Durango Herald: Building lawsuits could be reformed

Durango Herald: Building lawsuits could be reformed

DENVER – Homeowners in Colorado are bracing for another attempt by the Legislature to curb construction-defects lawsuits in an effort to spur the development of affordable housing.

The hot-button issue failed during the last legislative session, but it is likely to appear again in the next session that begins Jan. 7.

The overall goal is to spur housing development by minimizing fear of lawsuits. Homebuilders say they have few plans for building attached for-sale housing in the state, suggesting that the risk of being sued is “just not worth it.”

But homeowners say they need protections from defective construction, and lawsuits are their only recourse.

Chuck and Corinne Owens, Durango homeowners, experienced the problem firsthand when their townhome suffered major problems over the course of two years.

“There were major drainage problems that also caused serious damage in freeze and thaw conditions,” Chuck Owens said. “We had rotted timbers, and the stucco on the exterior walls was done poorly and needs to be replaced.”

The retired couple said they need legal protections to find a solution.

“This has been a nightmare and taken so much of our time, but the repairs have to be made; there’s no way around it,” Owens said. “The legal protections that we have are important.”

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Jenny Davies-Schley

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