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Posted: 2/18/2006 11:54:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 11:54:38 AM EDT by FishKepr]
A contractor came to house and pointed out some defects that will be very expensive to fix. The original builder poured concrete up to unprotected wood siding in three places. That is a violation of building code actually, but somehow the county inspector missed it I guess. I put in a call to the county inspector's office and the county contractor's relations office, both of which promised to get back to me on Tuesday. I also called the builder, but they asked me to put to complaint in writing, which I am with the help of the new contractor.

If push comes to shove, do I have a chance in Hell of getting a settlement through legal means?
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 11:57:29 AM EDT
Is it possible that the building code has changed in the past 7 years and that it wasn't a violation then? Just a possibility.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 11:58:34 AM EDT
Did you just buy the house?

Did you have a house inspection before buying?

I dont think you can do anything but make a repair if needed now, BUT then again, I dont know much aboutn this kind of stuff.....
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 12:03:31 PM EDT
Did you call a contractor or did he, while just driving by, "out of the "goodness of his heart" just happen to see the "defect"? If that was the case, the guy is just shilling up work driving around. After 7 years, you probably won't be able to do jack about sueing. You would have to prove that he knew of the defect in a reasonable amout of time and refused to do anything. 7 years is too long.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 12:03:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
Is it possible that the building code has changed in the past 7 years and that it wasn't a violation then? Just a possibility.



The new contractor says that's it's been code as long as he can remember, but that's something I'm going ask the county office about.


Originally Posted By 1shott:
Did you just buy the house?

Did you have a house inspection before buying?

I dont think you can do anything but make a repair if needed now, BUT then again, I dont know much aboutn this kind of stuff.....



No, we are the original owners.

Yes, but it was not in the report.

I wonder how much it will cost to cut back three concrete porches?
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 12:04:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 12:08:14 PM EDT by FishKepr]

Originally Posted By fxntime:
Did you call a contractor or did he, while just driving by, "out of the "goodness of his heart" just happen to see the "defect"? If that was the case, the guy is just shilling up work driving around. After 7 years, you probably won't be able to do jack about sueing. You would have to prove that he knew of the defect in a reasonable amout of time and refused to do anything. 7 years is too long.



The new contractor was here to fix something unrelated, a leaking window. While checking for other leak sources he looked down and noticed the porch. We then looked at the other porches and they are the same way.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 12:06:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FishKepr:

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
Is it possible that the building code has changed in the past 7 years and that it wasn't a violation then? Just a possibility.



The new contractor says that's it's been code as long as he can remember, but that's something I'm going ask the county office about.


Originally Posted By 1shott:
Did you just buy the house?

Did you have a house inspection before buying?

I dont think you can do anything but make a repair if needed now, BUT then again, I dont know much aboutn this kind of stuff.....



No, we are the original owners.

Yes, but it was not in the report.

I wonder how much it will cost to cut back three concrete porches?





So you had hired someone to do the work, and they may have done it wrong, and you are now just finding out about it, Ooooooo whole new ballgame.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 12:12:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1shott:

Originally Posted By FishKepr:

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
Is it possible that the building code has changed in the past 7 years and that it wasn't a violation then? Just a possibility.



The new contractor says that's it's been code as long as he can remember, but that's something I'm going ask the county office about.


Originally Posted By 1shott:
Did you just buy the house?

Did you have a house inspection before buying?

I dont think you can do anything but make a repair if needed now, BUT then again, I dont know much aboutn this kind of stuff.....



No, we are the original owners.

Yes, but it was not in the report.

I wonder how much it will cost to cut back three concrete porches?





So you had hired someone to do the work, and they may have done it wrong, and you are now just finding out about it, Ooooooo whole new ballgame.



Not to mention that there are about other 60 homes in this development. I wonder if a class action suit is in possible.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 12:23:23 PM EDT
7 years, SOL. It would probably not be worth it. If a subcontractor actually did the work [very possible] and the inspector never caught it during the last inspection it will be an uphill battle. You would have to prove some loss of property or actual value and I seriously doubt that is true with the way house values have gone up.

Coming from a family of Home Builders. Great grandpa, Grandpa, Brother, Uncle. Bla Bla, 7 years after the sale and Building inspection and now a complaint would be a joke. You might as well sue the Building Inspector.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 12:24:12 PM EDT
What kind of siding? Is there any metal flashing protecting the siding, or is the concrete DIRECTLY in contact with the siding?
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 1:38:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 1:41:40 PM EDT by FishKepr]

Originally Posted By beagler76:
What kind of siding? Is there any metal flashing protecting the siding, or is the concrete DIRECTLY in contact with the siding?



