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Construction defect laws in Washington state

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2023 | Construction Defects

There is a good possibility that any construction project will encounter complications along the way. Even if everything turns out to be OK in the end, it is certainly not uncommon to encounter delays, obstacles that you did not (or could not) anticipate, and even possibly some blemishes in the materials that are used to create the project. The project may even turn out to be better than you thought it would be in the beginning but you just don’t know until all is said and done.

If you have encountered issues with your construction project, no matter what those issues are, you must become acquainted with the construction laws in the state, in this case, Washington. It is always important, and in many cases, critical for you to understand exactly what you are dealing with so that you can act in the most effective way possible for you and for the project.

If there is a dispute, how long do I have to address it?

Construction defect claims are often complex and it may take some time to formulate your claim based on all of the details that need to be included. There may be different types of claims that come up as well, such as contract disputes, tort claims or warranty breaches. In many cases, the type of claim will determine the amount of time that a person has to file the claim. If you are dealing with some sort of material defect, for example, you probably have a certain number of years to file the claim after you discover the defect.

If you don’t file your claim within the amount of time that the statute of limitations says you have, you will no longer be allowed to file a claim (forever). However, even if your time has run out regarding filing a claim, some states have outer limits, which is also known as the statute of repose. This may give you more time. However, once that time has run out, there is nothing that you can do about it. Because the clock is ticking, it is of great benefit to carefully inspect the structure so that if some defect does exist, you have plenty of time to get your claim on the books.

In addition to the statute of limitations, some states also have “right to cure” statutes, which may apply to your situation. These statutes say that before you file a lawsuit, you have a responsibility to let the construction professional know about the defect(s) and to give them the chance to repair the defect or compensate you for the defect(s).

In Washington, the statute of limitations for construction disputes is six years for contract and three years for torts; for statute of repose, it is six years after completion or termination of services and for right to cure, that law exists but you must notify the construction professional a minimum of 45 days before filing your claim.

It is also important to remember that the laws are constantly changing as well. The philosophy behind the changing laws is to increase the protections of the project owners and/or to limit the liability of the construction professionals.

If you are going through a similar situation, the expertise of a construction attorney may help to strengthen your case. It is important for you to pay close attention to the amount of time you have to file the claim. Doing things by the book is essential and will probably serve you well in such a situation.