Legal Question in Construction Law in Tennessee

Home foundation problems.

I recently purchased a used home in August, 2008. The home was built in 2004. When I purchased the home I failed to notice any drainage problems. I did have a home inspector evaluate the house and he did notice some water pooling underneath the crawl space. The home owners at that time installed a sub-pump at that location. Thinking this would fix the problem. Now I have water pooling up around my foundation due to the site grading. I am an engineer and I looked up the building code. At the time the house was built the counties building code followed the International Residential Code (IRC). In the ''Foundation'' section, it states that the lot should slope away from the home with a minimum 2% grade extended to 10 feet around the home. The current grade slopes directly toward my home. My question is, if the builder did not meet IRC code, are they responsible for re-grading the lot? Now my home has shifted and I have cracks in the walls/door misalignment. Thank you in advance for your help.

Asked on 3/22/09, 11:42 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Holland McKinnie T. Holland McKinnie, PC

Re: Home foundation problems.

Your main relief might not be against the builder, but as to the seller and possibly the real estate agents involved. There may be some potential issues also with regard to the home inspection. You should have the home inspection report and most importantly, the property condition disclosure form you should have received at closing, reviewed by a competent real estate litigation attorney as soon as possible. I've seen many cases with this type of drainage issues result in septic system issues (if the home has a septic system rather than public sewer), as well as the potential for mold or moisture issues. You should also check with local codes administration and building permitting to the extent that would apply in the jurisdiction where your home is located to see if there are any permitting, codes, drainage, or septic issues of record. Any such issues should also be discussed as soon as possible with a competent real estate litigation attorney. If you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks, Holland McKinnie

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Answered on 3/22/09, 12:01 pm

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