It's mostly LP wood siding with Hardiplank in a few spots.. The concrete is in direct contact with the siding and the cedar trim around our rear sliding glass doors. No flashing.

I also took a look around the neighborhood. Every house is like that in front, but some have decks in the rear.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 1:48:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 1:49:32 PM EDT by Wobblin-Goblin]
Was the work in question done during construction of the house itself? If so, it will be an uphill battle for you due to the fact that the building official in your town will have a record of all the inspections during the building process. Once he signs off on the house and issues the Certificate of Occupancy when the home is complete, it becomes pretty difficult to "prove" the builder violated code.

In other words, since the paperwork says he followed code, perhaps you had the work in question done by someone else AFTER the CO was issued...and that work was never inspected.

(Even if he admits pouring a concrete porch, too)
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 1:56:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 1:57:03 PM EDT by Yossarian]

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
Is it possible that the building code has changed in the past 7 years and that it wasn't a violation then? Just a possibility.



This was my original thought too...

Also, is the construction in question even an issue? Was it put in the code, like many things are, just to "tighten up" an existing construction technique that if left alone would have been adequate?

Is it worth bringing to the attention of the City/County on the outside chance they make you fix it and you can't get the person who did the work originally to pay for it?

Link Posted: 2/18/2006 2:03:14 PM EDT
very likely you are out of luck after 7 years. and based on what you said about the other buildings, i suspect the builder is so so and probably has re-incorporated or gone outa biz during that time. you see stuff like this from time to time where i live. builder goes in and cuts corners in a subdivsion/project. often run outa money before they finish. you go after them and they are gone. my mother moved in to a fairly nice condo that was built when the builder ran outa money. sinks in most of the houses did not connect drain to sewer. guy ran out of elbows.. took several years to figure it out and all had to be fixed at homeowners expense.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 2:04:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
Was the work in question done during construction of the house itself? If so, it will be an uphill battle for you due to the fact that the building official in your town will have a record of all the inspections during the building process. Once he signs off on the house and issues the Certificate of Occupancy when the home is complete, it becomes pretty difficult to "prove" the builder violated code.

In other words, since the paperwork says he followed code, perhaps you had the work in question done by someone else AFTER the CO was issued...and that work was never inspected.

(Even if he admits pouring a concrete porch, too)



I just remembered something. The REAR porches were poured by the original builder, but about a week AFTER we moved in. So the county inspection may have taken place before that because we couldn't have moved in until after the inspector signs off, right? The front porch was already in.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 2:05:50 PM EDT
FishKepr,

Can you post a picture of the area in question?
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 2:24:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 2:26:08 PM EDT by Redcap]
Oh, dear sweet Jesus. Concrete against...unprotected LP siding. The horror!



Is that all you have to bitch about? If so, get fucked. Seriously.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 2:26:00 PM EDT
Probably don't have much of a case. Similar to statute of limitations.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 2:33:11 PM EDT
Obviously, your answer will be specific to your state. However, the trend nationally is to allow the claim to be brought within a certain period (statute of limitations) after discovery but not more than a certain number of years out (statute of repose). Look this up for your state.

If the building code in existence at the time was violated, it sounds like a simple negligence per se claim. But is the builder still in business? This is the type of stuff you need a local attorney skilled in construction law to answer and handle.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 2:35:40 PM EDT
I will add this. You are probably getting close to your statue of repose deadline, so you should talk to someone soon.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:01:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DADX3:
Obviously, your answer will be specific to your state. However, the trend nationally is to allow the claim to be brought within a certain period (statute of limitations) after discovery but not more than a certain number of years out (statute of repose). Look this up for your state.

If the building code in existence at the time was violated, it sounds like a simple negligence per se claim. But is the builder still in business? This is the type of stuff you need a local attorney skilled in construction law to answer and handle.



Great info thanks.

The builder is still in business. I talked to a receptionist on Friday and she asked me to notify them in writing.


Originally Posted By DADX3:
I will add this. You are probably getting close to your statue of repose deadline, so you should talk to someone soon.



After I talk to the county people on Tuesday I will go over what options we have.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:06:36 PM EDT
I just checked. The statute of repose in our state is six years.
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