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Do we have legal recourse against contractor/subcontrac. after living in home for 3 yrs?

Started 1326989943.727 in Viewpoints | Last reply 1327077765.767 by BlueCollarBabe

I have lived in my brand new house for 3 yrs...and have had problem after problem with plumbing leaks. Since i moved in permanently in 2010 I have had to call a plumber for leaky pipes 5 times and counting. I called the contractor after the first leak and he told me he was done with this house after his first year since I bought it in 2009 and couldn't help me.

My question is: can we sue him (the contractor)or his plumbing contractor for defective plumbing? and if so what kind of attorney would I need? I was under the impression that when we close on a house we give up the right to sue for defects...don't know what to do.

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ratdog1111326990014.83314924 PostsRegistered 10/27/2008

Ypu have to check the home warrantee. usually they are for one or two years.

Laurel0131326990311.31331 PostsRegistered 6/16/2007Hill Country, TX

the warranties have expired like he said...he is only able to make repairs/corrections for 1 yr, i've been here 3 yrs....the home warranty that came with the house is absolutely worthless, a regular plumber is cheaper than the home warranty company!

wanted to know if there is any other recourse...

Emma Bunti­ng1326990901.3778606 PostsRegistered 3/26/2010

Since everything was fine for the first year, I would think the contractor would be off the hook. If there were something negligent in his work, it would have shown up in the first year. A leaky pipe can be caused by homeowner negligence, too. If you turn your heat down too low in cold weather, pipes can freeze and burst, etc.

Sorry.....but I just don't see how this can be the contractor's or even the plumber's fault if everything was fine for a full year.

" Anybody ready for dessert?"

Laurel0131326991301.81331 PostsRegistered 6/16/2007Hill Country, TX

stands to reason that it could not be that i was negligent because the leaks are mostly at the 90 degree joints and over time i could see the glue or pipe if it was defective deteriorating to the point that it stresses out and leaks...just not sure about what the problem could be...i asked the plumber and he said simply that there was stress in those leaks but i can see that he would be careful in his choice of words. The water temp. is ok (checked), pressure at main is normal (checked) , and water is left dripping when temps freeze.

Emma Bunti­ng1326992151.5378606 PostsRegistered 3/26/2010

As I said, Laurel....I doubt you really have any legal recourse (but a lawyer would know better than I)......but you might try to reason with the contractor, who, if he values his reputation might at least split the cost to repair some of those weak joints. It may just require re-soldering or regluing anyway. Not really a biggie.

My husband is a contractor.....and he bends over backwards to protect his reputation. Good luck.

" Anybody ready for dessert?"

GoodStuff1326992533.4114546 PostsRegistered 11/11/2008

I doubt you have recourse at this point......but it really depends on the standards and laws in the state and municipality where you live, and perhaps on what is causing the leaks. Is it negligence and faulty construction? Did the contractor violate building codes? Did he use faulty materials? There have been recalls on some types of piping over the past few years. I'd check with an attorney in your area just to be sure.

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Dagna1326992764.51313976 PostsRegistered 2/10/2006

Are other homeowners who bought from the same builder having similar problems?



JJsMom1326992948.25719805 PostsRegistered 10/25/2007

Did you have an inspection done before the warranty ran out?

Hildegarde­ Withers1326993096.98311690 PostsRegistered 11/9/2011

Sorry you're going through all this hassle & expense.

raven-blac­kbird1326993204.15313931 PostsRegistered 1/2/2009California

there is always recourse if the work is against code, or doesn't meet code.... which it may well not........you might want to bring an inspector in and have him check anything you are having a problem with.........that way you will have written documentation..........then go to the builder of the home with this documentation.........................raven

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"Polite conversation is rarely either."
Fran Lebowitz

Miss Lorra­ine1326993392.3576805 PostsRegistered 3/23/2007

Only an attorney can answer your question. As far as I know, there aren't any who post here. And I think it would be worth your money to have a consultation with one--you could might be able to recover damages if the statue hasn't run out, and if you can, you should go for it.

