Construction defects that could cause construction disputes

Before a construction project is initiated in Louisiana or elsewhere, a plan or design is made for a specific project. While this plan details the specifics of this projects, modifications and deviations from this plan are likely to occur when the project begins. In some cases, these small changes are so minute that they do not impact the overall project; however, if major changes occur, this could lead to construction defects and compromise the entire project.

Construction defects could be the heart of a construction dispute; therefore, it is important to understand the different types of defects that could initiate construction litigation. To begin, construction defects could come is various forms and could impact the planning, design, construction, supervision or inspection of the project; however, the focus of this post will be on the most common defects that could lead to construction disputes.

Design deficiencies can greatly reduce the success of a construction contract. These occur when a design professional, such as an architect or engineer, fail to design a building or system as specified or of a specific code. Common examples include a defective roof, poor drainage and inadequate structural support.

When a material defect occurs, this can cause significant problems with a construction project. Material defects can occur when inferior material is used to complete some portion of a project. This could result in poor or inadequate performance of the material even when it is properly installed. Common material deficiencies include deteriorating flashing, waterproofing membranes, particleboard and asphalt roofing, as well as inferior drywall and other wall products used in wet and damp areas such as a bathroom or a laundry room of a house.

Construction deficiencies are likely to occur when there is a poor quality of workmanship. This could result in a long laundry list of defects, but it frequently impacts the building structure itself. Problems such as cracks in the foundation, dry rotting, electrical and mechanical issues, pest infestation and plumbing leaks are common construction issues caused by construction deficiencies.

Lastly, subsurface deficiencies could lead to serious defects in a construction project. A building or a home needs to be built on a stable surface; therefore, it might be required to take additional steps to provide a stable subsurface in certain areas. If this is not addressed and the subsurface conditions are not properly compacted and prepared for adequate drainage, this will likely lead to issues such as improperly settling, structure moving, flooding and even landslides.

Source:, “Types of Construction Defects,” accessed Feb. 22, 2016