What is a construction defect?

On Behalf of Dunlap Fiore, LLC |

The state of Louisiana and municipalities throughout the area impose building standards on contractors and other developers to ensure the quality and safety of the structures they build. When their homes, offices, and other buildings meet these standards, their buyers are provided with structures that will meet their needs and withstand time and other factors. If contractors fail to meet these standards, they may be liable for the defects present in their products.

A construction defect is a mistake or problem in a construction project. These defects can be big or small. For example, the failure of a contractor to properly lay the foundation for a home may result in the catastrophic loss of the structure; however, chipped paint or popped nails may also be construction defects, though these are easier to remedy.

There is a difference between a construction defect and building wear. Over time, a properly built structure may need repairs and upgrades to remain safe and strong. These repairs are not the result of defects, but rather the natural decline in a property’s integrity that must be addressed by its normal and regular maintenance.

When a building owner alleges that a contractor, builder, or other construction professional failed to meet their duty of care in providing a building free from construction defects, litigation may ensue. Construction defect litigation can be complicated and the outcome of such cases can depend on factors that are specific to individual claims. As such, readers should not rely on this post as legal advice but should use it as a starting point for a deeper investigation into the topic of construction defects under Louisiana law.