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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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My husband and I have built a new addition

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My husband and I have built a new addition on to my son's home. The night before we were to move in (6/10) I received a call from my son stating that they had found mold in the part of my stucture that attaches to his home. Apparently, when my contractor went to drill through his basement wall to install my dryer vent, he discoverd staurated lumber. At that time, he called my son, Bill, to look over the situation. They called Bill's builder, Richard Yingst. He called in a friend who has a business which does fire and water restoration. He then contacted and engineer. Upon doing a mold test in a petri dish, it was discovered that the mold in my family room was "640". According to the engineer, between 15 & 50 is acceptable, so we were way off the grid. Since we sold our home and had no place to live..........can we expect and damages from the original builder for our inconvenience? My husband is 80, and in poor health. He needs constant care. I am his caregiver. The whole situation is working on my nerves. We are staying with my step-daughter, who is bi-polar!!! We have no idea when we can move into our new residence. What alternative do I have?????? Thank You, XXXXX XXXXX
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What kind of information do you need? I will be happy to supply it.
Sometimes, finding the right Expert can take a little longer than expected and we thank you greatly for your understanding. We’ll be in touch again shortly.

From my understanding of your statement of facts, the mold was discovered in the basement wall when your current contractor was drilling into it to install a dryer vent in the new addition. You want to know if you have any legal recourse against the original builder.

There are several issues here. The first is how long ago the original builder built the house. Assuming that the original builder used wet lumber, or otherwise was negligent in the construction, you potentially have a claim against the original builder for breach of warranty and negligence. However, the statute of limitations on these type of actions are generally between 2-4 years. You might have a case where the statute of limitations does not start to run because you could not "discover" the damages of the negligent act until you took the wall apart. So, you potentially do have a claim.

The second issue is that you have not really established the cause of the saturated lumber. The fact that it is in a basement wall means that there could be a number of reasons that caused a leak, which might not be related to construction flaws. Having established the damages, you need to find someone to come in and make an initial determination as to the cause of the wet lumber. If they determine that it is related to a construction flaw by the original builder, then you should contact an attorney to present your claim.

Please let me know if you need further clarification.

Best Regards,
Zachary D. Norris
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

You answer was somewhat helpful. The original structure is 3 years old. The engineers came to the conclusion that all of the mountain stone and drivet will have to be removed from the house, to let it dry out. When they cut into the drivet to check for moisture all of the sites were wet, some even squirted back at them when they inserted the probe.

My question has to do with the addition I added to this specific property. Even though I used a different contractor, do I have any claim for my inconvenience caused by this faulty installation of the drivet? We were supposed to move in on 5/10, and at this time still have no place to reside!!

My contractor is the one who found the mold problem, but he has nothing to do with the original construction. The contractor who faultily installed the drivet has gone out of business, so the damages fall back on the original builder who hired him.

In the meantime, my husband, age 80 is not doing well with our temporary situation and I am run ragged taking care of him.

What should I do? Who should I call?


I see your question now. Thank you for clarification. From what I understand, you are asking whether you can make a claim against the original contractor for the inconvenience of having to wait to move into the addition while the wall dries out. Your engineers identified the cause of the water penetration as the faulty install of the drivet and stone siding by the original contractor.

Your question is well put as you seem to understand that there is no contractual connection between you and the original contractor. The original general contractor is liable for the negligent work of its subcontractors, as the general contractor is the party that is in "privity" of contract with the property owner. Thus, all the warranties regarding construction are owed to the land owner. In this case, since you are not the actual landowner, any claim concerning the faulty construction would belong to your son.

Accordingly, I'm sad to report, it does not appear that you have a claim for delay damages caused by the prior faulty construction which you discovered while constructing an addition to your son's property.

Please feel free to ask further questions on this this subject.

Best Regards,
Zachary D. Norris
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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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