People who do a lousy job and try to walk away from it should be taught a lesson. I hope you administer one.

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kdgn1326994037.82312997 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

You've probably had the problems from the beginning but since you didn't live there permanently during the first year they wouldn't have been noticed. I would think this would be the plumbing subcontractor's responsibility, especially if the leaks are at elbows. Possibly they weren't fitted correctly or a step was omitted.

I would hire a good plumbing inspector to find out what the problem is. Contact the state licensing board to see if there is a recourse for you. If the inspector finds faulty work the licensing board should be able to tell you what the next step it.

We have the home warranty protection plan for the first ten years. It has been well worth the yearly fee for peace of mind with new home construction. I didn't have it on our first home and didn't need it-custom home, saw all the inspection paperwork at all stages. With a tract home built during the construction boom there is no legitimate papertrail as far as I'm concerned. There were not enough inspectors to do a proper job at each site. I think possibly one home in the tract was targeted for inspection or else it was a "paper inspection"-signed off on without ever being physically present on the site. It happened.

Good luck.

Mama Mia1326994230.4238453 PostsRegistered 3/4/2008

I don't have the answers but you have very good suggestions in previous posts. Laws vary in each state. The should be a local contractors board that your builder belongs to and you can talk to them about it. Make a formal complaint through them.

Take it to the TV news if you can, especially if you find other buyers with the same problems. I wouldnot give up until you are satisfied with the answers you get.

Good Luck!

mm

edit sp

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"Cats are like potato chips. You can never have just one."
meow\

Brabls1326996560.32314740 PostsRegistered 4/27/2007

Check with a Texas lawyer who specializes in these matters. I am not licensed in Texas, but I have a good real estate attorney in San Antonio.

If you email me at texasrosebls at the you've got mail folks, I will email you his name & telephone #

Leah19641326996749.123451 PostsRegistered 8/23/2011New Castle

You really need to check with a good lawyer on this. Sounds to me like you would win!Good luck.

Brabls1326997506.0514740 PostsRegistered 4/27/2007

Another thing to consider is that the plumbing problem may be a symptom of unstable soils or foundation problems. Are you seeing superficial cracks in any of your finishes?

pegsue1326997735.183390 PostsRegistered 4/7/2005

You need to contact an attorney in the state you are in.

I live in Illinois and just had an issue myself-house we built will be 10 years old this month and now we have found a very expensive problem. Yes-homeowners warranty is expired and so has the statute however in this state we have a statute of repose-that is when you knew or should have known your problem was caused-so please ask an attorney in your state about those specific statutes.

GOOD LUCK!

Laurel0131326999822.71331 PostsRegistered 6/16/2007Hill Country, TX

thank you so much,ladies, for your suggestions and recommendations..I finally called the contractor who i bought the house from and he bought this house in a foreclosure sale.The plumbing had already been installed when the initial builder went into foreclosure...he simply finished it out...BUT he felt so bad since his name is attached to this house that he came by in a matter of minutes and gave me $1200 to defray past and future expenses. He also offered to send over his own sheetrock and stucco guy to repair the holes in the walls...bottom line he wants me to be happy with this house i bought from him...

so...again, i come here first when i have a problem...and ya'll always deliver...THANK YOU!

pegsue1327000375.97390 PostsRegistered 4/7/2005

Glad things are working out for you.

Mimi 2 Five1327000902.233778 PostsRegistered 1/12/2009

A lot of problems never start showing up until after some time after construction. For instance, 3 yrs. ago I had a 20' x 40' brand new utility room constructed and also a complete re-do of my bathroom by an area contractor and his crew.

Now I'm seeing a small crack appearing between the tub and wall on both ends of the tub, cracks in the grouting around the floor tiles, a sliver of daylight showing thru around the top of both the bathroom door and utility door where they obviously weren't hung properly.


