Construction laws and regulations exist in every state in the union, and these laws exist on both a state and local level to ensure a minimum level of safe and professional craftsmanship in every structure that’s built. These laws also exist to provide those who are wronged as a result of construction defect a set of remedies to pursue to make sure that any builder who violates these construction laws and regulations is held to a standard of justice.
Federal Laws for Construction
Most federal laws exist to provide guidance in terms of legal procedure, but new legislation is emerging to protect homeowners, business owners and general consumers from negligence or fraud as it relates to construction defects. These federal laws are extremely complicated, as it’s a general policy that federal courts would like state matters to be settled in state courts.
Construction State Laws
Every state has a full set of codified statutes as they relate to construction laws and regulations, and these state laws change regularly. Even seemingly unrelated legislation can have a profound effect on state laws, with examples being tort reform and environmental statutes.
Legislation changes almost daily, and new controversies often result in updated legislation to reflect a previously-unforeseen set of circumstances. Updates on legislation are available through many resources, but you’d be best-served by keeping up with the news and paying attention to any legislation that deals with construction laws and regulations.
What to Do
We do not encourage you to attempt to perform legal research in regards to construction laws. What you should do if you are experiencing problems with a construction defect is contact an attorney who can help with a free consultation. Attorneys have a duty to remain up-to-date on all the latest rules, statutes and regulations, so don’t take the risk of misinterpreting or missing completely a law that may be relevant to your situation. Let an experienced attorney in our office handle the situation for you.
Landscape and soil issues can be considered a construction defect. Although the make-up of soil is natural in existence, how you prepare the soil and/or build on the soil is the responsibility of the builder and developer.
A builder has the responsibility to analyze the soil and with the results determine the best construction strategy to use. Expansive soil and collapsing soil are two major types of soil for which there is technology and know-how of how to build upon. Both can cause certain landscape and soil issues if the proper construction strategy is not used.
Landscape and Soil Issues with Expansive Soils
Expansive soil is a major cause of property damage. When wet, expansive soil swells can create pressure that can be destructive and a leading cause of landscape and soil issues. Evidence of expansive soil is cracks that you will see in your landscaping. This is because once the soil dries it shrinks, and this back-and-forth movement easily shifts pavement and walls. This can all be avoided or at least the risk decreased if the builder or developers do their research to find out what kind of soil they have. The next responsibility of the builder is to choose the proper construction strategy. With the rate at which housing developments are going up, builders or developers will cut corners where they can and this could mean using a construction strategy that is cheaper and will not necessarily take care of the potential soil issues.
Landscape and Soil Issues with Collapsing Soils
Collapsing soils can also cause issues with your landscape and soil. Collapsing soil is loosely packed soil that can act like gooey clay depending on the amount of water it absorbs. You will see cracks in your landscaping on areas such as pavement, retaining walls and pillars. Like building on expansive soil, the construction technology is there, the builder or developer just has to choose to use the correct method. If they do not, then this can be a major construction defect that could have been avoided.
If you are noticing some subtle cracks in your landscape, walls, stucco, pavement, or garage floor these may be symptoms of a bigger problem. Your home may have a construction defect that although difficult to fix may be easy to determine. Do not wait – contact an attorney today to perform the proper assessment to determine if you have a defect and if so, what you should do next.
Soil contamination is a result of man-made chemicals getting into the soil. This occurs in several different ways. Soil contamination can occur when an underground storage tank is punctured, when waste is leaked from landfills or when an industrial waste is discharged into the soil. This can be a huge concern since soil contamination can seep into the water supply if not cleaned up in time.
A builder should always know what type of soil they are dealing with including whether or not it has been contaminated. No matter the cause of the soil contamination, the important factor is what is being done to take care of it. People who may be in direct contact with the soil, e.g. those in parks, schools and playgrounds, should be aware if there is a soil issue and if so what is or has been done to fix it. This also holds true for soil that has yet to be contaminated. After surveying the land, the builder will learn what type of drainage is needed to avoid potential contamination of the soil. Soil contamination can occur when chemicals sit dormant in the soil because of faulty drainage as opposed to being washed away with correct drainage slopes. The builder and/or developer have the opportunity to take the necessary steps to help decrease the potential risk of soil contamination.
Most planning departments incorporate a subdivision draining system to avoid the potential of the housing development to become flooded. Proper subdivision draining will provide an area with the proper safety nets in place for any major water issues or faulty drainage. As a home buyer, you have the right to understand what system is currently in place and if that system has ever been tested. Although it is not something you think about when making a purchase, it is something to think about when you start to see water issues within your home along with other construction defects. Do not hesitate to talk to the builder to get a better understanding of how subdivision draining works in your development.
Retention basins are used to prevent flooding. Sometimes referred to as retention ponds, these retention basins are like a repository for rain. They are viewed as a good thing since it’s a structure that is trying to replace the duties of a forest that would normally absorb excess water. With forests being cleared before development, a retention basin can be constructed to serve the function of a forest. Retention basins are quite common in new developments. With building roads, streets, etc. the soil that acts as a natural means of absorption is no longer there, so a retention basin is necessary to fill this void.
Do not try to become an expert on these faulty drainage issues. There is so much information out there that it can become quite overwhelming. Contact an attorney in our office today to figure out your next step.
Improper use of materials can also be a cause to the construction defect you are experiencing. Builders have a choice of materials they use and how they use it. If a builder or developer makes a decision on buying substandard material, this can be the cause of your issues. In addition, improper use of materials could stem from an unqualified contractor or subcontractor working on your roof, or any other areas of your house.
Whether your issue is a roof missing or short cut roof underlayment felts or improper use of materials, an immediate fix can be necessary. If you decide to look into getting repairs, or if you have already repaired your construction defect, you need to track all your steps. It is important to keep a copy of all contracts or statements of work. If you have any correspondence with the builder, the developer, architect, contractor, or any other building professional, you need to document them and/or keep a copy of the emails, faxes and letters. If possible, it would be prudent to take before and after photos as well.
This construction defect issue can be very tedious and time consuming. It can also get quite costly, and there may be costs that you can avoid. If you suspect you are having issues with a construction defect, it is important to know what steps you should take to the resolve the issue. You probably do not have any knowledge or experience in this area, which means that you need to consult with someone who does. Do not hesitate – contact an attorney today.
