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When may I sue a home builder for construction defects?

When you purchase a custom-built home, you may not notice defects right away. The Pennsylvania General Assembly’s website notes, however, that you have up to 12 years from a home’s completion date to file a lawsuit. If you discover a deficiency in your home’s planning or design within that time, you may seek relief for injuries or repairs.

When hiring contractors for improvements, a new contractor may find defects in a home’s original construction that could damage your home. You may file an action against the builder. You could also sue the supervisor who managed the construction.

Multiple water damage construction defects found in Pennsylvania homes

A 2018 investigation of legal filings by the Philadelphia Inquirer found at least 650 custom property owners complaining of water damage. Because of shoddy construction, home buyers in 55 zip codes experienced water intrusion. Some lawsuits alleged subpar construction by untrained workers and a rushed build time.

Each homeowner incurred repair costs ranging between tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hundreds of water damage lawsuits filed between 2013 and 2018 noted that builders violated dozens of building codes required under Pennsylvania law. Builders, for example, did not include weatherproofing materials that could have prevented water from seeping into homes.

Early signs of property damage could require legal action

Water may begin to seep inside a property once construction has finished. It could, however, take several years to recognize the signs of water infiltration damage inside of a home’s walls. As reported by WHYY.org, signs of internal water damage include mold, bursting pipes and leaking roofs.

In some cases, a builder may attempt to claim the warranty has expired. You may need to file a legal action against the home’s builder, contractor or designer to obtain relief for damages and repair costs.