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How long does a builder have to fix defects in your new home?

On Behalf of | Nov 4, 2022 | Construction Law

If you just moved into your newly built dream home, the last thing on your mind are potential defects. However, errors in the design or substandard construction materials can soon cause problems and turn that dream home into a nightmare.

Unfortunately, it may take a couple of seasons of rainy weather for issues to appear. Can you still hold the contractor responsible for those defects?

Washington’s defect liability period

In the state of Washington, builders have a 6-year defect liability period during which they can be held responsible for any defects in their work. This period begins on the work’s completion date, and the builder must remedy any defects that arise during this time at no cost to the homeowner. 

The 6-year defect liability period applies to both new construction and repairs and to all aspects of the work, including foundations, structural elements, plumbing, electrical work, and finishes.

Some contractors may have a homeowner sign a contract stating they only have one year to report defects. However, according to the state’s Supreme Court, an agreement such as that only benefits the contractor and is in opposition to the state’s law.

If you have identified defects in your home that the builder did not correct during construction, you may wonder what your options are. The first step is to send a written notice to the builder outlining the problem and requesting that it be fixed. If the builder does not respond or refuses to make the repairs, you may be able to file a claim. Experienced legal guidance is best.