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Construction Defect Attorney
in Lafayette, Louisiana

You’ve just purchased a new home, and soon after – or maybe even a year later – a construction defect appears. Say it’s a problem like a foundation shift or even a more minor but annoying problem with the electrical or water supply system. Who’s responsible, and can you get the home builder to pay for repairs?

What if, on the other hand, you pay a contractor to add a legal room to your house, but the roof starts leaking a year later. Can you get it repaired at no cost or get compensated for the repair or replacement work?

There are several legal principles, including breach of contract, negligence, fraud, and misrepresentation, depending on the nature and cause of the construction defect. Louisiana also has a New Home Warranty Act on the books.

If you have purchased a home or just completed a renovation, and you discover a defect, you have rights under the Louisiana law to recover costs or to have the contractor repair it under warranty. A lawsuit may sometimes be necessary. If you’re in Lafayette, Louisiana, or neighboring Iberia, St. Martin, Jefferson Davis, St. Landry, or Acadia, contact our construction attorney at LeJeune & Associates. Let us assess your situation and advise you of the best options.

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Common Construction Defects

Courts have generally broken down construction defects into four categories: design, material, construction, and subsurface.

Design defects stem from the work of architects and engineers. One example is a poorly designed roof that results in poor drainage, water intrusion, or inadequate structural support.

Material defects refer to the use of inferior building materials, such as windows that leak or concrete that cracks under pressure.

Construction defects derive from poor quality of work, which is either not done to building standards or is covered up. Examples include water intrusion, cracks in the foundation, electrical and mechanical problems, and plumbing leaks.

Subsurface deficiencies refer to not preparing the ground underneath the structure for proper support. Structure issues could happen on hills or where the soil is unstable.

Methods of Resolution in
a Construction Dispute

Should a defect appear in your home after construction, the typical routes to resolution begin with notifying the builder of the problem and attempting to negotiate a solution. If the two of you cannot agree between yourselves on a proper course of action, you can always enlist the help of a mediator, who will listen to both sides and attempt to reach a mutual agreement.

One step beyond that is arbitration, which is less costly than a lawsuit and has fewer restrictions on evidence, similar to a trial in which the arbitrator hands down a binding decision.

The final step is a lawsuit, which is launched under various legal principles and Louisiana law.

Possible Damages Available

Generally speaking, recoverable damages under a construction defect lawsuit centers on the cost of repair and or a replacement. Specific performance by the contractor – in other words, ordering the contractor to make good on the defect – is generally not acceptable to the owner, who will usually want to pursue another contractor to fix any defects.

Under the New Home Warranty Act, the homeowner must first allow the builder to fix the problem.

Actionable Claims

Your lawsuit can be based on strict liability, negligence, breach of contract, breach of warranty, or fraud or misrepresentation.