California Code of Civil Procedure > Code Civ. Proc. §337.1. Four Years: Injury or Death from Deficient Planning or Construction of Improvement to Real Property
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no action shall be brought to recover damages from any person performing or furnishing the design, specifications, surveying, planning, supervision or observation of construction or construction of an improvement to real property more than four years after the substantial completion of such improvement for any of the following:
(1) Any patent deficiency in the design, specifications, surveying, planning, supervision or observation of construction or construction of an improvement to, or survey of, real property;
(2) Injury to property, real or personal, arising out of any such patent deficiency; or
(3) Injury to the person or for wrongful death arising out of any such patent deficiency.
(b) If, by reason of such patent deficiency, an injury to property or the person or an injury causing wrongful death occurs during the fourth year after such substantial completion, an action in tort to recover damages for such an injury or wrongful death may be brought within one year after the date on which such injury occurred, irrespective of the date of death, but in no event may such an action be brought more than five years after the substantial completion of construction of such improvement.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed as extending the period prescribed by the laws of this state for the bringing of any action.
(d) The limitation prescribed by this section shall not be asserted by way of defense by any person in actual possession or the control, as owner, tenant or otherwise, of such an improvement at the time any deficiency in such an improvement constitutes the proximate cause of the injury or death for which it is proposed to bring an action.
(e) As used in this section, “patent deficiency” means a deficiency which is apparent by reasonable inspection.
(f) Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not apply to any owner-occupied single-unit residence.