If I have a newly constructed house of 11 months but the crawl space has water under the gravel, do I have a case to have the builder provide a complete solution?

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If I have a newly constructed house of 11 months but the crawl space has water under the gravel, do I have a case to have the builder provide a complete solution?

A positive drain was installed but 9 or 10 inches of water has to build up before it starts to drain. My builder put in a sump pump that was unreliable and has replaced it with a slightly bigger one that waits until 9 in of water builds up in a bucket before it pumps it out. A home inspector says this is not adequate and a company quoted me $9000 to fix the problem. The gravel under the moisture barrier is damp. I’m concerned about possible foundation issues over the long term but the builder is saying they have done what is required – the absolute minimum.

Asked on January 11, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The only real issue is whether they did in fact build to code or not. If not, then they built the home negligently or carelessly (at a minimum) and also arguably committed fraud in marketing it as ready to buy: therefore, you would have grounds to sue the building to recover the cost of the correction or fix. But if they built to code, then even if code is not adequate in this case, they fulfilled their obligations and would not be liable.


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