I have a post-on-pad home in a permafrost area that I bought last July brand new. There are a lot of structural issues happening with the gravel pad, and therefore the home. Every Contractor and civil/structural engineer have said it was done wrong, it is a horrible job, and the integrity of the home is at risk. I asked them if any building codes were broken and none could say a yes. I do have reports and letters stating their findings. If building codes were not broken, but the foundation is being compromized within one year of it being built, might I still have a case? thanks.Chris
State/Country relating to Question: Alaska
Talking to the builder, asking if he has any soil log info(his response was he did not want to give me anything that I could use against him in court), civil/structural engineer analysis, other contrator's analysis. The builder is avoiding talking to me at this time. My structural warranty expiers July 2012.
There is an International Construction Code that most states in the US have adopted at least some of it.
Can you tell me where you are located in Alaska and then bear with me for about a half an hour to do some digging around.
Yes, I am located in Fairbanks, AK. Thanks
I'm sorry, but I should have said I live in the Fairbanks Northstar Burough just outside the Fairbanks city boundary.
Hello again Chris --
Yes, I was correct -- it appears that Fairbanks, AK has adopted portions of the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Remodeling Code (IRC) and h here is a link where you can actually purchase all building, Electrical, etc codes that are applicable to Fairbanks AK: http://www.reedconstructiondata.com/building-codes/alaska/fairbanks/ I am certain that you can find some violations of the building code for your city in these volumes (it would take me several hours of research to point out exactly what you need and I would have to review Plans and specs at the same time and that is beyond the scope of what we do here on Just Answer). In addition to some violations of the building and remodeling Codes (which There are probably some right in the plans & specs before the house was even erected because it sounds like they didn't follow anything as far as the building codes were concerned -- and you are going to end up in a situation where the Architect or engineer will claim that it was the builder's responsibility to know the codes and implement them (leaving the architect and engineer in the position of the person who drew a pretty picture) and the builder will claim that it was the architect or engineer (or both) that were responsible for laying out the code sections on the plans and specs. Just FYI, it is the architect or engineer's responsibility to tell the builder what code sections apply to the project although the architect will deny it and try to wriggle out of it.
In addition to the code section violations that you can sue over there are any number of legal theories that you can advance under Alaska and US federal laws. You have standard breach of contract claims because they did not perform their part of the contract in a good workmanlike manner (this does not have to be expressly written into the contract -- it is implied) as well as claims under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC0 -- which AK has also adopted for Breach of the Implied Warranty of Merchantability and the Implied Warranty of Fitness for Particular Purpose. Here is a link to seminar materials on Construction Law in Alaska which sets forth these legal theories for pursuing a construction project where the building was faulty due to construction defects: http://www.uslaw.org/files/public/AK_Construction_09.pdf
This is a great pamphlet to have and you should print it off and read it before you speak to a few attorneys regarding these problems.
I suggest that you try to get an attorney involved as soon as possible -- because there are time limits to these claims -- to pursue a breach of written contract claim there is a 6 year statute of limitations and many of the tort claims have a 3 year statute of limitations. The warranty that they gave you in the contract will expire soon -- although your attorney can probably make a case that the statute of limitations stopped when you first notified the builder of the claim and the builder started playing games with you (the builder is deliberately trying to get beyond that date so you will lose the right to the claim by playing these games with you -- it is not uncommon). You can find a construction lawyer by contacting a few bar Association for cities and counties in AK and asking for a referral to a lawyer who handles such claims. They should give you several names and you can talk to them and make up your mind regarding which one to use going forward.
I hope that all of this helps.
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13 years experience in RE Law, including LL/Tenant, contractor disputes, comm'l prop. issues
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