Construction Defective Work: Enforced and Defended

Construction Defects

Construction defects can cause your property or home to be worth less in value and expensive to remedy. The defects may not even be discovered by you for many years after you have owned the home. Some defects are obvious and others are hidden or  “latent” defects. construction defect law claims are complex.  It is recommended you speak with a construction defect attorney immediately upon discovering the defect.

The most common types of defects include:

  • Poor Design Mistakes
  • Bad Low Quality Materials
  • Poor Workmanship
  • Technical Mistakes

These defects can occur in heating and electrical systems, the foundation, flooring, walls, roof cracks, structural failure and in the soil and drainage. Problems that may result include mold, water leaks, dry rot and issues that can result in substantial expenses and financial losses for homeowners.  Some defects may not even be able to be fixed.  

We can help in the negotiations process to try to resolve the dispute before costly litigation in court over the construction defect.

However if Court is the only place  to resolve these matters, we are experienced and proven advocates in this area of the law.

Before filing a lawsuit, these matters should try to be resolved through negotiations with the person responsible for the defect such as the developer, contractor or a sub-contractor. We can assist you in that process, because of our years of experience and knowledge of the law.  We may be able to help because of our extensive experience with construction law. We have represented owners, contractors, brokers, and workers . Filing an arbitration process or a construction defect lawsuit with the court is a possible solution, and we have experienced attorneys that will represent you in the negotiations process and in court, if that is needed. 

Arbitration or Construction lawsuits may be difficult to prove. They rely on expert witness testimony.   Check your state laws first regarding time limits and procedures for filing a claim and consult with an attorney that specializes in construction law cases.

Construction Defect Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for lawsuits and construction defect claims is complex and varies from state to state. It also depends on whether or not the defects are hidden or apparent. The statute could run from the date of completion of the work or from the time period when the defect is discovered. You should seek legal advice immediately so you do not miss the time period in which to take action.

Time Limits on Claims

For statute-of-limitations purposes, the clock normally starts to tick when the claim arises. Courts sometimes refer to this starting point as the “accrual” of the “cause of action”; it's the moment at which the plaintiff has a basis to sue. (Certain events and circumstances can delay or “toll” statutes of limitations, essentially lengthening the time period for bringing a claim.)


Statutes of Limitations in Iowa

Below you'll find statutes of limitations for several claims in Iowa. You can see the statutes to learn more and to look for changes to them. (Be aware that court rulings determine the way statutes are interpreted; they can even make statutes or parts of them unenforceable.)

Keep in mind that the following is a partial list with broad overviews; you should look at the actual law for nuances and exceptions. For example, whether because the statute says so or a court has decided as much, a limitations period can start to run from the point that the plaintiff knew or should have known of an injury rather than the date of the injury itself. A statute might even provide, for instance, that you have two years to bring an action from the date you knew or should have known that you suffered some kind of harm, but in no event do you have more than six years from the date of the event in question. Examining the law would provide you with that level of detail.

Also, even if one of the causes of action below seems to apply, you might have grounds for a different or an additional claim with its own statute of limitations. Not only that, but a more specific statute of limitations than what's below could control your case—perhaps a statute of limitations for mortgage foreclosure rather than one for contracts.

Make sure to consult a lawyer for a better understanding of all time limits that apply to your situation and any possibilities for overcoming them. Rules might differ when the action is against the government. Or you might have to file a particular kind of claim before being able to sue. In short, the law in this area is complicated.

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