You bought your home assured that it was in good condition. After all, it passed inspection and you carefully reviewed all the disclosures by the seller. But now, months or maybe even years later, you have discovered a serious defect that might threaten the health and safety of your family. What can you do about it?

Construction defect litigation in Texas is very complicated. Before you can get started, you must know what your rights and obligations are under the law.

Construction defects defined

A construction defect is any aspect of the construction or repair of a structure that was not done in a reasonably workmanlike manner, causes the structure to be unusable in the manner reasonably expected by the owner, or both. For example, gaps in the window frames of a home can cause rain to seep into the walls, causing mold to grow and spread.

Like a mold problem, many construction defects are hidden, and cannot be uncovered for years after construction ended. By then, the house may have passed down to a new owner who had no connection with the contractor or subcontractor responsible for the defect. But if you are that homeowner, you still have the right to seek compensation for the cost of repairing the defect, which can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

Texas’ strict time limit on homeowners

However, Texas law lays down a strict statute of repose on construction defect claims. As the owner of a home affected by a defect, you have just 10 years from “the substantial completion” of the house’s construction or improvement to take legal action, no matter when you find out about the problem. Thus, once you find out about the defect to your home, your time to file a civil lawsuit could be very limited.

To preserve your right to seek compensation, you must speak to an attorney as soon as possible.