Use of “Mix And Match” Components
During the development stage of a housing community, the builder and/or developer make several decisions. This would include hiring contractors as well as selecting the products and building material they will use. This process allows the builder to choose components or building equipment from a different source or manufacturer. It is decisions like these that will help the project or create construction defects the builder and developer will have to later explain. The use of “mix and match” components comes in handy for specific situations. Usually in these situations, the benefits are obvious, but the defect may not show itself immediately. Once you see a symptom related to a system, equipment or machine that relates to the potential use of “mix and match” components, start documenting what you observe. The issue may or may not be a construction defect.
Another common issue besides the use of “mix and match” components is unsealed gas pipe penetrations. This is an issue when the fire, gas and heat are not contained, but instead move into the wood framing. As you can imagine, unsealed gas pipe penetrations can become a big issue. A lot of times the defect of these unsealed gas pipe penetrations could be resolved relatively easily. It may just need a new sealant. Any repairs you make or at least look into, document the process and take several pictures.
The use of “mix and match” components can be a quick fix. It can include purchasing all new building material as well as new components. Getting your house at least back to a livable condition is your priority. Again, it is important to collect as much documentation as possible.
There are many causes of construction defects like unsealed gas pipe penetrations as well as building issues that appear to be more serious than they are. If you suspect you may have some defects in your home you need to make the next step. You need to contact an attorney to help you determine what that next step should be. These issues can be very difficult to take care of alone. They can be time consuming and very costly. With an advocate that has expertise in construction law, the process will be easier. You need to contact an attorney in our office – and you need to do that today.
Potential Damage arising from Construction Defects in Homes and Condos
Potential damage arising from construction defects in homes and condos can arise from countless sources, and on the following pages you’ll see dozens of examples of how these issues can arise. Regardless of the cause of these issues, you need to protect your rights, and the first step in doing so is not only making a record of these problems in every way possible by way of documentation and photographic records.
Construction Defect Attorney
You should also contact a construction defect attorney. Your attorney will be able to advise you as to your rights and the proper steps to take to make sure that you don’t suffer any further.
Construction defects in homes can result in:
If you suffer personal injury as a result of a construction defect in your home, you need to make sure that you protect your rights by contacting an attorney who regularly deals with construction defect cases. Merely going to a general personal injury attorney could be a mistake, as an attorney who handles construction cases will understand all the intricacies and possible damages involved with such an unfortunate occurrence.
Overall, construction defects that permeate your new home or condo can not only completely devalue your home and force you to find shelter somewhere else, but they could also cause serious injury or illness. If this has happened to you, the worst thing you can do is waste time. Contact an experienced construction defect attorney immediately.
Decreased Property Value
Almost any serious construction defect will result in substantially decreased property value. If you’re dealing with decreased property value due to a construction defect, you are most likely not responsible for this financial loss. Contact a construction defect attorney immediately to explain your decreased property value problem.
Voiding of Manufacturer’s Guarantees
When you move into your new home, you need to make sure that you don’t undertake conduct that results in the voiding of manufacturer’s guarantees. Any manufacturer will provide you with instructions on how to properly maintain your home, and you owe it to yourself to make sure that you follow these instructions.
If you have any questions regarding any of the above issues, please do not hesitate to contact an attorney immediately. Your financial and physical health and safety may depend upon your quick and responsible action.
If a construction defect results in the loss of a living space/constructive eviction, you do not have to cover the costs of this unforeseen loss if the defect was the reason you had to abandon the premises. Most states have statutes in place that will at the very least cover your moving expenses and any other damages that you suffered as a result of the loss of a living space/constructive eviction.
Unfair Business Practices
Unfair business practices is a wide-ranging area of the law, but unfair business practices relates to construction defect law in several ways. Examples of unfair business practices as they relate to construction defect law include failure by the construction company to acknowledge and examine potential construction problems and failure to disclose the presence of mold in commercial or residential properties.
Negligence or Fraud
Negligence or fraud are legal claims that exist in several circumstances, but negligence or fraud are issues that arise within the area of construction defect law due to the lack of proper craftsmanship on the part of any builder or the failure to disclose potential problems when that builder should have known of that potential problem.
Bad Faith Claims
Bad faith claims by homeowners and commercial property owners against their own insurance companies for failing to promptly and fairly process claims is an unfortunate circumstance. However, it is also quite prevalent within the realm of construction defect law, as most construction problems that cause damage result in insurance claims. If you’re getting the runaround from your insurance company, you need to contact an attorney immediately.
Overall, several areas of law come into play when construction defects are discovered. If you have suffered damages of any kind as a result of construction defects, contact an experienced attorney right away for the answers you need.
List of common leaks and water intrusion problems.
1. Interior Leaks
Interior leaks may be difficult to notice, but many times interior leaks will show themselves by leaks in the ceilings or bubbling of the plaster on your home’s walls. Interior leaks not only indicate plumbing problems but can also lead to the deterioration of your home’s frame and foundation.
As you’ve seen above, not all construction defects are readily apparent, and the problems that arise from these construction defects are not always obvious. Therefore, you need to be vigilant when you move into your new home, and if you notice a problem, the worst thing you can do is to wait to protect your rights. Contact a construction defect attorney immediately.
2. Water Leaks into Non-ventilated Areas Adjacent to Windows
Water leaks into non-ventilated areas adjacent to windows always indicate serious structural problems with your home. If you happen to see water leaks into non-ventilated areas adjacent to windows, however, you do need to act quickly, as unwanted water in any area of your home can lead to irreparable damage if it’s not repaired immediately.
Regardless of the cause or specific facts that surround a circumstance, water existing where it shouldn’t within a home never leads to a positive result if it goes on without the proper attention. These are also clear signs of construction defects, which means that you should contact an experienced attorney immediately.
3. Water Intrusion
Water intrusion is usually a sign of a deeper problem with the construction of your home. If you notice any type of water intrusion, you need to call an expert for closer inspection. The expert you need could be a plumber or a contractor, as there’s no telling where the water intrusion originates. What can be foretold is the serious damage that will usually follow any type of water intrusion.
4. Water through Foundation Wall
Water through foundation walls is not something that should be taken lightly, as that indicates a problem with your foundation’s integrity. If a foundation is not properly poured, your home will eventually become unlivable. If you notice the leaking of water through your foundation wall, call a contractor immediately to make sure that this issue does not fester.
5. Water in Crawlspace
Water in your crawlspace is a symptom of bigger problems in your home or condo’s construction. Water in your crawlspace can be the result of faulty plumbing and can ultimately degrade the integrity of your home’s frame overall.
Water in your home where it wouldn’t normally be found is not a good thing, and if you notice water in any of these areas, you need to take swift action to protect your rights. Failing to do so in a timely manner can leave you responsible not only for the repairs but also for any damages that result from these conditions. You can prevent this result by contacting a construction defect attorney immediately.
