Purchasing a home or commercial building in New Jersey represents a substantial investment. Therefore, shoddy construction or defective materials could result in serious financial consequences. The cost often prompts homeowners or homeowners’ associations to pursue damages from the builder or property developer.

Construction defects can take many forms, but they share the fact that they reduce a home’s value. Costly problems include mold, water damage, unsafe electrical or heating systems, bad landscaping, faulty drainage or structural cracks in walls, roofs or foundations. The law labels defects as patent if they are easily observable at the time of construction. Latent defects do not emerge until years after construction. The designation of a defect as patent or latent is important because it determines how statutes of limitations would apply to a legal case.

When an owner launches litigation, the law recognizes that damages could arise from the cost of repairs and the building’s decline in value. If people have to move out during repairs, then they could pursue costs related to temporary housing. A plaintiff’s case involving construction defects will strive to prove the liability of the builder or other parties with testimony from construction experts. They could explain the causes of the problems and outline how to restore a property.

Someone confronted by damage caused by improper construction could seek legal advice. Construction defect attorneys could research who built the home and strive to identify all parties that might bear responsibility. Initially, an attorney might pursue an out-of-court settlement by bringing evidence to the attention of the responsible party. However, filing a lawsuit remains a possibility. Due to the cost of construction errors, litigation might be necessary to pursue damages.