I had a new home built in late 2007. Since that time, we have had problems cooling the house. After conducting an energy audit through the electric utility, we found that some areas of the house were NOT insulated, and the whole house was insulated at below-code levels. The air conditioning unit is also too small for the house, and can't keep up with the summer heat (2.5-ton unit, instead of 3.5 or 4-ton unit). The findings of the energy audit suggested $10,000 in repairs to ensure the house can adequately cool in the summer. What options do I have? Should I try contacting the home builder directly? What do I do if they balk at the claim? Do I have to pay the $10,000 to fix the home builder's lack of oversight on their subcontractors?
Real Estate Attorney
Your home builder may have as long as 8 years to warranty or otherwise remain responsible for defects. I think it best to try and go through the home builder first and see what if anything they will resolve. If nothing else you will have an idea of what their posturing or position will be in regards to their liability. Depending on how that meeting goes you will know if they will work with you or if you need to get competent legal representation in real estate or construction defect law.
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Family Law Attorney
I would work with an experienced residential real estate/construction attorney and have your attention contact the home builder. If the builder balks at the claim, you need to review your construction contract to determine if it has any dispute resolution provisions, such as mandatory arbitration. In addition, your damages are not limited to the cost of repair and replacement. They would also include your additional cooling expenses as a result of the builder's errors.
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