What are the Statutes of Limitations on Faulty Construction Work?

hourglassYour construction manager says he’s done with the job, but you find that something is still wrong. You’ve gone over the problem with him, but it never seems to get fixed. Or you find something later, after the job is long finished. Do you have recourse, and if so, how long do you have to file a claim?

According to the law, the statute of limitations for a contractor’s work is limited to one year, except for foundations, which must carry a five-year warranty.

However, if a defect is discovered after the one-year warranty expires, the homeowner may have up to two additional years to file a claim once something is discovered. Additionally, Virginia has a five-year statute of limitations for breach of contract.

Here is a synopsis of what the Code of Virginia says:

The Code of Virginia states that within every contract for the sale of a new dwelling, there is an implied warranty that includes the following:

At the time of record title or taking possession of a new home, the structure shall be sufficiently free from structural defects, constructed in a workmanlike manner, and fit for habitation. (Structural defects mean those that reduce the stability or safety of the structure to below-accepted standards or that restrict the normal use thereof.)

If there is a breach of warranty, the purchaser or their heirs or personal representatives can take action against the vendor (person or company building the home). First, they must provide the vendor a written notice stating the nature of the warranty claim by registered or certified mail that provides a receipt for delivery. At this time, the vendor has up to six months to cure the defect.

The warranty extends for a period of one year following the transfer of the property from the vendor to the vendee or from when the purchaser takes possession (whichever occurs first). Any action for breach of this warranty should be brought within two years of the breach.

This implied warranty covers “new dwellings,” or a dwelling or house that has not been previously occupied for a period of more than 60 days by anyone other than the vendor or vendee, or by the original or subsequent vendor for a cumulative period of more than 12 months excluding dwellings build solely for lease.

Don’t Wait. Contact Först Consulting Group

If you suspect or recognize a defect in construction and need to find out more about how to require correction, Först Consulting Group can guide you. We can provide a complete inspection of the problem, create a defensible report, and provide counsel on the steps you need to take. The law is on your side. Don’t wait until it’s too late; contact us today.


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