When a home is being built there are numerous inspections conducted throughout the construction process. Beginning with the foundation and continuing until the new owners take possession of the building, countless inspections occur on virtually every aspect of the construction. A construction claim can be filed by the owners if, after talking possession, they find a problem with the house that should have been caught by one of the many inspectors.
In most states, once a building’s plans have been completed they are reviewed by engineers for the structural integrity, electric, water, sewer, heating, ventilation, air condition and all other aspects of the project. A construction claim can result if anything that was approved by the engineers and a subsequent state review and the contractor does not follow the plans in every respect. For example, if the contractor allows the use of a lighter gauge wire in the interior electrical system that was called for in the approved plans, a construction claim can be filed to have the inferior product removed and the appropriate one installed.
In some cases a construction claim is filed for what the owner believes to have been an error on the contractor’s part, when it reality it may have been an engineering mistake. For this example, consider cement used in basements or in foundations. If the engineering review and state review indicates a five-bag mix will be sufficient for a six-inch concrete slab, which is then installed and the slab develops cracks, a construction claim against the contractor will not stand up in court.
Many states place a time limit on filing a construction claim against the contractor and most new homes have a one year warranty in which to file claims. However, if some major disaster occurs, such as a fire or major plumbing leak, everyone from the homeowner on to the builder will be looking for someone to blame.
Electrical fires, while not overly common do occur, and in many cases it is a result of too much being expected of a single outlet, caused by the homeowner. In others cases, a faulty breaker or fuse that should have opened the circuit failed to do so, causing the blaze that destroyed the home. In these cases a construction claim may not be possible, and instead will end up seeking restitution from the manufacturers of the fuse or breaker.