Homebuilder Has to Fix a Defective Roof for Eight Years

Question: Four years ago we bought a new home in Fountain Hills. At the close of escrow we received a two-year written warranty from our homebuilder. After a rainy night last week, some of the roof materials were blown away, exposing the rotted undercoating. When we contacted our homebuilder’s sales agent about fixing our roof she said that any roof repairs now are not covered by our two-year written warranty. Is our homebuilder required to make these roof repairs?

Answer: Most homebuilders give only a one or two-year written warranty for construction defects, just like a one or two-year written warranty for automobile tires or an automobile battery. Unlike warranties for automobile tires and automobile batteries, however, an Arizona homebuilder also has an eight-year implied warranty of proper construction. A.R.S. § 12-552. In other words, inasmuch as your roof repairs could be due to a construction defect, your homebuilder has an obligation to inspect your roof and, if there is a construction defect, to fix your roof.

Note: Under English common law since the 1600’s, the builder of a cottage or a castle was required in perpetuity to repair any defects in the construction of the cottage or castle. The Arizona Court of Appeals followed English common law, and required a homebuilder to repair defective stucco on a home twelve years after construction. 169 Ariz. 110. The Arizona legislature then limited the homebuilder’s implied warranty to repair construction defects to eight years. A.R.S. § 12-552.

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