6. Moisture Migration though Slabs
Moisture migration through slabs can have serious consequences on any home or structure, and if you notice the result of moisture migration through slabs, which is usually presented in the form of puddles, your foundation could be in danger.
7. Cracks, Alligatoring, and Checks Leading to Water Intrusion to Subgrade
Cracks, alligatoring and checks leading to water intrusion to subgrades are serious construction defects, as it only takes a microscopic opening for water to find a pathway to destruction. Your subgrade is crucial to the long-term stability of your home or condo, and any compromise of the subgrade can lead to disastrous consequences.
8. Water Intrusion into the Framing System and Living Spaces Resulting In:
Dryrot in the Wood Framing System
Water intrusion into the framing system and living spaces can lead to dryrot in the wood framing system, and this dryrot can result in nothing short of the total collapse of walls in your home or condo.
Water-stained Gypsum Board
Water intrusion into the framing system and living spaces can also result in water-stained gypsum board, which will not only result in you having to replace the gypsum board, but could also lead to more serious issues such as deterioration of the wall itself.
Damaged Flooring Materials, Carpeting and Interior Furnishing
Water intrusion into the framing system and living spaces can result in seriously damaged flooring materials, carpeting and interior furnishings, and this damage could result in a homeowner having to replace several highly-expensive components of a livable household for both aesthetic and safety reasons.
9. Wet Insulation
Wet insulation creates serious problems with the overall integrity of the structure being built, as any type of wet insulation could potentially create unwanted moisture within the framework of the walls throughout your home. This can lead to several other serious problems within your home.
Builders and developers perform soil analysis when researching areas they intend to develop. The analysis results allow the builder and/or developer plan what construction strategies they will use along with what soil preparation, if any, they will have to undertake. Once they have determined their development plans, they also need to hire contractors to do the job. A construction defect can be the result of poor planning, insufficient soil analysis, or unqualified contractors. Improperly compacted soils and contaminants remaining in soils (usually organic types of build up, i.e. lumber) are two examples of construction defects that can occur as a result of these errors.
Improperly Compacted Soils
As a homeowner, you rely on the contractors that are working on your home to be qualified for the job. At the same time, you have a right to understand what poor workmanship can be. If you are seeing cracks in the drywall, cracks in bricks, windows or doors that do not open and close properly or cracks in the foundation you may have improperly compacted soils. These symptoms could also be the result of expansive soils. Whether improperly compacted soils or other soil issues, this can be a very damaging defect that will require time and money to fix.
Contaminants Remaining in Soils
If you suspect you have an issue with contaminants remaining in soils you need to investigate it immediately. Contaminants remaining in soils can cause issues with your drinking water and other types of water issues. The severity of the issue will depend on the contaminants and also on how extensive the repair will be. In a situation like this, you do not want to go long with contaminants remaining in soils. This construction defect can be caused by human error or poor building materials.
At this point, your priority is to get your house back to a livable condition. If you move forward with getting repairs for either of these construction defects, be sure to keep good records. Document everything and make sure to take pictures. Keep any correspondences to or from the builder and document phone calls. It may be a bit tedious now, you’ll be thankful you have these records later.
Improperly compacted soils and contaminants remaining in soils are complicated construction defect issues to handle. There is a lot that goes into knowing what needs to be done. If you think you may have a construction defect issue, contact an attorney in our officer today.
List of Construction Material and Product Failures & Defects:
Leaking and Rotting Roofs
Leaking and rotting roofs are true signs of construction defects. The root cause may, however, be a little more difficult to discover and prove. Leaking and rotting roofs damage may be a direct result of poor material used to build the roof, e.g. substandard shingles. This could also be the result of using less-experienced and less-skilled workers to build the roof than is reasonable. Workmanship should always be considered when assessing issues rooted from a structure that is built piece by piece. The first priority is always to reestablish a safe residence for you and your family. This may even call for a temporary fix.
Rotting and Failure of Flooring
Rotting and failure of flooring is a very difficult construction defect to repair. It can be the result of a variety of mistakes. The builder and/or developer makes decisions that can prevent damage from rotting and failure of flooring. Quite frankly, they also make decisions that increase the potential risk of this kind of damage occurring. To start, signs of rotting floors can be due to water damage. This could mean flooding, moisture buildup or simply water leakage. There are a number of suspects in this scenario. The plumbing equipment used, the contractors or subcontractors hired for installation, or the flooring material used are all potential causes. Again, these issues would be a result of the choices the builder and/or developer made.
Siding Defects and Exterior Surface Failures
Siding defects and exterior surface failures are construction defects that can be caused by soil issues (mass movements) or construction material issues. Building on land with potential soil movement, i.e. expansive soil, can cause visible damage such as cracks in the siding. This same result can be due to using substandard construction material. In both cases the builder and/or developer has failed to take into account the land where house was being built. Siding defects and exterior surface failures damages may come and go (and appear to have stopped), but will persist in some shape or form until the cause is discovered and adequately repaired.
Stucco and EIFS Problems
Stucco and EIFS problems occur when moisture is a factor. Stucco is used quite frequently as well as EIFS, or synthetic stucco, a multi-layered finish, because it is reliable in most circumstances. Damage to stucco could be cracks that are caused by soil movement. This means that the builder did not take into account the type of soil the house is built on and therefore did not build a foundation that could absorb any movement. EIFS has layers that do not breathe. This is not an issue until moisture is present. If there is a problem with material used to construct the walls, the roof, or any other area that would allow for moisture to seep into the EIFS, you will experience stucco and EIFS problems. In addition, this moisture leakage could be due to poor construction material, poor contractor work or simply poor or lack of proper soil analysis.
Water Intrusion from Faulty Plumbing
Water intrusion from faulty plumbing is a troublesome problem. If not dealt with immediately, damage control can be quite difficult. This damage can be the direct result of a builder cutting corners. A builder could have used faulty products that have not gone through proper quality control so as to reduce costs. The builder could have also hired less-skilled contractors or subcontractors whose workmanship simply does not “hold water.” The first priority is to repair the plumbing, but there will then be a need to determine exactly what part of the plumbing system failed, what the cause was, and most importantly, what should be done to prevent any future water intrusion from faulty plumbing.
Construction material and product failure and defects such as leaking and rotting roofs, rotting and failure of flooring, siding defects and exterior surface failures, stucco and EIFS problems and water intrusion from faulty plumbing can cause severe damages if not taken care of properly. Your steps in implementing a solution are crucial and may require legal assistance. Do not wait – contact an attorney today to help guide you through this difficult process.
