Defective Design of a Custom Home
If your new home is not performing up to your expectations and you are observing serious flaws that are beginning to create problems, you may be dealing with a case of negligence. Negligence in the design and/or construction process can include:
- Water intrusion
- Mold growth
- Electric or plumbing problems
- Foundation cracks
- Collapsing of sections of roof, ceilings, or walls
Your builder, upon being informed of the problems, may insist that the home was built according to the specifications provided by the architects or engineers who created the design. And in some cases, this could be true.
Architects and engineers are professionals who have undergone years of specialized training an internship in building design, and have passed a rigorous licensing exam. You have the right to expect that the design of your custom home reflects this training and expertise and functions as a home should. When architects enter into a contract with you to design your home, there is an implied warranty that they will apply reasonable care and skill to the design, that it will be consistent with professional standards and applicable building codes, and that it will be appropriate for the land, climate, and all environmental conditions where the home is to be built. Failure to do so may be indicative of professional negligence, in which case the owner of the home may have a legal cause of action to recover compensation for their damages.
Your architect may be held liable for any foreseeable consequences of the failure to exercise reasonable care in the creation of an architectural design. This might include damage to your health and your finances resulting from a collapsing ceiling or other part of the structure, illness caused by mold resulting from water intrusion, loss of investment value because of foundation cracks, property damage or personal injury caused by a fire resulting from faulty design of an electrical system, and so forth.
Determining the Source of the Problem
So how do you determine if the fault was with the design or the construction of the home itself? It is important that you engage the services of a construction defect attorney who has access to professional forensic investigators who will conduct a detailed inspection of the plans and of the as-built condition of the home. Your attorney will bring these professionals on board to help determine where liability lies and to provide expert testimony in support of your case. The investigation will involve:
- A detailed comparison of the architectural plans with the building code
- An examination of the loads and conditions existing at the property where the house was designed to be built.
These are some specific features of the design that the forensic experts will consider when determining the suitability of the design:
- Whether adequate provision was made for movement due to the effects of heating and cooling
- Whether the plan reflected climate and weather conditions, including potential wind exposure
- Whether the design provided for concrete cover as reinforcement
- Whether the design reflected any changes in the soil conditions
- The quality of the structural design
- The accuracy of dimensions on the plans
- The design of construction joints
- Accuracy of production information
- Whether the plan reflected analysis of the impacts of load on the stability of the structure
- Whether the home as designed could be built and maintained in a reasonable manner
Getting the Legal Help You Need when You Suspect Faulty Design is the Source of Your Home’s Defects
If you are experiencing problems with defects in your newer custom home in the Houston, Texas, area, you will find the experienced and aggressive legal advocacy that you need by contacting the law firm of attorney Ernest Freeman. The lawyers of The Freeman Law Firm have decades of experience in construction defect law and a powerful record of successful outcomes for their homeowner clients who have had to go up against builders and designers of custom homes that fail to meet reasonable standards of comfort, safety, and functionality. We also have close relationships with respected forensic investigators who are on call to assist in the investigation and preparation of your case, and to provide expert testimony when required.
We are often successful in settling these cases outside of court, through direct negotiations with the designers and builders, and in mediation or arbitration,but it is important for you to know that if it becomes necessary to take your case to trial, we have the courtroom skills and experience to present a thoroughly prepared and persuasive case that can produce the results you are looking for.
Protect Your Home Investment by Calling Freeman Law Today
Your home is not only the center of your family life, but it may also be a large part of your total investment portfolio. If defects are having a negative effect on your quality of life and the value of your investment, you need help sooner rather than later. You may be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your damages as well as have defects corrected and the damage to your home remediated. Call or email our office today to learn how we can help.