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What is the construction law for home improvement warranties?

In Minnesota, construction can be a tricky business for both the property owner and the contractor. Understanding how the law works when it comes to warranties for home improvement can be complex. Both the builder and the client need to be aware of the laws and, if necessary, take the right action when there is a disagreement over the project and whether it is functioning as it was intended.

The law covers home improvement warranties. If there is a sale or a contract for a contractor to provide work on a home with additions or major structural changes, there is a warranty that will provide for certain protections. In the warranty, there will be a one-year period from a specified date stating that the work will not be defective due to materials that were defective because of non-compliance with standards or because of workmanship that was faulty. In the 10 years of the date of the warranty, the improvement must be free of major construction defects because of failure to comply with building standards.

With the contractor selling the home improvement or installing heating systems, cooling systems, electrical systems or plumbing, there must be a warranty that in the two years within the date of the warranty that there will not be defects due to faulty installation or a failure to comply with applicable building standards. If there is work that is not specifically covered by these laws, the contractor must provide a warranty that in the one year of the date of the warranty, there will not be any of the defects due to materials or non-compliance.

Needless to say, there are times when customers and contractors have disagreements over the work and what falls under the above-described laws of the state when it comes to warranties for construction. A construction dispute can be complicated and difficult to hash out. Understanding the laws surrounding a construction contract is imperative for both property owners and contractors to try to come to a satisfactory resolution either in or out of court.

Source: revisor.mn.gov, "327A.02 Statutory Warranties -- Subd. 3. Home improvement warranties.," accessed on March 14, 2016

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