both in and out of court. While we always try—and are very often successful— in negotiating an out-of-court settlement that works for you, we are skilled trial lawyers who are always prepared to take your case to a jury if it becomes necessary to achieve a just outcome.
Time Limits Apply
Texas law contains time limits for filing warranty breach claim, so it is important that you act promptly to notify the builder of a problem, and equally promptly to hire an attorney when the problem has not been remedied. For best results, don’t wait; call The Freeman Law Firm today.