Construction Defects

Construction Defects

Construction defects can be detrimental to your home, but they are confusing and difficult to navigate if you don't have someone to on your side to educate you about defects and what can be done about them. Much of new construction has serious problems, but many people don't realize a leaky window, moisture around windows and doors, cracks in walls, and a variety of other issues can be major construction defects. There can also be hidden [serious] problems, like mold or dry rot, with minor signs that are hard to recognize. All of these can get much worse and compromise the value and safety of your home if they are left alone.

Vial Fotheringham is the premier law firm in the west dedicated to representing, educating, and successfully litigating for homeowner and condominium associations. For over 30 years, we have helped clients recover more than $100 million in construction defect costs they are owed to create a healthy home and community. Our firm is also the ONLY in Oregon with two reported construction defect cases from the Oregon Court of Appeals to its credit.

Unlike most firms, we represent only the associations. This allows us to avoid any conflicts of interest, enabling us to provide our client associations with the best legal guidance and litigation results possible. We are also one of the leading activists in working to pass legislation that protect the rights of homeowner associations in construction defect cases.

If you do find your home and community have a defect, Vial Fotheringham's team offers many benefits, including:

  • We will physically evaluate your case for free, with an initial complimentary consult
  • We have flexible fee arrangement, and will work with an hourly or contingent option
  • We are willing to coordinate directly with your expert (architect, engineer, etc.)
  • We will not disappear when your case is over. We will still be there to answer questions, come to board meetings, and offer support once the settlement is complete. Our motto is, "Your case is not over until your building is repaired."

For frequently asked construction defect questions, construction defect tutorials, and general homeowner and condominium association tools and resources, visit the resource section of our website at

For a free consultation, email

Here is some helpful information about dealing with Construction Defects:

There are very specific warranty periods covered by state law and purchase agreements. NO TWO WARRANTIES ARE THE SAME. The sooner the homeowners association knows if it is protected by contractual warranty or state law, the better able the association is to decide how to proceed. Do not take the contractors' or developers' word for what is or is not covered under the warranty.

Water intrusion, and the mold that results, is one of the fastest growing problems in the construction industry today. Do not assume that—simply because your HOA can't see them—that there aren't water intrusion or mold problems in your planned community.

What should you do if you suspect your association building has construction flaws?

  • Get sound legal advice BEFORE beginning an investigation to ensure you are approaching the solution properly
  • Act quickly! Warranty limits can affect your homeowners association's ability to recover costs
  • Hire experts and consultants with the help of your HOA attorney to ensure protection of confidentiality
  • If your association is not self-managed, keep your property management company involved
  • DO NOT sign agreements that release contractors or sub-contractors from future liability without consulting with an HOA-experienced attorney

Our HOA attorneys have extensive experience in litigating and settling construction defect matters and hourly or contingent fee representation can be arranged.