Construction Defects in Arizona: Here’s How Long a Builder is Liable
Whether you are building a new home or remodeling your current home, construction projects are expensive and time-consuming. It’s understandable to be excited about the project and focus on getting the work done as soon as possible. But consumers should make sure they are reviewing any construction work and using professional inspectors to ensure all the work has been completed up to professional standards.
Construction defects in Arizona are the responsibility of the contractor to repair if they are documented and the contractor is provided proper notice in the time frame required. Homeowners need to be aware of what can be considered a construction defect and the statute of limitations for pursuing a construction defect claim in Arizona.
Let’s take a look at A) what qualifies as a construction defect; B) the legally required process to resolve a construction defect; and C), how much time you have to resolve a construction defect.
A: What Qualifies as a Construction Defect?
All construction projects in Arizona must be completed to workmanship standards, whether those standards were expressly stated in the contract or not. This is called an implied warranty on construction projects, and it means that all homeowners can expect a licensed contractor’s work to meet a minimum standard of quality set by Arizona law.
Here are a few of the common issues that can qualify as construction defects:
- Construction deficiencies like structural integrity, foundation issues, electrical and plumbing issues, and leaks in roof, windows or doors.
- Design failures like building code violations, drainage issues and water collection on roof.
- Material issues like using inferior products in construction or using the wrong materials in installation.
- Subsurface issues like failure to appropriately address soil conditions on the property that result in defects in the foundation or structure of the building.
Many of these potential construction defects can be hard to spot. That’s why it’s important to have an independent professional inspector review construction project to spot any potential issues before they cause additional problems. It will typically be easier to get a small issue fixed by the builder or contractor if spotted early as well.
B: What is the Legally Required Process to Resolve a Defect?
Arizona House Bill 2578 and Purchaser Dwelling Act – Arizona House Bill 2578 was signed into law on March 23, 2015. The new laws made some changes to the Purchaser Dwelling Act with the goal of establishing a process that required homeowners in Arizona to provide notice to builders and/or contractors about any construction defects.
The builders and contractors have an opportunity to inspect the work and provide a proposed remedy for the construction defect before facing a lawsuit. Builders and contractors might opt for corrective work or monetary compensation.
For homeowners dealing with construction defects in Arizona, they must go through the entire process detailed in the Purchaser Dwelling Act before they can file a lawsuit if they are not satisfied with the proposed resolution.
C: How Much Time Do You Have to Resolve a Defect?
Arizona Statute of Limitations on Construction Defects: The state of Arizona has two main statute of limitations that will typically apply to pursuing a construction defect in court. There is a two-year statute of limitations for negligence under ARS 12-542, which will generally be the applicable law for construction defects.
Arizona has a six-year statute of limitations for breach of contract under ARS 12-548. Breach of contract claims can cover most issues related to construction defects, but those individuals dealing with any issues related to a construction project should address their matter as soon as possible so both avenues are available to remedy the issue.
Arizona also has laws specifically for new builds that allows homeowners to pursue claims for any defects in the new build for up to 8 years. There is even an additional year if the defect is not found until the eighth year after the homeowner takes possession of the home. This law helps protect individuals that purchase a new build from the original homeowner and allows them to pursue a claim against the builder within that time frame.
Work with the Leading Arizona Real Estate Law Firm
Dealing with significant construction defects in your home can quickly become overwhelming. It is important to understand that you have rights and there is a process that must be followed in order to get resolution.
The attorneys at M&G assist our clients with all types of construction defects. We can review the construction work and contract to assess the best course of action. Our attorneys can guide you through the process of properly notifying the builder or contractor and review the response to make sure it is fair and equitable.
If we are not able to get a fair resolution through the Purchaser Dwelling Act process, our attorneys can file a claim and pursue a remedy in court. Contact us today at 602-726-2229 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online on our contact us page.