Construction Defect Lawyer in Charleston, SC
Get Uniquely Qualified Counsel in Your Corner
At Sanders Law Firm, LLC, we represent commercial and residential property owners and contractors in all phases of construction disputes in both state and federal courts. With an engineering degree from Clemson University (1989) and a law degree from the University of South Carolina (1992), Thomas O. ("T.O.") Sanders, IV is one of the few attorneys in Charleston uniquely qualified to handle these matters and can ensure that your construction defect matter is handled with knowledge and vigilance it deserves.
Call our proven Charleston construction defect attorney at (843) 573-8828 today. We're ready to help you explore your options.
South Carolina Construction Defect Law
In South Carolina laws, builders are provided with an automatic right to cure to fix construction defects discovered by owners. The "right to cure" gives contractors an opportunity to fix any of the construction errors within a window of time before the property owner can file a suit. S.C. Code Ann. §40-59-840 homeowners have three years from the date they know or should have known of a problem to file suit before losing their right. Also, an eight-year statute of repose applies.
What to Prove in a Construction Defect Lawsuit in South Carolina
In South Carolina, to prove a claim of negligence against a builder, you will need to establish the following elements:
Duty of care: The builder owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. This duty of care arises from the builder's contractual relationship with the plaintiff or from the builder's general duty to perform their work in a reasonable and professional manner.
Breach of duty: The builder breached their duty of care by failing to act with reasonable care and skill in constructing the building or making repairs. This may involve showing that the builder failed to comply with applicable building codes, deviated from industry standards, or failed to follow the plans and specifications.
Causation: The builder's breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries or damages. This requires demonstrating a causal link between the builder's actions or omissions and the harm suffered by the plaintiff.
Damages: The plaintiff suffered actual damages as a result of the builder's negligence. This may include physical injuries, property damage, economic losses, and non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.
To prove these elements, you will need to present evidence such as building plans, inspection reports, expert testimony, medical records, and financial records. It is important to note that South Carolina applies the doctrine of comparative negligence, which means that the plaintiff's own negligence or fault may reduce the damages they can recover.
Working with an experienced attorney who specializes in construction defect litigation and negligence claims in South Carolina can be helpful in building a strong case and achieving a favorable outcome. Our legal team can help you gather evidence, navigate the legal process, and advocate for your rights and interests.
Construction Defect Disputes in Charleston, SC We Handle
- Apartment-to-Condo Conversions: Faulty workmanship and defective construction are common. Every homeowner and every unit in the entire development may be affected. In addition to defective construction, developer-related issues may include inadequate reserves at turnover, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud.
- Construction defects: Water intrusion, mold, electrical problems and heating and air problems are all signs of faulty workmanship and defective construction. We represent homeowners, commercial property owners and condominium associations in actions against developers, design professionals, suppliers, contractors and subcontractors of all trades.
- Contract disputes: We work to resolve these matters using diplomacy, mediation and arbitration to keep your project moving forward. When necessary, our litigation expertise is applied to obtain the best results in court.
- Mechanic's Liens: One who has worked on a property has 90 days from the last date worked to file and serve a lien to collect money owed. Otherwise, this right is lost. The prevailing party may be entitled to recoup attorney's fees and costs. We represent contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, and homeowners.
- Miller Act Claims: One who has not been paid for materials and/or labor supplied to a federal government project has remedies under the Miller Act.
- Professional malpractice: For and against architects, engineers, and real estate agents.
- Water intrusion & wood rot: Moisture penetration in a building structure without dissipation results in rotting wood and damaged materials as well as mold. Incorrect construction may lead to moisture intrusion in wood, vinyl or wood siding, brick, stone, or stucco.
Other construction defect claims we handle include:
- Foundation issues
- Roof leaks
- Toxic mold
- Below grade walls
- Installation failure
- Balcony/deck failure
- Soil sustenance
- Noise intrusion
How Do Construction Defects Impact the Value of a Property?
Construction defects can have a significant impact on the value of a property. Defects can range from minor cosmetic issues to major structural problems, and their effect on property value can vary accordingly.
Here's how they might impact:
- Decreased Market Value: Properties with known defects are often less desirable to potential buyers. This can lead to decreased demand, which can lower the market value of the property.
- Cost of Repairs: The financial burden of repairing construction defects can also reduce a property's value. This is particularly true for major defects that require extensive repairs. Buyers considering a property with such defects will likely factor in these repair costs when deciding what they're willing to pay.
- Structural Integrity and Functionality: Defects that affect a home's structural integrity or functionality can have a significant impact on its value. For example, a defective foundation could lead to serious structural issues throughout the home, making it less safe and less functional, and thus less valuable.
- Aesthetic Appeal: Even minor defects that affect a property's aesthetics can have an impact on its value. Buyers generally prefer homes that are move-in ready, and visible defects (like a poor paint job or shoddy finish work) can make a home less appealing.
- Impact on Neighborhood: Construction defects don't just affect individual properties; they can also impact entire neighborhoods. If multiple homes in a neighborhood have similar defects, it can decrease the overall appeal of the area, potentially lowering property values for all nearby homes.
- Legal and Insurance Implications: If the defects lead to legal disputes or increased insurance claims, this could also negatively impact the property’s value.
Did a Construction Defect Cause Water Damage?
One of the most common issues that leads to a construction defect claim is water intrusion. Water is destructive to a home because it promotes mold growth and wood rot that can necessitate costly remediation and repairs.
The most common causes of water intrusion include the following:
- Negligent roof installation
- Negligent siding installation
- Negligent window and door installation
- Negligent use of inappropriate or defective construction materials
When a contractor is responsible for water damage because of a lack of oversight or because they cut corners, they can be held accountable with legal action. Consult with a construction defect attorney in Charleston, SC to learn more about your legal options.
If you are a residential or commercial property owner or a contractor dealing with any of the above issues, Sanders Law Firm, LLC can help. Contact us for a consultation with our Charleston construction defects lawyer today!