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Charleston Construction Defects Lawyer / Blog / Construction Defects / Construction Defect Claims for Breach of Contract vs. Negligence

Construction Defect Claims for Breach of Contract vs. Negligence


It is not uncommon for homebuyers to purchase a property from a developer before a home is actually constructed. Builders describe the home’s size, appearance, and amenities to potential buyers and purchasers sign an agreement based on this description. However, for buyers, this does not always work out. For example, imagine you signed an agreement to purchase a home with a hot tub but when you moved in, it was not there.

Construction defects such as these are fairly common in new home construction. Regardless of whether a defect is caused by a major misrepresentation by the builder, or it is a major mistake that is correctable, it can significantly lower the value of your home. You may be able to file a claim against the builder or developer based on breach of contract or negligence. Below, our Charleston construction defects lawyer explains these two types of claims further.

Claims for Breach of Contract 

Before construction on your new home began, you likely signed an agreement with the builder outlining the specifications of the entire property, as well as your payment structure. If the builder failed to construct the property according to the agreement, you will likely file a breach of contract claim against them. Essentially, you are arguing that the builder failed to construct the home as you had agreed.

When filing a breach of contract claim, the documents the builder gave you can serve as evidence to support your case. These documents can include photos, descriptions of the home, floor plans, and a list of finishes, materials, and appliances. For example, if the plans show two sinks in the bathroom but the builder only installed one, documents pertaining to the construction of the home can establish a breach of contract.

You only have three years to file a claim based on breach of contract, or your claim will be barred.

Claims Based on Negligence 

You may also be able to file a construction defect claim based on negligence. Negligence refers to the builder’s failure to provide the appropriate standard of care. When filing a claim based on negligence, you must prove the following elements of your claim:

  • The builder owed you a legal duty of care,
  • The builder did not meet the standard of care,
  • There is a direct link between the failure to meet the standard of care and the construction defect, and
  • You suffered financial damages due to the defect.

The South Carolina courts have decided that builders have an implied duty of care to perform services as per the agreement with the homeowner in a careful, diligent, and careful manner, even if there is no written agreement. You have eight years to file a claim for property damage caused by negligence.

Call Our Construction Defects Lawyer in Charleston Today 

It is not always easy to determine what type of claim you should file after finding a construction defect. At Fuller Law Firm, our Charleston construction defects lawyer can explore your legal options with you and advise on which one is most appropriate. We will also help you through the process and prove your case so you obtain the most favorable outcome possible. Call us now at 843-277-0013 or chat with us online to schedule a consultation.




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