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I found that there was not a building permit for structural work from contractor or original owners. Who is liable.

Grand Junction, CO |
Filed under: Construction law

I bought a house in 2006, In 2005 a company installed helical piers to fix settling but settling reoccured about a year and a half ago. I called the original contractor. They told me that no permit had been needed but I checked with the building department. A permit was required and no permit was issued.

Attorney Answers 4


This matter should be addressed by an experienced Colorado construction lawyer, and it should be done quickly, so as to avoid missing the statute of limitations. I am not licensed in Colorado law and cannot comment on Colorado law. Here are some discussion points for the consultation with the attorney:

The lack of a permit, where one was required, may subject the contractor to civil liability to the owner, and perhaps subsequent owners. It may also subject the contractor to disciplinary action through the contractor's state license board. Attorneys are prohibited from threatening administrative action to gain advantage in a civil dispute, and some consider it bad form for non-attorneys to do it. The better approach, in my opinion, is to simply proceed with the complaint to the license board without threatening it first, assuming the attorney believes that pursuing such a claim is in the best interest of the owner.

The standard of care requires compliance with all regulations, including permitting requirements. Proceeding with work in the absence of a permit is negligence, and perhaps "negligence per se." Those who commit acts of negligence are liable for damages that result from that negligence.

Good luck.

These comments are for general informational purposes and do not create an attorney-client relationship. Do not rely on this post as "legal advice." Consult with a licensed attorney regarding the specific facts of your case and your rights and liabilities.

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Failure to pull the necessary permit is a breach of a statutory obligation which has a short limitations period. The fact that the piers are failing now could be due to a number of factors, possibly negligence for which there is a three year statute of limitation. You may also have a construction defect claim for which the statute of limitations has either already run or will expire shortly. You need to immediately retain a local Colorado construction attorney to evaluate the claims you have and the damages you are experiencing as time has either already expired to sue or will very quickly.

Attorney is Licensed in Arizona, California, and Colorado only. The opinions and comments offered are in the nature of general business advice relating to generic questions that might be raised. The use of this site is not intended to form an attorney client relationship of any kind. The reader is advised that every situation is different and you should always consult in person with a licensed attorney for the particular jurisdiction in question when your legal rights may be effected.

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You need to talk to a Colorado construction defect attorney immediately. The timing of these issues you have listed implicates your right of recovery against any negligent parties by both the statute of repose and limitations. You only have two years (not three as suggested) after the settling occurred to take action in Colorado. Additionally, if this was a new house, the statute of repose may bar your claims, which is between 6-8 years depending on the facts. Clients waiting too long to involve legal counsel is the number one reason why construction defect attorneys turn down cases and give the potential clients the bad news- their claims are barred.

This answer is for informational purposes only, is not legal advice regarding your question, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you would like to contact Chad for a free initial consultation, he can be reached at (303) 927-0784 or

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These attorneys have all got it right. A house is too big of an asset not to make sure problem is fixed. There are a multitude of parties who could share in the blame, and you'll need an experienced construction defect lawyer to find those parties and, more importantly, find their insurance coverage. Insurance is typically the way these wrongs are righted. There are too many variables to resolve everything on this site--contact an attorney. If you have more questions, please feel free to contact me through this site or call me at 720-379-5480. Good luck!

I am a Colorado-licensed lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer until we sign an attorney-client fee agreement. The response offered is general; you should contact an attorney to obtain legal advice for your particular situation. If you wish, you can contact me at (720) 379-5480 and set up a free consultation to discuss your specific legal needs.

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