Understanding CDARA's Notice and Disclosure Requirements by a Denver Construction Defect Lawyer

W. Neal Hollington
W. Neal Hollington

Apr 06, 2024

3 minute read

Construction Defects

In the picturesque landscape of Colorado, where new homes and developments are continually springing up, construction defects can sometimes mar the dream of homeownership. Fortunately, Colorado has enacted laws to protect homeowners and address these issues. One crucial aspect of this legal framework is the Construction Defect Action Reform Act (CDARA), which outlines the notice and disclosure requirements for construction defects. In this comprehensive guide, W. Neal Hollington, Hollington Law Firm's construction defect lawyer, will delve into CDARA's Notice of Claims process, shedding light on its intricacies and empowering homeowners and HOAs to navigate construction defect disputes effectively.

Understanding CDARA's Notice of Claims Process

CDARA establishes a structured approach for addressing construction defects through the Notice of Claims process. This process serves as a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit and aims to facilitate communication, evaluation, and potential resolution of construction defect disputes.

C.R.S. 13-20-803.5 (statute as of April 2023), provides for the following provisions in Colorado construction defect claims:

(1) No later than seventy-five days before filing an action against a construction professional, or no later than ninety days before filing the action in the case of a commercial property, a claimant shall send or deliver a written notice of claim to the construction professional by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal service.

(2) Following the mailing or delivery of the notice of claim, at the written request of the construction professional, the claimant shall provide the construction professional and its contractors or other agents reasonable access to the claimant’s property during normal working hours to inspect the property and the claimed defect. The inspection shall be completed within thirty days of service of the notice of claim.

(3) Within thirty days following the completion of the inspection process conducted pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, or within forty-five days following the completion of the inspection process in the case of a commercial property, a construction professional may send or deliver to the claimant, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or personal service, an offer to settle the claim by payment of a sum certain or by agreeing to remedy the claimed defect described in the notice of claim. A written offer to remedy the construction defect shall include a report of the scope of the inspection, the findings and results of the inspection, a description of the additional construction work necessary to remedy the defect described in the notice of claim and all damage to the improvement to real property caused by the defect, and a timetable for the completion of the remedial construction work.

(4) Unless a claimant accepts an offer made pursuant to subsection (3) of this section in writing within fifteen days of the delivery of the offer, the offer shall be deemed to have been rejected.

(5) A claimant who accepts a construction professional’s offer to remedy or settle by payment of a sum certain a construction defect claim shall do so by sending the construction professional a written notice of acceptance no later than fifteen days after receipt of the offer. If an offer to settle is accepted, then the monetary settlement shall be paid in accordance with the offer. If an offer to remedy is accepted by the claimant, the remedial construction work shall be completed in accordance with the timetable set forth in the offer unless the delay is caused by events beyond the reasonable control of the construction professional.

(6) If no offer is made by the construction professional or if the claimant rejects an offer, the claimant may bring an action against the construction professional for the construction defect claim described in the notice of claim, unless the parties have contractually agreed to a mediation procedure, in which case the mediation procedure shall be satisfied prior to bringing an action.

(7) If an offer by a construction professional is made and accepted, and if thereafter the construction professional does not comply with its offer to remedy or settle a claim for a construction defect, the claimant may file an action against the construction professional for claims arising out of the defect or damage described in the notice of claim without further notice.

(8) After the sending of a notice of claim, a claimant and a construction professional may, by written mutual agreement, alter the procedure for the notice of claim process described in this section.

(9) Any action commenced by a claimant who fails to comply with the requirements of this section shall be stayed, which stay shall remain in effect until the claimant has complied with the requirements of this section.

(10) A claimant may amend a notice of claim to include construction defects discovered after the service of the original notice of claim. However, the claimant must otherwise comply with the requirements of this section for the additional claims.

(11) For purposes of this section, actual receipt by any means of a written notice, offer, or response prepared pursuant to this section within the time prescribed for delivery or service of the notice, offer, or response shall be deemed to be sufficient delivery or service.

(12) Except as provided in section 13-20-806, a claimant shall not recover more than actual damages in an action.

Let's break down the key components:

  1. Written Notice: Homeowners or HOAs must provide written notice of the claimed construction defects to the responsible parties, typically including developers, contractors, and other construction professionals involved. This is commonly referred to as the "Notice of Claim" and must be served at least 75 days prior to initiating a lawsuit. The notice should describe the defects in reasonable detail, specifying the nature and extent of the issues, and articulate any resulting damages or losses. Providing a comprehensive and detailed notice is essential, as it sets the foundation for subsequent actions and facilitates a clear understanding of the alleged defects. A Colorado construction defect lawyer can assist you with drafting a legally compliant notice of claim.

  2. Response Period: Within 30 days of receiving the Notice of Claim, the responsible parties are entitled to inspect the property. During this response period, the responsible parties may conduct inspections, assessments, and evaluations to understand the nature and scope of the alleged defects. Timely and thorough responses from both parties are critical to maintaining the integrity of the process and fostering constructive dialogue.

  3. Offer by Responsible Parties: Within 30 days of completing their inspection(s), the responsible party may make a written offer to the property owner to (1) repair the alleged defects or (2) offer to settle the claim for a monetary payment. If the responsible parties choose to exercise this option, they must provide a written response indicating their intent to repair the defects and propose a reasonable schedule for completing the repairs. The opportunity to repair underscores the importance of remedying construction defects promptly and mitigating further damages or disputes.

  4. Resolution or Dispute: Following the exchange of notices and responses, homeowners or HOAs, along with the responsible parties and their construction defect lawyer, may explore avenues for resolving the dispute. This may involve negotiation, mediation, or other forms of alternative dispute resolution, with the goal of reaching a mutually agreeable resolution. In cases where a resolution cannot be reached, homeowners or HOAs retain the option to pursue litigation, provided they have complied with CDARA's notice and disclosure requirements.

Compliance with CDARA

It it critical for both property owners , responsible parties, and their construction defect attorney to adhere to CDARA's notice and disclosure requirements. Failure to comply with these requirements may have ramifications for subsequent legal proceedings, potentially impacting the outcome of construction defect disputes. For instance, C.R.S. § 13-20-803.5(9) requires that any action initiated without following CDARA's notice requirements must be stayed under those requirements are met. Further, at least one Colorado District Court has found that a homeowner's failure to comply with CDARA's notice requirements and making repairs without giving the construction professional the opportunity to inspect the property may preclude them from presenting evidence of those alleged defects. By following the prescribed procedures outlined in CDARA, parties can uphold transparency, fairness, and accountability throughout the resolution process.


Navigating construction defect claims in Colorado requires a thorough understanding of CDARA's Notice of Claims process and its accompanying requirements. By adhering to these procedures, homeowners, HOAs, developers, and construction professionals can engage in constructive dialogue, evaluate claims effectively, and pursue resolutions that uphold the integrity of the construction industry and protect the rights of all parties involved. For expert guidance and representation in construction defect matters, consult with a seasoned housing and construction defects lawyer who can provide invaluable insights and advocate for your interests every step of the way.

Hollington Law Firm is a construction defect law firm that is dedicated to assisting clients in navigating the complexities of construction defect litigation in Colorado. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our experienced construction defects lawyers.

The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information provided on this website without seeking legal advice from an attorney.

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