The Basics of Construction Defects
One mainly stressful issue about building, remodeling, or purchasing a home is the potential of construction issues. This is regardless if they are unknown or known. A construction defect is an error that can be from design deficiencies, material deficiencies, or defective repairs. These can tremendously reduce the home value which, in turn, could be an unnecessary headache in one's life. And to add to the already elevated stress is the difficulty in finding the problem sometimes. A lot more time and money could be required when trying to solve this type of problem. Nevertheless, it's best many times to spend the time and money required to find the solution right away with this type of issue. If this type of problem is discovered years later, the damage could be a lot worse at that time which means even more expenses. `
Types of Construction Defects
As with any great investment, homes require great care which is through occasional and regular maintenance. However, construction defects will include water intrusion, cracked or unstable foundations, or uneven surfaces due to expansive soils. Having said this, the following are the main types of construction defects:
- Material Defects- poorly manufactured or designed materials causing big problems.
- Design Defects- engineering or architectural designs that didn't perform properly.
- A Construction Defect- inadequate workmanship causing problems.
- Subsurface Defects- defects due to steep hillsides or expansive soils.
- Toxic Mold- volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
To expound more on these issues, material defects can be things, such as leaky windows, and leaky pipes. In this case, it could be a part, such as a washer for leaky pipes, that is defective. In some cases, it could be a few parts or the whole product that needs to be replaced. When it comes to design effects, such as a poorly designed roof, lack of needed structural support, or water intrusion can occur. And if not handled immediately, more potential damage can occur. In some cases, there may not be design deficiencies or material deficiencies, but there may be problems with the labor constructing at least one part of the home improperly which is the construction defects. This could lead to a plethora of problems. For example, if ventilation is not properly installed, excess moisture and mold growth can occur. And furthermore, mold is toxic, and this can cause multiple illnesses ranging from minor allergic reactions to severe medical problems.
Legal Liability of Construction Issues
When going through either one of these defects, it's vital to contact an attorney. The attorney can assist in resolving the issue if a party or more involved in the manufacturing, sourcing, or design is responsible for the defects. However, determining whether the defect is derived from the subsurface, construction, materials, or design must be done first. This is especially true because there were different parties involved with the construction of the home which includes architects, subcontractors, manufacturers, and suppliers. Once that is determined, the attorney will determine the proper course of action. He/she will apply one or more of the following legalities that are applicable:
- Negligence- failing to fulfill an obligation at a required, professional standard.
- Breach of Warranty- if the warranty is not being upheld.
- Breach of Contract- the default by at least one responsibility in a contract.
- Negligent & Fraud Misrepresentation- a contractor or developer intentionally misrepresenting.
- Strict Liability- imposed by most jurisdictions for breaches.
Once all of these steps are thoroughly processed by the attorney, he/she can start the legal proceedings appropriately. Certain steps are normally taken to resolve the issue with the contractor or manufacturer. They are contacted by the attorney, usually by writing, and giving time to respond back/ resolve the problem, or risk going to court.
Unfortunately, the potential for construction issues is a fact of life many times. One mainly stressful issue about building, remodeling, or purchasing a home is the potential of construction issues. These can really reduce the home value which, in turn, could be an unnecessary headache. And to add to the already elevated stress is the difficulty in finding the problem sometimes.
The bottom line is that homes require great care which is through occasional and regular maintenance. But if a construction defect is caused by something from other parties, then it's time to consult an attorney. With a good attorney, the homeowner can rest assured in getting one of their most important investments back on track. The contract, warranties, and manufacturing must be properly honored, or whoever at fault will face the consequences which could cost them a lot more.