Breach of Warranty in Construction
What types of warranties exist in construction contracts?
In a construction contract, the builder or contractor typically makes a series of warranties to the owner. Examples include promises as to the quality of materials, workmanlike construction, and guarantees that workers are professionally trained and certified. Warranties can be either explicit or implied. When things go wrong on a construction project, a warranty usually means that successful claimants are entitled to compensation.
Express warranties are warranties that are expressly identified in the work agreement. While they're typically written into the contract between the contractor and the owner, they can also be made verbally. The period of time for which the work is guaranteed varies between contracts. Resolving breach of warranty disputes is generally straightforward with express warranties, since the terms are spelled out in the contract. However, this does not mean the dispute will not take some effort to resolve.
Further, the homeowner who intends to bring a warranty claim must pay close attention to the deadlines attached to the warranty. And, for big-box builders, the homeowner must pay attention to third-party warranties that are provided at closing and any the detailed documents that express the types of defects that are warranted and timelines. Typically, the third-party warranties will have some sort of cosmetic warranty for a year, mechanical, electric, and/or plumbing systems warranty for two years, and structural warranty for 10 years.
Contractors and builders should be very explicit and careful with warranty language in the contract so as to ensure clean and efficient warranty dispute resolution without the need for costly arbitration or litigation.
Colorado law also recognizes an implied warranty when a contractor builds any component of a residential structure or building. As the name suggests, the law assumes that every contract implies a guarantee that the construction will be done in a workmanlike manner and the property will be suitable for intended use or habitation. This warranty is not necessarily written in a contract. Claimants do not need to determine negligence in order to prove a breach of implied warranty. However proving that the construction is defective or does not comply with building codes will help an implied warranty claim.
Remedies for Breach of Warranty
Monetary damages awarded in breach of warranty claims are generally determined based on the difference in value of the actual construction and its potential value if performed properly. Claimants may also be able to recover damages for the costs of necessary repairs or replacements.
How Long Do I Have to File a Breach of Warranty Claim?
In general, breach of warranty claims in Colorado fall under a three-year statute of limitations (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-101). However, since certain construction claims are limited to a two-year statute, you will want to speak with a knowledgeable construction attorney about your claim as soon as possible.
Contact Volpe Law for a Free Consultation
Whether you're an owner looking to bring an action for breach of warranty or a contractor facing such a claim, the experienced construction law team at Volpe Law, LLC, can help.
The information contained on this website is provided for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be construed as providing legal advice on any subject matter. Laws frequently change and therefore this content is not necessarily up to date, nor comprehensive. Contact us or another attorney with any legal questions specific to your matter. You may request a consultation by completing our consultation request form.