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Structural failure can occur as a result of any number of reasons, but the result is almost always the same, in that structural failure will make a home or condo uninhabitable, as the walls and/or foundation of a home need to be devoid of structural failure in order to meet safety code standards.
Structural Failure: Decks
A deck/structural failure can be the result of several causes, but the bottom line is that any deck/structural failure results in a seriously dangerous condition in your home or condo that could lead to your exposure to personal injury liability if it’s not properly repaired. If you notice a deck/structural failure, you owe it to your own peace of mind to take care of it immediately.
Structural Damage: Wood Rot
Wood rot and structural damage are inter-related issues, as wood rot in the lumber used to build your home or condo will lead to structural damage that can make your home uninhabitable. Wood rot and structural damage can also cause walls and frames to collapse, which will almost always cause serious injuries.
Any undiscovered problems such as those described above could result in collapse of not only walls but the entire structure. Obviously, if your walls or entire structure collapse, your home is uninhabitable, and immediate action needs to be taken.
Often times, the appearance of one problem in a home signifies the existence of another that could be much more serious. If you’ve suffered damage as a result of a construction defect, contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights.
Partial or Total Collapse of the Framing System
There is no mistaking or overlooking a partial or total collapse of the framing system in your home. A partial collapse of the framing system almost immediately makes your home or condo unlivable, and if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could be seriously injured as a result.
Corrosion of Aluminum Threshold Due to Lack of Protection Barrier
Corrosion of the aluminum threshold due to the lack of a protection barrier is a difficult problem to identify, but letting it go unnoticed can have disastrous consequences. Corrosion of any kind is dangerous, but if the aluminum threshold is compromised, the integrity of the entire structure of a home or condo is in imminent peril.
If any of these problems have arisen, or even possibly arisen in your home or condo, you need to take action to protect your home, your safety and your rights. Contact a construction defect attorney immediately, as he or she will be able to guide you through the process of repairing these issues without exposing you to further loss.
Dryrot is a problem that arises when wood used for a structure does not contain enough moisture to maintain its integrity. When dryrot occurs, the wood used to build a home or condo becomes brittle and increasingly fragile. This fragility creates a grave risk in regards to the safety of the home’s occupants and puts any investment in a property suffering from dryrot problems at risk.
Wood Destroying Organisms
Wood destroying organisms are numerous in nature, and generally it is the duty of the construction company to make sure that there are no wood destroying organisms present in the materials that are used to build a home or condo. Your rights in regards to who is responsible for using materials that contain wood destroying organisms may extend not only to the construction company but to the lumber company as well. However, you need to consult a construction defect attorney to make sure that your rights are enforced on the proper parties.
Interior Distress to Cabinets and Countertops
Interior distress to cabinets and countertops is usually visible in the form of bent shelves or uneven door fits, but the problems that cause interior distress to cabinets and countertops could be much more serious than a what a quick fix can provide. Interior distress to cabinets and countertops could be indications of problems with your frame, your slab or any other component of your home.
Defective or Broken Tiles/Shingles
Defective or broken tiles/shingles are not only hazardous, but can lead to serious problems with any home or condo. Defective or broken tiles/shingles generally lead to wear and tear on the slab in the case of broken tiles and a dysfunctional roof in the case of broken shingles. If any of these problems persist, the very nature of the structure will be compromised, and the home or condo will not only be uninhabitable, but the structure will require repair before it can be sold.
If you notice any of these issues in your home or condo, you need to gather all documentation of these occurrences, take photos and contact a construction defect attorney immediately to protect your rights.
Excessive/unsightly leaning/rotation of your walls is not something to take lightly. Any time you notice excessive/unsightly leaning/rotational issues, you need to have the condition looked at as soon as possible, as this problem could indicate faulty construction.
Soil/Pavement Buckling in Front of a Wall
Soil/pavement buckling in front of a wall could also be due to several causes. If you notice soil/pavement buckling in front of a wall, it could be faulty craftsmanship in building the wall itself, subgrade problems or any number of other issues that were not handled properly by the contractor.
Ruptured Plumbing and Gas Lines
Ruptured plumbing and gas lines are not only a clear sign of a serious construction defect, but ruptured plumbing and gas lines also cause serious damage to any structure where they occur. Not to mention, these issues quite often result in personal injury to those who exist within the dwelling.
A washboard surface can result from such forces as erosion, dust blowing and many other causes that should be foreseeable for any construction company. A washboard surface is an issue that leads to several other problems, as it creates a dangerous condition on your property. A washboard surface can damage your car if it occurs on your driveway or garage, and can lead to personal injury liability of a guest trips on a sidewalk that has a washboard surface.
Although construction companies have a duty to build a home or condo that is devoid of foreseeable construction defects, you also have a duty to take steps to protect your rights when you become aware of potential problems. Those steps involve gathering all the information that relates to these potential problems and contacting a construction defect attorney as soon as possible.
System failure is a term that can involve several construction defects. A home could suffer from electrical system failure, septic system failure or many other system failures that each will make a home uninhabitable and could lead to injuries or health problems. If you notice a system failure, you need to take action immediately.
If you are dealing with the consequences of a construction defect or you’re concerned that your home may have been built defectively, you need to act quickly in order to prevent further damages from occurring and to protect your legal rights. As such, you will find below a Construction Defect Legal Guide that will help you decide whether or not filing a claim is worth your effort.
Please remember that this Construction Defect Legal Guide is not a be-all-end-all source of information, and if you have a question, you should contact an attorney immediately to explain your situation.
How are construction defects determined?
The answer to the question, “How are construction defects determined?” is not a simple answer, and the analysis involves several technical legal theories. Therefore, you should use this information for your benefit, but you should also contact an attorney for a full explanation as it pertains to your situation.
Whether or not something is construed as a construction defect involves analyzing the problem with the building and comparing it to other buildings that do not contain construction defects. Basically, if a problem with your structure is considered “unreasonable” in relation to other like structures, and was either ignored or should have been noticed and corrected, it can be considered a construction defect. There are different standards for different types of buildings, different locations and different types of code regulations, but overall, a construction defect is usually found if workmanship is not up to reasonable industry standards and you have or soon will suffer damages as a result.
Help for Victims and Families
Luckily for you, if your home is found to contain one or more construction defects, there is available help for victims and families that suffer as a result of these defects. Although many HOA’s and other administrative bodies exist for the purpose of providing help for victims and families in these types of situations, the worst thing you can do to protect your rights is to “go it alone” and face a corporate construction company by yourself.
