Gravely is a Tier One law firm representing Texas property owners, executives, and boards in charge of residential, commercial, industrial, and government buildings in construction defect disputes.
Our attorneys are solely focused on helping owners recover compensation from negligent general contractors, architects, and other professionals involved in shoddy construction work.
With decades of experience handling construction defect cases, Gravely attorneys have refined a proprietary resolution process that helps clients achieve the best possible outcome quickly and easily, whether by negotiation or litigation.
We meticulously prepare your case, starting with an extensive investigation of your building. From there, we develop the strongest possible argument and aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf—allowing you to focus on your day-to-day responsibilities, instead of wasting time arguing with a general contractor.
Dealing with inflated bills and repair costs?
Gravely attorneys can help you.
Our Texas construction defect lawyers focus on helping schools, hospitals, condo boards, retirement communities, and other property owners recover money lost due to poor construction, and we work on a contingency fee basis.
Are you facing leaks, water damage, exorbitant energy costs, or other building problems?
Nothing in the budget to pay for repairs or pursue a negligent general contractor?
Gravely helps building owners recover for shoddy construction and our clients never pay anything unless we win as we work on a contingency fee basis.
Under TX construction law, most building owners can file a claim against contractors, engineers, architects, or other construction professionals up to 10 years after construction is completed. If you’ve been saddled with expensive repairs and maintenance costs due to defective materials, poor workmanship, or flawed design - even if your building was built several years ago - our lawyers can help you on a contingency basis.
Construction problems we commonly see include:
- Roofing Systems: No matter what type of roofing system you choose, if it’s not installed properly, it will lead to serious, building-wide issues. An improperly installed roof can cause water and air leakage that leads to higher energy costs and an uncomfortable environment for occupants. It may even cause extensive property damage, e.g. a destroyed computer system from a leaky roof.
- Window Systems: It’s not uncommon to find windows that are installed backwards, upside down, or without flashing to prevent air and water leakage! This is more than just an aesthetic issue - windows add beauty and light to a space, but they’re also a crucial part of the “building envelope,” the barrier between indoors and outdoors. Like roofing systems, window systems must be expertly installed to prevent leaks and keep heating and cooling costs in check.
- Wall Systems: Walls are carefully engineered systems that support a building and allow it to “breathe.” When general contractors fail to install walls properly, a variety of problems may arise, depending on wall material:
- Incorrect concrete block, brick, and stone installation can lead to uneven walls, delamination (when bricks separate and fall off in layers), or efflorescence (the white, chalky substance that’s a telltale sign of moisture behind the wall). These problems can decrease the life of your building and lead to widespread building issues.
- Both traditional stucco and exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS) stucco are designed to carry water away from the building, and they come with specific installation instructions from manufacturers. When GCs don’t follow these instructions, stucco walls can trap water in the wall cavity, causing rot and decay of building materials.
- Grading & Drainage: When engineers fail to properly sample and test soil at a site prior to construction, it can lead to large foundation cracks that allow unwanted moisture into the building. More commonly, however, site testing and design is done properly - it’s just that the general contractor does not follow the engineer’s plan. When the land is not graded, sifted, or leveled appropriately, it allows water to drain toward the building rather than away from it. Water often pools in parking lots and at the backs of buildings, where expensive damage can go unnoticed for years.
- HVAC and Other Systems: Many HVAC systems are not tested and balanced correctly after installation because contractors are in a rush to move onto the next project. Without balancing, an HVAC system will never work properly. Design flaws and gaps in the duct work can also prevent the system from functioning the way it’s supposed to, causing increasing energy costs. GCs also have a responsibility to teach clients how to use HVAC systems after installation. Even if the system was properly balanced, if you were never trained by the GC on how to use it, your system will never operate at its peak.
In our years of experience representing building owners, we’ve rarely seen general contractors own up to these mistakes and agree to fix them.
Instead, GCs (General Contractors) avoid responsibility by wrongfully denying claims, performing biased “investigations,” and stringing owners along in the hope they’ll eventually give up. The best defense you have against these tactics is an experienced construction defects lawyer who is one step ahead of an underhanded GC.
Our firm frequently represents owners and administrators of public-sector properties:
- Texas Independent School Districts: Too often, Texas ISDs get hit with outrageous energy costs. General contractors frequently unload old or refurbished HVAC equipment onto schools, taking advantage of their limited budgets and expertise. Other times, GCs or subcontractors install roofs incorrectly, causing air and water leaks and reducing the life of the building. Superintendents and school boards may be able to recover damages from general contractors for this poor workmanship, as well as recover the higher bills it created.
- Charter Schools: With the recent boom in Texas charter schools, the demand for new school buildings has gone through the roof. That means already-busy GCs are incentivized to cut corners to build these schools quicker and cheaper. Charter schools are particularly vulnerable to shoddy construction work, which can manifest as leaking roofs and windows, water damage, and improperly functioning HVAC systems. Charter schools must act quickly to pursue legal claims against GCs within the legal time limit.
- Universities: Unfortunately, many universities make the mistake of hiring an inexperienced construction defects lawyer or waiting too long to file a lawsuit against a negligent general contractor. Although public universities have a 10-year window to file a claim, in some cases private universities may only have four years. If your students and faculty are suffering from the effects of water and air leaks, moisture buildup, or failing buildings—not to mention increased energy costs—you must take action sooner than later.
