A Tennessee construction defect can be extremely costly. For example, an issue with the structure or slope on a property can require substantial repairs to the foundation of a building or improvement. These costs escalate quickly if a building needs to be torn down or entirely redesigned. What are the first steps towards getting the repairs you need for a defect, without incurring exorbitant costs in the process?
#1: Have an Independent Party Inspect the Issue
Before you file a claim or contact the responsible contractor, you need to prove the defect exists. You also need to understand the scope of the problem. There might be visible signs of damage or defect, but the issue could be much bigger. What’s the best way to understand the extent of a Tennessee construction defect?
There are independent professionals that can perform an inspection on your real property. You want to find an inspector that has experience with the particular Tennessee construction defect present on your property. For example, if you suspect there is an issue with the foundation on your home, there are experts in stability, foundational cracks, and similar problems.
As well, you want to hire an expert that is capable and willing to testify in court. The conclusions and opinions of an inspector can be valuable evidence in court. It is persuasive in terms of costs and the work necessary to repair the Tennessee construction defect. Your construction defect lawyer can help you hire the right expert witness for this inspection.
#2: Contact the Appropriate Contractor
In many instances, there is a contractor, developer, or designer that is ultimately and legally responsible for the costs of a Tennessee construction defect. First, you need to identify the appropriate contractor. The liable party is directly dependent on the problem. It is usually clear which contractor is at fault because it is the developer or construction company that performed the original work, but not always.
Second, you must find out if the contractor or developer is going to cooperate in making the necessary repairs or replacements. More than likely you will need to negotiate with the contractor over the scope of repairs and when the work is completed. This may include some negotiation over covering the costs. Most property owners will hire a defect lawyer to handle these negotiations, as well as handle any resulting legal claim.
#3: Determine if There Is a Building Warranty
If you are the owner of a new build or recent renovation, the work might be covered by a building warranty. This important insurance coverage can result in substantial cost savings to you and a contractor in the event of a Tennessee construction defect. A building warranty is an insurance policy that covers the owner of a structure or improvement for specific flaws or defects. Building warranties can cover commercial, industrial, and residential properties, but the scope of the coverage can differ.
Typically, a building warranty will cover structural problems with a relatively new building or improvement, issues with the walls and drywall, problems with the roof, and cracks or defects in the foundation. While these are the standard coverage, you’ll need to read your policy documents to determine if your Tennessee construction defect is under the policy.
#4: Find a Cost-Effective Legal Team
Should you file a lawsuit to cover the cost of a Tennessee construction defect? This is a major question as you uncover the extent of the damage and cost of repairs. The correct answer might be negotiating directly with the contractor or agreeing to mediation outside of court. You may want the advice of a Tennessee lawyer in these situations and legal counsel may result in a better chance of recovery. However, you want your legal costs to remain reasonable during these investigatory and negotiation processes, which requires hiring a cost-effective legal team.
In other instances, the only way to repair a Tennessee construction defect is through a lawsuit. If a contractor is refusing to discuss the problem or contact their insurance provider, it may take a claim to recover the damages. Suber, Asher, Suber & Moushon, PLLC is an experienced and knowledgeable construction defect law firm in Nashville. You can reach our office by calling (615) 997-1908.