Can I do anything legally? Probably not. But I definately can tell my story around town....and I am. {#emotions_dlg.sneaky}

Laurel, that was really nice of the contractor to decide to do that.

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Lilith_1327001465.414722 PostsRegistered 3/10/2011
On 1/19/2012 Laurel013 said:

the warranties have expired like he said...he is only able to make repairs/corrections for 1 yr, i've been here 3 yrs....the home warranty that came with the house is absolutely worthless, a regular plumber is cheaper than the home warranty company!

wanted to know if there is any other recourse...


does the warranty start every time something happens? I believe there might be something you can do. It is never going to end.

Hysteria,
Denial of Reality,
Thought Control,
Name Calling,
Projection of Guilt

Laurel0131327001531.251331 PostsRegistered 6/16/2007Hill Country, TX

I think we can learn from this..instead of feeling intimidated by MEN doing all the work, we need to demand they show us licenses, references must be called, etc...I think Mimi 2 5 could have legal recourse, dontcha think, esp. if certain codes had to be followed...but then again, i'm a dunce in these matters..no one should have to roll over after paying so much for our homes...i know in many cases, like one poster cited, the local news program will come out and spotlight these boobs...

raven-blac­kbird1327001873.86313931 PostsRegistered 1/2/2009California
On 1/19/2012 Laurel013 said:

I think we can learn from this..instead of feeling intimidated by MEN doing all the work, we need to demand they show us licenses, references must be called, etc...I think Mimi 2 5 could have legal recourse, dontcha think, esp. if certain codes had to be followed...but then again, i'm a dunce in these matters..no one should have to roll over after paying so much for our homes...i know in many cases, like one poster cited, the local news program will come out and spotlight these boobs...

there is definitely legal recourse IF code has not been followed OR if permits weren't pulled.......whole point of a permit is to be sure code is followed to the letter, and is checked at each phase before another phase can continue.....the city's building inspector has to sign off on each phase.........no contractor wants his worked questioned by the city or building inspector, his license is at stake...........which makes it a very good "bargaining tool"............I'm not so sure I would have accepted the $1200 and IF I did, I wouldn't have signed anything, this contractor gave in too easy...........I'd be suspicious..........I'd still call in an independent inspector to check code on the ENTIRE house, including wiring, foundation..............................raven

"Polite conversation is rarely either."
Fran Lebowitz

AnikaBrodie1327005555.3114927 PostsRegistered 1/29/2008The NE state of mountains and valleys
On 1/19/2012 Laurel013 said:

thank you so much,ladies, for your suggestions and recommendations..I finally called the contractor who i bought the house from and he bought this house in a foreclosure sale.The plumbing had already been installed when the initial builder went into foreclosure...he simply finished it out...BUT he felt so bad since his name is attached to this house that he came by in a matter of minutes and gave me $1200 to defray past and future expenses. He also offered to send over his own sheetrock and stucco guy to repair the holes in the walls...bottom line he wants me to be happy with this house i bought from him...

so...again, i come here first when i have a problem...and ya'll always deliver...THANK YOU!


You are very fortunate to have found such an ethical contractor. It is obvious he wants to protect his reputation in offering you $1200 for past/future expenses, and to repair the holes in walls. I'm glad this worked out in your favor.

~~~The Silver Fox ~~~
“... We don't meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason..." (Anonymous)

kachina6241327039748.25315328 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004New Mexico

I had to have my house completely replumbed due to the presence of polybutylene pipe, all the way to the meter. This involved tearing up many of the walls to get to the pipe in my 1588 sq ft house. There was a leak that could not be located resulting in a $600 water bill.

Anyway, the cost for the pipe replacement, including about 50 ft outside, was approximately $8,000 plus $700 for dry wall repair. So your $1200 that your builder so generously gave you is just a pittance. I don't know where you live, but I should also mention that costs for labor are considerbly cheaper where I live than they would be in many parts of the country.

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