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Tennessee Construction Law Blog

Property owners should understand construction claim deadlines

The ability to bring a claim for construction defects is important for any building owners who have discovered defects on their property. Because there are also important timelines and deadlines associated with bringing a claim for construction defects, it is important to understand what those are and what the laws are in the state the property owner is seeking to bring the claim in.

Construction litigation may be brought against architects, designers, contractors and subcontractors to recover damages for a construction defect. Construction litigation can be complex and may be based on legal claims for breach of warranty, breach of contract or tort claims such as negligence. Statues of limitation determine how long the property owner has to bring a construction defects claim after discovering the defect or after they should have discovered it which is why it is essential to be familiar with what the timelines and deadlines are.

What are the damages available for construction defects?

Construction defects can lead to serious problems which is why it is important to understand legal resources, protections and the remedies that are available to help people deal with a construction defect. Different types of damages may be available through construction litigation to help homeowners and others with construction defects and homeowners may wonder what they are.

Damages that may be available always depend on the specific circumstances of the situation and can vary accordingly, however, damages are generally intended to compensate the party bringing the claim for the financial damages they have suffered. Typically, damages for the cost of repairs and the decline in the value of the home or property may be available through a construction defects claim for damages.

How you can avoid hiring a cowboy builder

The residential and commercial building market is exploding in Tennessee. For the economy this is a great thing – new residents have moved to the state bringing more jobs, business and wealth.

If you are trying to buy a home or apartment, a boom in house building can sometimes mean that the quality of work is sacrificed. If you can spot a rogue builder who is out to make a quick buck, you might be able to save some time, money and heartbreak further on.

The importance of construction contracts

When any construction or real estate project is concerned, contracts are an important part of the process. A construction contract provides important protections for the parties to the contract and for both contractors and homeowners or the owners of the project or building if the project is a commercial construction project.

In general, contracts provide duties and obligations the parties have agreed to but also provides protections for the parties if they fail to abide by their obligations. Construction contracts include details about the project and the work that will be done and how compensation will be handled related to the project. When a contract has been breached by one of the parties, the other party will have important legal remedies to consider.

What are required disclosures in real estate?

Required disclosures are in important part of the real estate process which is why both buyers and sellers should be familiar with this aspect of buying or selling a home. On one hand, sellers need to be familiar what they are required to disclose and buyers should be familiar with what the seller is required to disclose.

A lack of disclosure in the residential real estate setting can be problematic. A safe rule of thumb in

Important questions to ask about construction defects

When a property owner has encountered defects with a property they own or are considering purchasing, there are some important questions they should make sure they have answers to. Understanding construction defects and construction defects law, which can be a complicated area of the law, is important for property owners facing struggles associated with construction defects.

To begin with, construction defects can lower the value of the home or property and may be obvious or may not be immediately obvious, which is referred to as a latent defect, so it is important to know the potential defects that are out there and be on the look out for them. Construction defects can include mold and water intrusion issues; poor landscaping or soil problems; faulty drainage; cracks in the foundation, floor, walls or roof; faulty electrical systems; heating problems; dry rot; and structural failure, among others.

What problems can arise with a title?

When going through the home buying or closing process, potential home buyers likely have many questions they need answered. Questions that may arise relate to potential title issues. Knowing about potential title issues and what to anticipate can help potential home buyers navigate the process.

One type of potential title problem to be aware of is simple clerical filing errors which, though they may seem small, can have a significant impact on the rights of the homeowner. In addition, it is essential to ensure that there are no existing liens on a property the potential buyer is considering purchasing. Potential buyers should also take into account if there are any encumbrances on the property unknown to them such as restrictive covenants or unknown easements. In addition, all boundary line and survey disputes should be resolved which can come up later to haunt the homeowner.

The right language helps to prevent contract disputes

There is no one size fits all approach to construction, whether it’s a home, a retail center or an office building. Similarly, construction contracts need to vary depending on the conditions and environment. What works for one project may not fit the next, even when there are similarities in materials, purpose and location.

Construction is a business like any other, meaning that finances, investment and growth need to be central to your decision-making. While most contracts cover basics like cost, timeline and payment adequately, the language used in those sections can be a boon or a burden when issues arise. Universal, cookie-cutter contracts don’t offer much leverage or wiggle room when conditions change. Not many projects complete without a few adjustments along the way.

Options for resolving a construction dispute

Construction disputes can pop up for a number of reasons and it is always important for the parties to know how to respond and what to expect when they do. To help avoid future construction disputes, the parties can address potential concerns early on. It is important for the parties to thoroughly negotiate and understand their contract and make sure extensive planning is done beforehand; ensure pre-construction work is conducted; ensure schedules are realistic; and document changes or challenges associated with the construction project. In addition, there are other additional measures the parties can take as well to try to avoid problems down the road.

In general, construction disputes can arise because or a poor understanding of the contract; delays in violation of the contract; a failure to properly administer the contract; failure to perform the contract or complete the work or failure to complete the work in a timely fashion; if the work is not performed up to reasonable workmanlike standards; and in other circumstances as well.

What is the importance of zoning laws?

Zoning laws are important to be familiar with and to understand because they can have a dramatic impact on the use of property. You may have many questions about zoning laws and how they work. Zoning laws cover everything ranging from specific requirements as to the types of buildings allowed on a piece of property to size and height limits for the buildings; the number of rooms for the buildings on the piece of property; restrictions on additional buildings and building setbacks from streets and other boundaries; and the location of utility lines.

In its most basic sense, zoning laws regulate the use and development of real estate. Zoning laws are considered land-use regulations and, as such, have a significant impact on an owner's use and development of their property. Zoning laws generally divide property into categories to provide uniformity, with some exceptions such as mixed-use projects, in certain areas. The most basic categories include residential, commercial and industrial zones.

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