Construction Tips

What is a Construction Defect?

A construction defect can be defined as a physical condition that lowers the value of a construction or structure or endangers the safety or health of the occupants. A construction defect can be caused by a design, materials, or workmanship flaw. Essentially, the defect is not caused by normal tear, wear, or aging.

Examples of construction defects include water intrusion on new constructions, faulty drains, foundation with cracks, and settlement problems that result from inadequate drainage and grading. Typically, a construction project involves different contractors. These may include excavators, carpenters, architects, plumbers, and electricians. Materials from different manufacturers are also used in a construction project. As such, defects are generally not unusual.

Initial Concerns

Identification of construction defects, its cause and source is not easy. In most cases, it requires a skilled and experienced construction professional. Nevertheless, time is very important when it comes to identifying and fixing construction defects. Remember that if a contractor gave you a warranty, its duration is limited. The statute of limitation and response can impose deadlines when you decide to file a suit.

In some cases, contractors give clients written warranties. If you don’t have a written warranty from your contractor, the state law may create it. For instance, implied habitability warranty is recognized by most state courts. This entitles a property owner to a major defect’s remedy if they make the structure unusable. Thus, you may be entitled to this warranty even without a written warranty.

In some states however, there are laws that govern construction warranties. In some cases, warranties are bought from insurers and they remain effective if a contractor runs out of business. Note that there are defects that the builder’s warranty might not cover. These can include defective appliances. Nevertheless, a product that is not covered by the builder’s warranty may be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.…