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What damaged your home? A construction defect or wear and tear?

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2023 | Construction Law

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could pay someone to build you a home that stayed in perfect condition forever? Unfortunately, time has a way of leaving its mark on the structures people create and inhabit.

Homeowners can usually reduce wear and tear with good maintenance practices. However, damage from shoddy construction or inferior materials is often more severe and may cost homeowners more.

What might normal wear and tear look like?

Those who spend much of their time at home really “using” the property can often see the structure begin deteriorating over time. For example, you may notice that the wood floor in your hallway is becoming scuffed or scratched.

Minor damage like this probably has little to do with your home’s construction. Other wear and tear examples:

  • Chipped paint on interior or exterior walls
  • Faded shingles or other roofing materials
  • Worn enamel on porcelain fixtures (sinks, bathtubs, etc.)
  • Loose cabinet or entryway doors

Wear and tear issues should be addressed to preserve a home’s value and prevent more damage, but they do not necessarily indicate a defect.

How can you spot a defect?

One strategy that may help you decide if the problem might have occurred because of a defect is how long it took to manifest. For example, if a roof with a 30-year estimated lifetime begins leaking after a few months, something may be amiss. You should also know that it can take a long time for some construction defects to appear.

If you cannot tell whether a problem with your property happened because of normal use or faulty craftsmanship, consider investigating further. Someone who knows the Washington construction industry and the laws that govern it may be able to help you choose your next steps.