What is a Louisiana construction defect?

Any Louisiana construction project has a number of steps that have to be executed correctly to produce the final result. These steps include the design, planning, supervision, inspection and construction of the building. If a deficiency occurs at any stage in the implementation of any of these steps that causes any portion of the building to fail to perform in the manner that it was intended, then that would qualify as a construction defect.

Some common place construction defects that also typically incur a high cost to rectify include any compromises to the structural integrity of the building. An example would be incorrectly mixing concrete without using the proper proportions, which then leads to a much weaker end product than what is needed. Another example would be any errors that affect the electrical wiring running through the walls that would require getting into the walls to trace and fix the problem. Similarly, improper sealing and caulking can lead to water seeping into areas that are susceptible to mold growth.

There are four categories under which construction defects can be filed. They are design deficiencies, material deficiencies, construction deficiencies or subsurface deficiencies.

Design deficiencies typically occur when an architect or engineer do not draw up design plans that meet a required code. A common example is when roof designs do not meet appropriate building code specifications and consequently result in water penetrating the roof and entering the building.

Material deficiencies manifest when sub-par building materials are used in the building phase such as windows leaking even if they are properly installed.

Construction deficiencies occur during the construction phase. Common examples include foundations that start to crack prematurely or improper sealing that causes wood to dry rot unexpectedly.

Finally, subsurface deficiencies are deficiencies that manifest when a building is built on an improperly prepared foundation. If a foundation is not prepared adequately to support the building that is to be built on top of it the structure may move or shift over time.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Types of Construction Defects," accessed on Dec. 29, 2014

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