Buying a new home is the American Dream! New carpet, paint, and woodwork make new homes smell nice and everyone who buys a new home thinks they won’t be calling anyone for repairs for many, many years. And if the buyer also has a new home warranty, then they truly can sleep well at night because they’re covered against any problems that may come up.
Here’s a fast answer: It depends.
A new home warranty gives you limited coverage on home repairs for a set amount of time, but the scope and length of coverage will vary. Some warranties will only cover deposit insurance and protect against major structural defects, while others are more extensive, covering defects in your home’s heating and air conditioning, plumbing, windows, roofing, lighting, or even fixes to overly creaky floors.
You can often choose to upgrade from a basic package to a more comprehensive one, so if the warranty your builder is offering doesn’t put your mind at ease, inquire about increasing the coverage.
The creaky floors issue is one that comes up fairly often. Everyone expects an old house to have creaky floors but a two-year-old home should not have that problem. Let’s say one does have that problem. Who is at fault? If the floors were “hand framed” with wood beams it could be that the contractor or his sub-contractor did not install the beams properly or used an inferior grade of wood that was specified by the architect or original engineer. If the floors were built using wood trusses, those trusses were manufactured in a manufacturing plant somewhere and perhaps the truss designer made an error when they specified the wrong steel plates that hold trusses together.
The trusses are installed, covered with plywood and carpeting or tile, and soon after: ‘creeeeeeeek’ as you walk to the bathroom at 4 am. What do you do? One thing you can usually expect when problems come up after people move into a new house there are problems: Finger pointing. No one wants to assume responsibility. This is when a structural engineer and expert witness comes in.
Construction Defect Expert Witness – Justin Hall, P.E.
A licensed, experienced structural engineer who is familiar with construction methods and mistakes is the person qualified to conduct a thorough and accurate investigation into what went wrong. Plans are examined, a physical inspection is performed, and witnesses are interviewed. If the damage is severe and will involve a lot of money to repair, construction defect cases often move to an arbitration situation or to court. When these situations arise it is prudent to enlist the help of an engineer who is also familiar with preparing and giving expert testimony. An expert witness in your corner is a valuable asset to clearly explain the nature of how mistakes happen in the construction field to a judge or jury.
Justin Hall is just such an expert. He has successfully participated as a construction defect expert witness many times and his courtroom professional demeanor and clear explanatory talents are superior. Mr. Hall can be reached by calling (501) 436-0091