What action can be taken against a builder for a faulty foundation?

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What action can be taken against a builder for a faulty foundation?

I purchased a house 5 months ago. The house was newly built and I now have large cracks in the walls in my basement and upstairs. There are several doors that don’t close siding that is bowing and a widening gap between the concrete on my driveway and the concrete in my garage. Someone stopped by my house and said he used to work for the builder and he knew that my house was built on a foundation with wall that were 2 inches less than the required width. He said that the city inspector knew about this and told the builder he would let it pass this time.

Asked on November 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Nebraska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with a lawyer with experience in construction cases. Faulty construction, whether done negligently (i.e. carelessly) or intentionally (e.g. deliberately, to save costs) can give rise to a cause of action and right to sue for compensation. Violation of building codes is powerful evidence of this, but a violation can be found even if the builder met code or the construction was passed by an inspector. Given how much is at stake--the cost of repairing foundation and structural defects is enormous--it is well worth you time to consult  with a lawyer in detail about the situation and explore a lawsuit. You may also be able to sue the inspector and/or municipality, if you can show that he acted improperly in some way (not just that he was wrong in his decision, but that he never bothered inspecting it, did only a cursory inspection, did a favor for a friend, took a bribe, etc.).


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