You need to enlist the help of a professional who has experience in providing help for victims and families who suffer from a construction defect and who can handle the defense attorneys often employed by construction companies. In short, you need to work with a construction defect attorney. He or she understands the intricacies of this area of law, as the legal standards involved can be extremely technical in nature, and one mistake during the process can prevent you from properly recovering for your damages.
Don’t let your rights go unprotected – contact an attorney today for the help you need.
Help for Organizations and Associations
There are several instances in which a construction defect issue can arise, and that pertains not only to the type of defect but also to the type and number of people who are harmed as a result of a construction defect. Construction defects that occur in an individual home are problematic for several reasons, and anyone who has suffered as a result should contact an attorney immediately.
However, there are also highly-qualified attorneys available who provide legal help for organizations and associations when a construction defect is found that affects several homeowners in an area. Providing construction defect help for organizations and associations is much more complicated than providing help on an individual basis, so the following are steps that should be taken if several people in your development are experiencing problems.
If you have noticed a problem or an imminent problem and you live in a community development, you need to contact your HOA and report it immediately. You may not own the only home that’s been damaged, and your HOA will be able to get everyone together to discuss the problem. If your issue is occurring in other homes, you may have an advantage.
The reason for this advantage is that there is power in numbers, and if an entire group of homes acting as a united front reports the same problems, the construction company that’s responsible will have a difficult time proving that this issue is merely a “nuisance” or an “isolated incident.” Basically, you will get a faster response from a construction company if there is a development-wide problem on most occasions. Therefore, the first steps in providing help for organizations and associations when dealing with a construction defect issue can and will often come from the HOA.
Contact a Construction Defect Attorney
Although an HOA can help gather the necessary information and help present an impression of unity on the part of homeowners, the HOA and its members should not attempt to deal with the construction company on its own. The law of construction defects is extremely complicated, and this is especially so if you need help for organizations and associations, as multiple alleged transgressions can be easily convoluted by defense attorneys. You owe it to yourself, your family and your neighbors to make sure that whatever issue is plaguing your home or group of homes is handled properly, because if it isn’t, everyone will collectively suffer the consequences in some situations.
An experienced construction defect attorney will be able to listen to your problems and to recommend a proper course of action. He or she will also be able to deal with the construction company that may be at fault to ensure that any recovery is not only proper but expedient.
Waiting for a solution will only make matters worse, so contact a construction defect attorney today.
Statute of Limitations for Lawsuits and Claims
The concept of the statute of limitations for lawsuits and claims is extremely complicated, and making a mistake on this technicality can have disastrous results, including having your claim dismissed. The statute of limitations for lawsuits and claims is especially complicated when it comes to construction defects, as it’s not always easy to discover construction problems right away, and it is possible to have the statute begin to run at the first sign of trouble. Below is a brief explanation of the theory behind the statute of limitations for lawsuits and claims, but this information should be used only in furtherance of contacting an attorney, as he or she will be able to apply the facts of your situation to the statute and properly guide you through the process.
The Concept of the Statute of Limitations
The concept of the statute of limitations is grounded in the general ideal of equity. Plaintiffs need to bring a suit for damages incurred within a reasonable timeframe for several reasons. First, if someone waited 25 years to bring a claim, evidence and witnesses would not be as available as they would be if the claim was brought in a timely fashion, making it more difficult for the defendant to provide a suitable defense.
Not to mention, as the years go by things change, and that includes legal standards. Attorneys need to prosecute and defend cases based on laws that are at least somewhat current, or else the entire proceeding can be quite confusing and lead to extended delays and expense as the proper legal standards are established.
There is a little-known standard that applies to all statutes of limitation, and that standard is called “tolling.” Basically, the statute of limitations begins to run when one of two things occurs:
The plaintiff discovers the injury he or she has suffered; or
The plaintiff reasonably should have known that an injury occurred.
This can be difficult when it comes to construction defects, as problems can arise within walls, below floors and in several other places that are not regularly seen in a home or structure. As such, a plaintiff is taking a risk by ignoring a small lead, for example, as that leak could lead to the statute of limitations beginning to toll from the date that leak was noticed.
The answer to this question, then, is that you should pay close attention and take careful note of any potential problem with your home, and you should not waste any time in contacting an experienced construction defect attorney who will be able to help you move forward with your situation. The number of years allowed under a statute of limitations can vary by jurisdiction, so contact an attorney today for the answers you need.
Filing a Construction Defect Lawsuit
If you have suffered from damages resulting from a construction defect, you are taking the right step by looking into the possibility of enforcing a claim. However, there are several things you need to consider before filing a construction defect lawsuit. All of these decisions should be made with the help of an experienced attorney, as he or she will be able to assist you in moving the process forward in an expedient and professional manner.
Who is responsible for the damage caused to my home?
It is very important to have a solid theory in regards to who may be responsible before filing a construction defect lawsuit. An attorney with experience in this area of law will be able to help you determine who built what part of your home and who may be negligent in building or not building something that causes damage. This is an extremely important step, as suing the wrong party can be extremely stressful and costly.
How much are my damages worth?
The last thing you want to do when filing a construction defect lawsuit is guess as to how much you’ve suffered in terms of damages. An attorney with experience in these matters will be able to help you come to a financial figure based on several factors, and chances are that unless you have experience practicing trial law within this specific discipline, you may miss something that’s completely relevant to your claim.
Should I attempt to settle the dispute privately?
Again, this is a question best answered by an experienced attorney. There are companies in existence that may offer a “low-ball” settlement figure just to make a potential dispute go away, and this is done because many potential plaintiffs are inclined to take the first offer, if one is even made. A skilled construction defect attorney will be able to work for a settlement if that’s in your best interests. If it’s not, your attorney will explain to you why it’s best to push for a trial. Regardless, this is a strategic question that should only be handled by someone with experience.
If you have suffered as a result of faulty construction, you need to act now to make sure that your rights are protected. Not only will your problems get worse and your suffering needlessly continue, but you could lose certain rights that are in place to protect you if you wait too long. Contact a construction defect attorney today to explain your situation.
How We Can Help With Your Construction Defect
If you’ve suffered damage as a result of a construction defect, you need to take specific steps to protect your rights. We’ll detail below what these steps are and explain how we can help you with your situation.
1. Contact Our Office Immediately
If you discover a defect in your home, you have no time to waste. Contact our office immediately to schedule an appointment. When you make that call, one of our staff members will ask you for some basic information and tell you what you need to bring to your appointment in order to make it as productive as possible.
2. Explain Your Situation To Us During Your Free Consultation
When you arrive for your appointment, be prepared to explain every detail that surrounds your situation, no matter how insignificant it may seem. What may seem meaningless to you may be of paramount importance to your legal claim, and we’ll make sure that no stone goes unturned as we evaluate your potential case.
