Home buyers who purchase newly constructed houses directly from a builder, as well as those who buy a home from private owners, do so with the expectation that the home’s construction is sound. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In recent years there have been a growing number of instances where homes are discovered to have stucco defects, leaving homeowners facing enormous repair bills. The Philadelphia stucco defect attorneys at Bochetto & Lentz have successfully represented both new homeowners and those who have purchased their home from private owners in stucco defect cases. If you need legal guidance or representation against a home builder, contact us today to set up a convenient time for a consultation.
Stucco can be made of either real cement or a synthetic material. In either instance, it is expected to last for a building’s lifetime, and serves the purpose of protecting against rain. Stucco is designed to shed rainwater, absorbing only small amounts that naturally evaporate. Unfortunately, when stucco is installed improperly, small cracks can develop and water can get trapped beneath the surface. This moisture eventually infiltrates the underlying structure of the home, allowing mold to grow. Moisture inspections often reveal that the home’s plywood or framing is weakened or rotten.
There are several different ways that stucco can be installed improperly. The layers of stucco material that were applied may have been too thin, making them crack easily. The stucco may not have been permitted to cure, or the points where the stucco intersected with windows may not have been properly caulked. In some cases paper backing is lapped incorrectly, or water-resistant barriers or kick-out flashings not installed properly. Whatever the cause of the stucco defect, once water is able to get behind the surface the damage that is done can be immense, and the cost to repair the damage and replace the stucco can easily climb into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Stucco defects generally represent a breach of warranty, and are the responsibility of the builder or contractor that installed it, but many builders refuse to provide repairs, claiming that a warranty has expired. When the homeowner is not the original owner they may defend themselves by stating that they never worked with them, and have no responsibility to them.
When a builder constructs a home with a defect, they can be held responsible under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, and at Bochetto & Lentz we have helped many homeowners by showing that this law is protective of both original buyers and those beyond, who rely upon the builder’s reputation and representations. As such, they may be responsible for providing the homeowner with compensation needed to pay for the repair and replacement of all damages.
Bochetto & Lentz is a highly-respected law firm that represents clients in South Jersey & Philadelphia. If you have discovered water damage or other problems caused by a stucco defect, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recover your costs or hold your home’s builder responsible for the damage that they have caused.