TOP TEN MOST COMMONLY LITIGATED HOUSE DEFECTS
Number Two (2). Foundation Damage - a close second and always a consistent house defect in litigation because it is very costly but so far, I have never seen foundation damage so bad the house had to be destroyed. Closing in on termite damage, foundation damage is number two on the top ten most litigated house defects AND foundation damage comes in many forms.
Foundation damage is caused when the soils below a concrete slab begin to give way underneath or they begin to push up on a portion of a slab. When this happens, the slab can crack and break. Or, it can have a bubble in it or raise up on one side and push down on the other or any number of other foundation defects.
Litigation of foundation damage is usually brought against builders within a few years of the original construction. When a foundation fails, it is either the result of bad engineering or poor execution by the cement contractor or both.
A foundation can be engineered for any soil condition including heavy clays. However, it takes an excellent plan to make it work. That is the engineering.
In the Austin area, one homebuilder recognized that the clay soils were too volatile and that builder removed the clay all the way down to a bedrock 13 feet below. That was costly to the builder. But it was the right thing to do. The other homebuilder, Ryland Homes, chose not to remove the clay and most of their homes in that area were affected with heavy shifts, foundation heaving and lots of interior cosmetic damage.
When a foundation fails, somebody did something wrong. But builders will still
try and avoid responsibility and that is why foundation cases are number two on the Top Ten Most Commonly Litigated House Defects.