3. Listen to Our Analysis of Your Situation
After we’ve gathered the initial facts surrounding your defect, we will tell you frankly whether or not you have a potentially-valid claim. If you do, we’ll explain how we can help you obtain a fair judgment or settlement based upon the information you’ve provided. Rest assured that we will tell you in all sincerity whether you have a claim that’s worth pursuing or not.
4. Ask Questions of Us
We’d like to present you with a full picture of how we can help. If you would like to know any details regarding our experience, familiarity with specific laws or recommendations as they relate specifically to your situation, we encourage you to ask. We want you to feel totally comfortable with us and the work we may be performing on your behalf, and that comfort level is achieved by full disclosure.
The bottom line is that you need to get in touch with us today to get the process of protecting your rights started. Every day you waste may make the problem worse for several reasons, and if you delay too long you may lose out on a justifiable recovery.
Verdicts and Settlements for Construction Defects
Over the past few years, as the housing boom across the country has increased the volume of building projects in nearly every market, contractors and construction companies have been working under extreme pressure to take on and meet more deadlines and to do so under budget. This phenomenon logically leads to more mistakes, and these mistakes can cause serious damages to those who live in or work in these buildings.
As such, there has also been an upswing in the number of construction defect verdicts and settlements around the country. Below we’ll list just a few examples, but the message should be clear: If you’ve suffered as a result of a construction defect, you’re far from alone, and you should contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights.
In an action for damages arising from the faulty construction of more than 40 homes, a settlement for the above figure was reached prior to trial. The problems existed with the walls, windows and roofs of the homes in question.
A condominium development experienced problems with water proofing, mechanical problems and electrical work defects. The HOA brought suit and the defendants settled rather than face a jury.
An HOA brought a claim for construction defect, foundation and moisture intrusion in 226 units. The defendants settled before trial.
There are countless other examples of verdicts and settlements, and what you should do if you’ve suffered as a result of faulty construction is contact an attorney immediately. The longer you wait, the worse your problem will get and the less time you’ll have to state your claim. You have only time, stress and a justifiable recovery to lose, so act now to protect your rights.
Some of the more common problems on roadways and private roads includes the following:
A street collapse can be the result of a builder not taking into consideration the type of soil he is building on. Soil can be either expansive or collapsing, both of which will cause movement and potential collapse of a street. This street collapse can also be caused by a nearby hill or mountain that has a mudslide or that has eroded land under or next to the street. A builder or developer needs to properly analyze the land where a street or roadway will be build before it is built. With this assessment, a builder will know what construction strategies to implement.
A sinkhole is caused by a collapse of a cavern roof. It is a natural indentation of the land surface that connects to a passage that is underground. These collapsed sinkholes can grow to be very deep and wide within hours and sometimes minutes. These are quite rare, however. Sinkholes generally occur in limestone. The damages a sinkhole can inflict on your property are serious. The problem never gets better, only worse. Some effects of sinkholes can include but are not limited to cracks in windows or doors, doors that are hard to close, deep separation of concrete walks or sediment in your water.
Utility Failures (downed/broken lines)
Utility failures in downed or broken lines occur because of natural causes such as weather or by human negligence. When an underground line is broken it takes longer to detect and is extremely costly to repair. These utility failures with broken or downed lines can adversely affect a home or building by disrupting telecommunication services, cable services, or electrical services. As you can imagine, the damage caused by utility failures can be as simple as loss of power for an hour causing minimal damages, to extended loss of power causing personal injury and/or damage to personal items in the home.
Erosion occurs when material from the Earth is transported via stream flows, coastline, or hill slope. It is a gradual wearing away of the land. Factors such as wind or water can provide the force needed to start this erosion process. Erosion can affect the shaping of land surfaces or the quantity of material built up on the land surface. Water is one of the most significant natural factors in the process of erosion. Although a certain amount of erosion is natural, erosion is sometimes increased by poor construction actions and can be decreased by using proper techniques such as tree planting.
Landslides and Falling Rocks
Landslides and falling rocks can be described as a measurable plane of land that has slipped resulting in falling rocks. It can turn into a pretty steady flow as the block of land gains momentum down the slope. Steep slopes are susceptible to landslide occurrences, but they occur in almost any environment. They can be caused by an earthquake and by construction, specifically road construction. Falling rocks will result when the landslide moves the debris or soil that covered the rock. This exposes the rock allowing it to tumble along with the landslide or on its own time, sometimes after the landslide has occurred.
Damages from street collapse, sinkholes, utility failure (downed/broken lines), erosion, or landslides and falling rocks to roadways and private roads can be serious. Without proper expertise regarding these defects, a resolution to these issues can be time-consuming and costly. Do not try to take care of these issues on your own. Contact an attorney in our office today to help you take the proper steps.
We are dedicated to the successful representation of homeowners and homeowner associations in construction defect matters.
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Water issues can affect all areas of a house, a condominium, or a townhome. You can find evidence of this construction defect in your roof, your walls, your floors, your ceilings, and/or structures around your home. This could include structures like a deck, a patio, or other outside additions to your home. The water issues can be far-reaching to impact areas such as concrete around a pool or a retaining wall adjacent to your home.
Water intrusion can be a sign of a serious construction defect. It is important to know your rights as a homeowner.
Contact our experienced attorneys today!
Water issues can cause leaks in your residence. Leaks can be found anywhere in your house and must be fixed as soon as they are discovered. This actually goes for most any water issues. Water intrusion into garages is also a damaging issue that needs to be resolved quickly. Even if you suspect this to be a construction defect, it is your responsibility to minimize the damage. After contacting an attorney, you can then determine what liability you have and what the responsibility of the builder or developer is.
Leaking from water issues can also cause moisture buildup which can result in serious moisture intrusion. This is also a serious concern that could very well be caused by a construction defect.
Are you experiencing any water issues in your house, condominium, or townhome? If you answer “yes,” there is a good chance that there may be a construction defect in your home. How do you determine that? As was previously stated, there are many causes of a construction defect and yet, there are defects that can appear to be more severe than they really are. If you suspect you have a construction defect, you need to make the next right step. You need to contact an attorney to help you determine how you should proceed. Do not wait – contact an attorney today.
