The South Carolina Supreme Court has just ruled that contractors (builders) are responsible for damages caused by faulty workmanship. The ruling says that the contractors' insurance companies are off the hook in these situations. This is an interesting ruling and a two edged sword. On one hand there is a broad range of builders in our area. The good builders do good work. Those that don't may now feel the heat to pay more attention to the details...a good thing for the new owners. On the other hand, builders don't typically have deep pockets. If there is a serious workmanship issue and the insurance companies are off the hook, the new owner may have little recourse when the builder can't step up financially. New legislation is being proposed to address this situation.
On another note, a good real estate agent knows the better builders in the area. Always investigate the builder's reputation before buying and, of course, have a high quality home inspection performed.
For full details read this article in the Charleston Business Journal.