Resolving Problems with a New Home

The typical house contains more than 3,000 different parts. These components must be assembled with skill to form the new product you will call home. It would be unrealistic to expect your new home to be perfect. Even the best built homes are likely to need a few adjustments. Most problems are routinely corrected by the builder. However, if a non-routine problem should arise, you should follow certain procedures to correct the situation.

  1. First, identify the exact nature of the problem. Then you should put it into writing and send it to the builder. Many builders require all complaints to be in writing and will respond to telephone complaints only in emergencies. Use the following guidelines when you write your letter:
    • Include your name, address, and home and work telephone numbers.
    • Type your letter if possible. If not, use printing or handwriting that is easy to read.
    • Keep your letter brief and to the point, but include all relevant details.
    • State exactly what you want done and how soon you expect the problem to be resolved. Be reasonable.
    • Include all relevant documents regarding the problem. Send copies, not originals.
    • Keep a copy of the letter for your files.
  2. Before you write and send your letter, familiarize yourself with your warranty coverage. Follow the procedure for making claims as stated in the written warranty. Some builders handle the warranty repairs themselves. Other builders may have contracted with a home warranty company to handle all warranty claims. If a problem develops after the warranty has expired, the builder is not required to correct them. Some items, such as appliances, are usually covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, and are not the responsibility of the builder.
  3. Always go directly to the builder, the home warranty company, or the manufacturer, as applicable, with your complaints. Do not send letters to lawyers, government agencies, home builders’ associations or any other third parties before you have given your builder a reasonable chance to correct the problem. Interference from outsiders may impede the handling of your complaint. Also, sending angry, sarcastic or threatening letters is not likely to expedite your case. Such letters usually do more harm than good.
  4. You should be aware that some states have enacted notice and opportunity to repair laws that require you to follow certain statutory procedures before you can take legal action. Typically these laws require you to provide the builder with written notice of the problem, an opportunity to inspect, and an opportunity to correct the problem within a certain period of time. These laws have been passed in an effort to efficiently resolve homeowners’ problems and to avoid unnecessary lawsuits. Remember, lawsuits are expensive, time consuming, and in many cases traumatic. They should be avoided, if possible.
  5. In the event of an impasse, contact your local home builders’ association. If your builder is a member, the local association may have a system for examining and resolving construction complaints without going to court. The builders’ association may be able to bring both sides together to reach an agreement. However, keep in mind that a builders’ association does not have the legal authority to compel either side in a dispute to do anything.

Remember that most builders are seeking customer referrals and repeat buyers. They want you to be satisfied. If a problem develops, remain calm and approach your builder in a reasonable manner. By following the procedures described above, chances are that you will be able to resolve the problems.

If you, or someone you know is considering Buying or Selling a Home in Columbus, Ohio please contact The Opland Group. We offer professional real estate advice and look forward to helping you achieve your real estate goals!

The Opland Group Specializes in Real Estate Sales, New Home Sales, Luxury Home Sales, Short Sales in; Bexley Columbus Delaware Downtown Dublin Gahanna Grandview Heights Granville Grove City Groveport Hilliard Lewis Center New Albany Pickerington Polaris Powell Upper Arlington Westerville Worthington