Guide to Known Water IssuesLeaksWater Intrusion into GaragesSerious Moisture IntrusionToxic MoldMildewWater Proofing Failure
Water issues can include a number of defects that result in leaking. Water leaks can be a nightmare to deal with especially if the leakage is not caught in time and the root cause of the leak goes undetected. The leaking can start or end at the stairs, bathtubs, showers, balconies, or decks. Leakage can also be a silent assassin that does its work behind a wall. This means the leakage could be quite severe by the time it is visible to a person standing in a room with leaks. Water issues can also be visible on exterior walls such as the stucco, dry walls or siding.
Damage control can be the first dilemma to deal with after you’ve discovered your water issues. Issues such as leaks and/or moisture buildup can cause all kinds of temporary or permanent damage. You can be looking at an entire room that needs its walls and floor ripped out and redone. You could have leaks that create such moisture buildup that mold begins to grow and you now have some serious and quite costly repairs that need to be done. The whole situation can be quite overwhelming, especially when you have already attempted to contact the developer and/or builder for resolution. Those responsible for such construction defects that cause water issues like these are not always anxious to acknowledge the problem even exists. Unfortunately, builders and/or developers are aware of the potential liability they have with a construction defect and how costly it will be to resolve this problem. It is sometimes a challenge to have them take the necessary steps to fix the issue and to make sure the issue does not reappear. So, what do you do next?
Water issues that affect stairs, bathtubs, showers, balconies, decks, or other areas are not something you need to take care of alone. In fact, to the contrary, you need to have an advocate that has some experience in construction defect issues. You need an advocate with knowledge of the law and how it will apply to your situation. Construction defect cases vary depending on a number of factors, so having knowledge of the law is a requirement but experience with litigating these types of cases are also a must. Do not hesitate – you need to contact an attorney now that will help you decide on a proper course of action.
Water Intrusion into Garages
Are you seeing issues with moisture buildup or leaking water? Leaking water can affect several areas of your home. The root cause can be on the exterior and then lead into the house or visa versa. Either way, a leakage can cause water intrusion into garages. This is detectable by looking for common symptoms like water stains on the garage walls and/or floor, moisture buildup in the walls, and/or water damage in the ceiling.
Serious Moisture Intrusion
Leakage that seeps into the walls or ceilings can cause serious moisture intrusion. Whenever you have water build up in somewhat damp areas, it will be inevitable for mold to form. Serious moisture intrusion can be one issue but what this intrusion can lead to is much more severe. Serious moisture intrusion can create a perfect environment for mold. When mold grows, you are left with an extremely difficult repair, even more so than the original moisture intrusion.
Water issues that cause water intrusion into garages or serious moisture intrusion are very difficult defects to control and fix. If you do not take the right steps to control the damage, you may be making your situation worse. You need to contact an attorney today if you suspect you have any of these water-related problems.
Mold is a fungus that lives in damp areas of your home that are often not even noticed. Toxic mold can refer to the indoor air quality issue that exists with the presence of this mold. Mold needs a water source for it to sustain growth. Hence, with the existence of toxic mold, your home must have some water issues. Building material, e.g. drywall, carpet padding, etc. can cause the onset of mold or prolong its existence. When you begin to see the mold, you may think it’s a new formation, but it has actually always been there. It is just that now the mold has found an environment perfect for growing and spreading. Mold that is living off wall material or floor material can become so strong that it can completely destroy the wall or floor. Mold can be a serious issue causing damage to property as well as serious health problems to people around it. Quick detection and resolution is a necessity when dealing with this problem.
How Did the Mold Get There?
Mold can grow on everyday building material and mold spores can be everywhere. But for mold to occur inside there must be a water issue or moisture problem. The root of these water issues could be from a number of causes. You could have a leaking roof or bad plumbing that is turning your house into a sick home (mold claim).
Will Toxic Mold Make Me Sick?
Humans can be exposed to small quantities of mold and not have any reactions. But in a sick home, there are large doses in the environment that will cause allergic-like symptoms or worse. A person can have an allergic reaction but it can get as severe as experiencing flu-like symptoms, breathing problems, skin reactions, or concentration and thinking problems.
What Do I Do if I have Mold?
There are different types of mold, some of which could be green or black. Building material that is old may have some discoloration that many will mistake as mold. Mold will appear as something growing on top of the material. It can be concentrated in one area and spread in a dot-like formation. Since mold needs a water source to live, you must discover where your water issues are in the house. Once you have taken care of the water issues, the next step is to clean the mold, which could be as simple as using household cleaners or ventilation. But if the mold quantity is high, you may need to contact a professional to properly remove all molds and any building material that has been affected.
Dealing with mold issues is very difficult and cannot be neglected. A sick home that has high quantities of toxic mold needs more than just a quick fix; your next step is to file a mold claim. If you suspect that you have a pretty serious issue with mold, if you are not sure, or if you have a sick home (mold claim) already causing problems, you need to contact an attorney. There are a lot of sick home (mold claim) cases that you are not aware of and will be very helpful as you proceed towards a resolution. Do not wait and try to take care of this on your own. Contact an attorney that has been there and knows what you need to do get you and your home back in shape.
Mildew is a furry fungus that can grow on plants or around windows. Mildew thrives in humid conditions and in areas with poor air circulation. Mildew can be white or gray in color. The presence of mildew can cause various health issues such as allergic reactions and/or breathing problems.
What do I do about the Mildew?
You must first understand that mildew is only a symptom of a bigger problem. If you have mildew in your home, even if it is in small quantities, there is a water issue or moisture issue in your house. The only way to take care of the mildew is to take care of the source of the water issues. Water issues can be caused by different construction defects in your home.
Builders and developers have to make a lot of decisions when they begin their housing development projects. Included in their decision making process is what products they buy, what building materials they use, and which contractors and/or subcontractors they hire. Frankly, these decisions can sometimes prevent or at least decrease the risk of any potential construction defect. However, these decisions could also be the root cause.
A water issues can stem from a roof that is leaking or a serious plumbing problem. Both of these examples can be caused by the developer or builder making a bad decision. They could have tried to cut costs by using a plumbing system that is substandard. They could have cut costs by using roofing material such as shingles that are also substandard and low in quality. The contractor that installed the plumbing system or built the roof could have been less than properly skilled, not licensed, or simply inexperienced. The fact remains that the liability for the damage the mildew has caused may lie in the lap of the builder or developer.
Since your water issues are most likely the cause of the mildew, you need to find out from where the water is coming. Once you have determined that, fix it and move on to cleaning the mildew. The mildew may be able to be cleaned by a cleaner bought in the store, but if the mildew has spread, it may require a professional cleaner. You do not want to leave any mildew behind.
