Builder not playing by warranty rules

Despite expiration, defect responsibility remains

DEAR BARRY: My home is about three years old. When the builder’s one-year warranty was still in effect, I notified him that water drained into the garage during rainy weather. He tried repeatedly to fix the problem, but with no success. Now that the warranty is expired, he has hinted that there’s nothing more he can do, that I’m on my own with this problem. What rights do I have if he is unwilling to solve the problem? And how will this affect my ability to sell the home to someone else? –Van

DEAR VAN: With a one-year warranty, what matters is that you notified the builder during the first year. It does not matter that the year has now expired because you gave timely notice. The builder cannot walk away from the problem simply because he has been unable to determine the cause or the solution. It was his responsibility to provide proper drainage when the home was built. Instead of trying to patch the problem on a trial-and-error basis, he should hire a drainage specialist, and you could suggest that he do so.