Housing Liability Workgroup Issues Recommendations

The 2008 Home Construction Workgroup, a task force of Washington State Legislators, met today and issued its draft recommendations for dealing with problems in residential construction.

The legislature has been struggling with problems in residential construction for several years. After multiple attempts to expand liability for architects and contractors, the legislature created a workgroup to investigate the issue in more depth.

The workgroup has issued three recommendations:

  1. Establishing a certification requirement for the five areas of greatest potential home damage (roofing, siding, framing, foundation and doors/windows), along with enhanced contractor registration.
  2. Creating an ombudsman’s office within the Attorney General’s Office to receive consumer complaints, provide consumer education, and in the future to provide an alternative dispute resolution mechanism for lower cost consumer/ contractor disputes.
  3. Requiring some residential construction warranties for homeowners with a narrow statute of limitation.

At the same time, the Department of Licensing has been conducting a sunrise review report (PDF) of how to best regulate residential construction contractors. The DOL’s report is complementary in some areas and conflicts in others with the Workgroup report. You can read the DOL’s full report on its website.

AIAWA has been actively monitoring the process and is providing comments to the workgroup.

If you have thoughts on the details please contact Stan Bowman, Executive Director, of the AIA Washington Council at bowman@aiawa.org

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