If you see mildew or what you think may be mildew in your home, you need to contact an attorney today. An attorney will help you understand what needs to be done and in what order. Mildew problems can be quite overwhelming to deal with and quite costly. Your first priority is to make your home livable again, and second, you need to make sure who is actually responsible for this mess is held accountable. Contact an attorney today to help you protect your rights.
Water Proofing Failure
When you have water issues, it can be challenging to determine what the root cause is. Most likely your expertise is not in home construction, but you at least can recognize potential problems without further investigation. How do you determine if the water issues you are experiencing are because of a construction defect or just some needed small repairs? The answer will depend upon whom you ask. Nowadays, professionals in the construction business are fully aware of the litigious society we live in. If they can avoid liability, they will. There is a good chance that your water issues are because of water proofing failure which is most likely not the responsibility of the homeowner.
So what do you do? The first step is to get your house back to suitable living conditions. You need to find out what is causing your water issues. During this process it is very important that you document everything. Take lots of detailed notes, take pictures, and consult with an attorney. Since your goal is to fix your problem, you may lose some valuable evidence along the way. You are responsible for preventing any further damage to your home. You cannot just let your water issues worsen with hopes that someone else will take care of the repairs. You do not want mold or mildew to grow.
If you have discovered that water proofing failure is the cause of your water issues, you must contact an attorney. Water proofing failure occurs when a builder does not make appropriate choices. For example, the builder needs to choose quality material. Let’s use a roof as an example. If the materials used to waterproof the roof are substandard, water issues are inevitable. If the builder chooses a contractor whose skills are less than average resulting in poor workmanship, this can also cause leaks in your roof and then water issues.
Water proofing failure is the responsibility of the builder (or developer). You need to first discover what the root cause of your water issues is, and if you find a leakage somewhere contact an attorney. Do not wait. It is difficult and distressing to know exactly what you should do next. Contact an attorney in our office, and he or she will help you determine your next step.
We are dedicated to the successful representation of homeowners and homeowner associations in construction defect matters.
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Edge of Green Board above Tub or Shower Pan Lip has a Cut Edge Instead of the Wrapped Factor Edge
When the edge of green board above tub or shower pan lip has a cut edge instead of the wrapped factor edge you can experience water issues. Water issues can escalate quickly, turning what could be a quick repair into a major problem. If the edge of green board above tub or shower pan lip has a cut edge instead of the wrapped factor edge there is potential risk of mold or mildew to grow. This could be a costly fix while also creating an unhealthy environment.
Joints and Penetrations are Not Sealed with a Coat of Ceramic Tile Mastic Prior to Tile Installation
When joints and penetrations are not sealed with a coat of ceramic tile mastic prior to tile installation this may also allow for water issues to occur. It only takes a weak seal or lack thereof for moisture to seep under flooring. This construction defect can be detected in the beginning phases if there is some already-obvious water damage, e.g. dampness under the tile. But there is a good chance that a homeowner will not recognize this as an issue until there is serious water damage. Joints and penetrations that are not sealed with a coat of ceramic tile mastic prior to tile installation is an example of poor workmanship.
Insufficient Gap (Less than 1/4 Inch) between the Base of Green Board and the Tub or Shower Pan
Insufficient gap (less than 1/4 inch) between the base of green board and the tub or shower pan can cause a construction defect. There are building codes that a contractor needs to follow in any construction project. An example of this code or guideline is requiring a certain sized gap to exist between a base board and its tub. This will allow the building material to breathe properly.
Lack of Flexible Sealant Joint at the Tile-To-Tub or Shower Pan Juncture
Lack of flexible sealant joint at the tile-to-tub or shower pan juncture can also cause a water issue in your bathrooms. Again, a contractor carries the onus of ensuring that all proper materials and procedures are being implemented during a construction project. As a homeowner, you count on that.
The following are examples of what can go wrong in the finishing stages of a house:
Edge of green board above tub or shower pan lip is cut edge instead of the wrapped factor edge
Joints and penetrations are not sealed with a coat of ceramic tile mastic prior to tile installation
Insufficient gap (less than 1/4 inch) between the base of green board and the tub or shower pan
Lack of flexible sealant joint at the tile-to-tub or shower pan juncture
Do not delay – contact an attorney in our office for help with any of these issues.
We are dedicated to the successful representation of homeowners and homeowner associations in construction defect matters.
Begin your FREE case review today!
To answer the question, “What are construction defects?” would depend on your point of view, e.g., that of a homeowner, contractor, builder, product manufacturer, etc. Understand that there is a difference between what would be considered just a nuisance claim and an actual construction defect claim. Construction defects can be as complex as foundation issues that threaten the structural integrity of a building to more aesthetic issues such as improperly applied stucco.
Although there is controversy in defining what are construction defects, trial courts have grouped construction defects into four categories. These categories will help you understand what construction defects are.
1. Design Deficiencies in Engineering
The first category is design deficiencies which sometimes stem from the work of architects or engineers. These design professionals design a building or design a specific system that does not function as it was intended to function. The end result is a product that is defective. An example would be a roof that has been designed to be aesthetically pleasing and complex in design but is prone to leakage.
2. Material Deficiencies
The second category is material deficiencies. Using inferior building material can cause a variety of defect issues. An example of this type of defect that is fairly common is windows built with poor materials that leak even after being installed perfectly. Another example is material used inside of a wall that causes issues such as wall leaks or moisture damage. The building material that would be in question could be the building paper, particle board, roof shingles, etc.
3. Substandard Workmanship
The third category is construction deficiencies, also known as substandard workmanship. This category of construction defect usually becomes evident with water damage through some part of the actual building structure. Other examples of such a defect would be rotting wood, pest infestations, and cracks in floor slabs or in the foundation. There could also be evidence of construction deficiencies in lack of adequate sound insulation, electrical problems, plumbing issues, and/or inadequate fire-resistive construction between housing units.
4. Subsurface or Geotechnical Problems
The fourth category is subsurface or geotechnical problems. An expansive soil condition is a perfect example of this concern and is commonly found. This issue occurs when housing developments are built in areas where water once stood, or is hilly, both resulting in an unstable foundation upon which to build a house. If the builder does not prepare the soil properly on this type of subsurface condition, then inevitably you will begin to see symptoms of this construction defect. This also holds true if the builder does not keep in mind this type of potential soil issue when deciding on structure design. As a result, you may see problems including but not limited to vertical and horizontal settlement, slope failures, flooding, cracks in floor slab and hardscape. An extreme case would leave a building uninhabitable.
Since there are numerous issues that can occur with a building or a home, it’s hard to decide what are construction defects and what are not in a simple way. Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney today to find out exactly what is going on with your property and what steps you need to take to take care of it and to protect your rights.