An Overview of Construction Contract Warranties
Warranties are ubiquitous in all contracts. In short, warranties are promises or assurances regarding the deliverables of the contract. Warranties can come in the form of clear and precise words of assurances listed in the contract terms. These are called express contract term—they are expressly written into the body of the contract. Alternatively, implied warranties are implicit due to the surrounding circumstances or by law.
There are a few major express warranties found in construction contracts. The primary one is that the work performed on the building or structure—will conform to the requirements of the contract documents. Specific to construction contracts, the party making the warranty is making an assurance that specifications (or the agreed upon technicalities) of the project. Another warranty is that the service will be performed in a workmanlike manner. Here, the builder or contractor is speaking to his skills and expertise in delivering a finished building, etc. that operates as we as any standard one of the sort.
Generally speaking, an implied warranty is a guarantee that is not written implicitly in the construction contract. However, it can take effect by law or by the circumstances. In the construction contract context, an implied warranty can arise from words that were exchanged after the contract was signed, it can arise from an unsuspecting defect that was then resolved by the contractor, or it can arise by law. For example, certain states have a law that homes will be built to a standard of habitability. Although this guarantee is not written into a contract, the courts will read it in should litigation arise.
There are a number of ways to make a claim for breach of a warranty that arose out of a contract. The simplest course of action is to file a complaint for breach of contract. However, other parties prefer out of court dispute resolution procedures such as arbitration and mediation. No matter the avenue of redress, it is advantageous to consult a knowledgeable attorney to guide you in the right direction.
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Fort Lauderdale construction lawyer Brendan Sweeney possesses years of experience drafting, reviewing and advising on construction contracts. Issues of implied and express warranties should not create legal pitfalls. Contact us now for a consultation.