When someone pays for new home construction in South Carolina, they will understandably be quite meticulous about getting exactly what they want. However, even veteran construction firms and industrial companies can tell you that building a home or similar property is never as easy as it looks on a blueprint. There will always be problems and surprises during construction projects that can go unnoticed, leading to a construction defect on the property by the time it is finished.
The meticulous homebuyer who put feasibly hundreds of thousands of dollars into the project may be furious to find a construction defect. Indeed, they might react by trying to sue the construction company for professional negligence, demanding huge amounts of compensation, if not the total value of the home. Yet this reaction is too hasty and overlooks a South Carolinian builder’s automatic right to cure construction defects.
What is the Automatic Right to Cure?
In simple terms, a "right to cure" means that contractors are given an opportunity to fix any construction errors within a specified number of days after receiving official notification of defect before a property owner can file suit.
In South Carolina, the law recognizes the trickiness inherent in home construction and provides builders an automatic right to cure or fix construction defects found by homeowners. Under The South Carolina Notice and Opportunity to Cure Construction Dwelling Defects Act, S.C. Code Ann. §40-59-810-860, homeowners have 90 days to notify the construction company in writing of any defects found on their property that appear to have originated during construction or work. The construction company then has 30 days to offer a financial settlement or to repair the defect themselves, free-of-cost. Many construction companies will offer both and allow the homeowner to decide how they want to move forward.
In either situation, the builder or construction company must also be permitted to inspect the property using its own employees or contractors. They have the right to look for the supposed construction defect and evaluate its source and extent. If the construction company denied responsibility for the defect, or does not provide any offer in response within 30 days of first notification of the defect, the homeowner can then and only then try to sue them for damages.
Construction Defect Statute of Limitations
The automatic right to cure is not the only legal tool available to construction companies to defend themselves from lawsuits brought forth for construction defects. South Carolina has an eight-year statute of limitations for bringing forth construction litigation against a building company for a defect; the statute is extended to 10 years if the homeowner wants to sue the actual architect or engineer who designed their home and had the defect in their schematics. When the statute of limitations expires, any claim brought to court will be thrown out.
Is your construction company being accused of construction defects and negligence? Contact Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC and let us represent you and protect your rights! We can reinforce your automatic right to cure actual defects as well as act as your legal advocate if the case needs to be taken to court. Do not let a homeowner walk all over your company with falsified or exaggerated claims of construction defects. Call (843) 968-0886 and talk to our Charleston construction litigation attorneys right away.