Basics of construction defects


Construction defects can involve potentially dangerous and life-threatening error like a faulty electrical system or cracks or weaknesses in the roof assembly that can render a building unsafe. But construction defects can also be as mundane as a leaky faucet or shower head or perhaps some peeling paint in the home.


Sometimes construction defects can be introduced to an otherwise perfectly sound home by someone contracted to work on a home. Generally, construction defects typically fall into one of four categories: design deficiencies, material deficiencies, construction deficiencies or subsurface deficiencies.

Design deficiencies are usually caused by poor or substandard designs that are implemented by architects and engineers. An all too common example of a design deficiency is a malfunctioning roof that is inadequately designed to drain away rain water efficiently, thus allowing rain water to seep into the inside of the structure, causing wood rot and mold contamination.

Material defects are typically caused by the use of inferior or substandard building materials such as inferior drywall or window frames that cause unintended heat loss during the winter and allow wind and water leaking year round.

Construction deficiencies often result from poor and unprofessional workmanship. Examples of construction deficiencies include problems such as cracks in the building foundation or faulty electrical wiring.

Finally, subsurface defects are those defects that are caused by building a structure on a surface that cannot adequately sustain the weight of the building. These defects often result in cracked foundations and may even cause the building to move or shift.

Construction litigation around defects may involve many parties such as contractors and subcontractors. Some projects may involve millions of dollars and such cases can get legally complex very quickly. To tackle the complex issues which may arise, having a law firm familiar with construction cases may be helpful.

Source: FindLaw, "Construction Defect Basics," Accessed July 20, 2015

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