Modifying or building a home can be an exciting process. Choosing materials and then watching your creation come to life can be especially rewarding. However, unfortunately, disputes with contractors are fairly common and can result in work not being completed on time or at all. At times like these, you need the help of an attorney who is knowledgeable in construction laws.
Your rights as a homeowner
Before hiring a contractor you should take a moment to review your rights. Additionally, to avoid having your rights violated at any time, you should research contractors before hiring. Avoid hiring inexperienced individuals or anyone who does not appear to be credible. Instead, find a contractor who has a good reputation.
Below are some of your rights as a homeowner:
- Warranty: Under South Carolina laws, new houses are usually covered by a builder warranty for at least one year. This is designed to protect the homeowner from any problems with construction or materials. Builders are required to fix any problems covered under this warranty. Be aware however, that there are several different types of warranties including full warranties, limited liability general warranties, and highly limited warranties.
- Statute of limitations: According to South Carolina construction laws that cover Charleston, in addition to any warranty, you may also take legal action if a defect is discovered. The statute of limitations for filing a claim is two to three years from the moment you realize there has been a manufacturing or building defect.
- South Carolina Tort Reform Act of 2005: First, this law shortens the statute of repose from thirteen years to eight years. Additionally, your construction accident lawyers can inform you that the act issued a change in joint and several liability laws. This means that in order for a defendant to pay 100 percent of damages, he or she must be at least 50 percent responsible.
- South Carolina Notice and Opportunity to Cure Construction Dwelling and Defects Act: This act gives you the right to send a contractor a written notice before you decide to take legal action. Construction accident lawyers can assist you in drafting this notice. The contractor then has 30 days to inspect the claim, offer a settlement, or correct the defect. If you and the contractor are unable to settle the dispute after 90 days, you may then file a civil action.
Nowadays many homeowners find themselves dealing with contractors who have poor work ethics, use shoddy materials, or fail to meet deadlines. If you are facing a contractor dispute, do not hesitate in contacting construction accident lawyers as soon as possible.