Question: We purchased a new home last year in Flagstaff from a homebuilder. We were given a one-year written warranty from the homebuilder. Shortly after moving into our new home we noticed a large crack in the living room. The homebuilder spackled over the crack. Then three months later the same crack reappeared, and again the homebuilder spackled over the crack. Once again, the crack has reappeared along with another crack on the opposite side of the room. The homebuilder says that he has no liability to us because the home is no longer under the one-year written warranty. I am concerned the reoccuring cracks may mean that have a structural problem in our home. Is there anything we do?
Answer: First, the Registrar of Contractors can require a homebuilder to repair any construction defects discovered in the first two years after the purchase of the home. Second, if you are not satisfied after working with the Registrar of Contractors, I would recommend that you hire an engineer or other construction expert to determine the reason for this cracking in your living room. Third, all homebuilders by Arizona law impliedly warrant the proper construction of the home. Generally, a lawsuit for a breach of this implied warranty may be brought within eight years after substantial completion of the home. Therefore, if your expert determines that the cracking is caused by a structural problem due to faulty construction, the homebuilder should have liability now to you for the cost to remediate the structural problem.
Note: A homebuilder is not required by any law to furnish any written warranty, and can therefore limit any written warranty to a certain time period.