- Municipal Buildings
- County Jails: County jails must be built to specific construction standards, but some general contractors cut corners to save time and money. Failing smoke evacuation systems are the number one problem caused by negligent GCs at county jails, followed by problems with air conditioning, roofs, windows, and grading and drainage systems. If your facility is being forced to spend precious time and money dealing with these issues, Gravely can help you find a solution.
- Other State and County Projects: State and county buildings, like courthouses and offices, are also susceptible to problems caused by contractor negligence, chief among them faulty air conditioning systems. Windows that leak air and water, as well as land grading and drainage issues, also contribute to higher bills and increased maintenance expenses - costs that states and counties don’t have the budget for.
- Transit Authorities
- Public Hospitals: With already tight budgets, public hospitals can’t afford to pay any more than necessary for building maintenance. Leaks in complex HVAC systems can cause heating and cooling costs to skyrocket, and improperly installed walls, windows, and roofs only exacerbate this problem. Public hospitals have 10 years to file a claim against a negligent contractor, but the sooner a lawsuit is filed, the sooner the hospital can recover damages.
- Other Government Facilities: Municipal, county, and state governments have a duty to spend taxpayer money wisely. That’s impossible to achieve when a government is hemorrhaging money to pay for exorbitant energy costs, water damage, falling bricks, or other building issues. The good news is that general contractors can be held accountable not only for shoddy workmanship, but for all the unnecessary costs that shoddy workmanship creates including the outrageously high utility bills - retroactively.
We also have experience representing private sector property owners, including:
- Retirement Communities: HVAC system imbalances and leaks are common at retirement communities, adding unnecessary heating and cooling costs to already tight budgets. Water damage and unwanted moisture are also common due to improperly sealed and flashed balconies and windows. And more so than other construction projects, retirement communities are frequently overcharged by GCs with Guaranteed Maximum Price Contracts.
- HOAs (Home Owners’ Associations): Incorrectly designed and installed windows, roofs, HVAC systems, and drainage systems all plague newly built planned communities, causing inflated heating and cooling bills, water damage, and shortened building lives. If you’re a member of an HOA and your community is dealing with these issues, a construction defect lawyer can help you review your by-laws and put a stop to unnecessary maintenance and emergency costs.
- Condominium Boards: New condo construction has skyrocketed in the last decade as the Texas population has grown. The push to build more condos faster and cheaper means that statistically, some buildings simply aren’t designed and built properly. This can manifest as drafty windows, leaking roofs, pooling water, and wonky cooling and heating systems, all of which put a financial burden on condo boards and residents. Boards can pursue action against negligent contractors, but they must carefully review condo by-laws and also ensure they’re within the TX statute of limitations.
- Hospitals and Medical Buildings: Healthcare related buildings serve a special and important purpose - to support the professionals healing the sick. Unfortunately they aren't exempt from the problems and challenges faced by any building owners caused by negligent general contractors. Due to their medical purpose, it is all the more important to take quick action to effect structural, site, or systems repairs and be compensated for losses caused by those defects. Our construction experts and reputation enable Gravely to find a confidential and prompt resolution with the GCs that are otherwise "too busy" to properly address claims from individual building owners.
- Apartments: Few Texas contractors are experienced in building apartments, which means it’s shockingly common for residential buildings to have windows that are poorly flashed and installed; balconies that allow water to pool near door thresholds; roofs that leak air and water; and poorly graded land that drains water toward the building. All of these problems contribute to higher energy and maintenance costs.
- Mid and High-Rise Condos and Offices: Defective roofs, faulty windows, cracking walls, and failing balconies and parking garages are common at mid- and high-rise buildings, whether residential or used for office space. Many of these problems lead to water leakage and pooling, contributing to deterioration and a shortened building life. You may be able to recover the costs you’ve sunk into dealing with these issues by taking legal action.
Building owners who reach out to us receive a no-cost review of their construction contract to determine their rights and remedies. Our experts perform a 50-point investigation of the building to identify the exact cause and extent of the damage. Finally, Gravely provides a detailed report outlining who the responsible parties are and the legal options available.
These and all our services are offered in advance, at our expense. Gravely lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing if we don’t win your case. Our motivation is to help owners with limited budgets resolve construction defect issues as efficiently and effectively as possible - something we’re able to achieve due to our experience and staff.
If your building was built less than 10 years ago and you’re experiencing problems with window, roofing, wall, drainage, HVAC, or another system, contact us today.
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Why Building Owners Choose Gravely Texas Lawyers
Advance Preparation – Our lawyers use a proprietary process that not only increases the chance of a quick resolution with full compensation, but ensures that we’re fully prepared to go to trial. We approach every case as if it will end in a courtroom battle, even if we’re able to settle it quickly through negotiation. We carefully gather evidence and build a strong case from the very beginning – it’s more work but in our experience this is the right way to practice construction defects law.
Construction Expertise – Leaking roofs, upside down windows, faulty HVAC systems—Gravely has seen every construction problem imaginable in every type of private and public sector building. Our lawyers and construction pros are not only knowledgeable about construction law, but the construction industry itself, including the reputations and work styles of most individual GCs. We bring our decades of deep construction experience to bear for each of our clients, and we’re so confident in our abilities that we do it all on a contingency basis.
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