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Construction Defect Notice in the Mailbox? Respond Appropriately

August 4, 2011 — Douglas Reiser, Builders Counsel

Recently, I have seen a rash of ignored construction defect notices. What is a construction defect notice? It’s a statutorily required notice, sent from a homeowner to a contractor, listing a number of defects found at their property. If you get one, don’t ignore it.

The Revised Code of Washington includes a number of provisions intended for residential construction disputes. Among them is the “Notice to Customer” requirement in RCW 18.27.114, which can preempt a contractor’s lien rights, and the “Notice of Construction Defects” found in RCW 64.50.020.

The Notice of Construction Defects is a standard notice mandated by RCW 64.50, a chapter in the Revised Code of Washington, intended to provide a pre-litigation resolution process for contractors and consumers. The chapter applies only to those losses “caused by a defect in the construction of a residence or in the substantial remodel of a residence.”(See “Action” RCW 64.50.010).

Unfortunately, many contractors will simply ignore these notices or tell the homeowner to make a warranty claim. But, the notice actually provides a contractor with a forty-five (45) day window to alleviate the dispute.

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Reprinted courtesy of Douglas Reiser of Reiser Legal LLC. Mr. Reiser can be contacted at

Construction Defect Notice in the Mailbox? Respond Appropriately