construction defects 2.15 -gtg

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The reasons and causes of construction defects in homes and condos can also be based on the products and building materials the builder selects. Housing developments are going up with at such a rapid rate that builders and developers have a tendency to cut corners when they can. One area to do this is with building materials and/or products they use in the house. This could be appliances, plumbing equipment, dry wall material, and so on. This also goes for the contractors they choose to use. Again, some contractors cost more than others. This is clearly based on their qualifications and whether they are licensed or not. Poor workmanship frequently causes construction defects.

If you suspect that you may have a construction defect in your home contact our office right away.
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Construction defect liability generally is based on the decisions the builder and/or developer makes. First, they are in the position to decide what construction strategy they will use. The need to analyze the soil and prepare it adequately before breaking ground to build is an example of a decision. Second, the developer has a choice where to build and if land with bad soil is chosen, it is both the builder’s and developer’s responsibility to choose the best construction strategy that will prevent building issues and construction defect to occur (as much as possible).

If you suspect that you may have a construction defect in your home, condo or townhome, you need to document the issues you are experiencing. This would include taking pictures of any noticeable defects inside and outside your house. Also, you need to determine how severe the construction defect is to know whether or not you should take steps to repair it or if you can wait until you have consulted with an attorney. You need to consult with an attorney to know exactly what steps you need to take to come to the best resolution to your potential construction defect issues.

Causes of Construction Defects in Homes and Condos: Improper Soil Analysis and Preparations. Site Selection and Planning .Civil and Structural Engineering. Defective Building Materials (Material Deficiencies).Negligent Construction. Design Deficiencies. Construction Deficiencies

Improper Soil Analysis and Preparations
When a builder chooses an area of land to build on, it is important they do some sort of soil analysis and preparation. The analysis will provide the developer and/or builder with enough information to choose the adequate soil preparation and construction strategy that should be used to develop the land. Improper soil analysis and preparations can be very damaging to a housing development. For example, a builder can discover that the land soil is made up of expansive soil. If this is the case, houses need to have a foundation that will be able to support the changing pressure and consistency of the soil. This is because expansive soil will swell when wet and then shrink once it dries. If one builds on this type of soil and is not aware or it, there will inevitably be issues to handle. There will be cracks in the stucco, walls, retaining walls, garage floor, pavements and elsewhere. The fix is very costly and very intrusive. Unfortunately, the reality is improper soil analysis and preparations happen all the time.

Site Selection and Planning
The developer usually performs site selection and planning. This is a crucial decision since there are areas of land that are better to build on than others. A developer has to know to consider the potential risks in any given area. Is there a mountain nearby that could cause a potential landslide, mudslide? Are there geological hazards or slope instabilities that exist in the area? The developer needs to have answers to these questions.

Civil and Structural Engineering
Once the developer has completed the site selection and planning, civil and structural engineering comes into play. Decisions made during the civil and structural engineering phase can also impact the fate of each housing unit. The civil and structural engineering phase of a development project includes acquiring permits that need to be obtained, identifying codes that need to be adhered to and planning design phases that will be implemented. There is room for errors in any of these steps, as any of them cause construction defects.

Improper soil analysis and preparations or other errors of a builder and/or developer can be the cause of construction defects. Do not try to tackle these issues on alone. Contact an attorney today.

Defective Building Materials (Material Deficiencies)
Defective building materials can be a root cause of many building issues or construction defects. If a highly-skilled contractor builds a roof with defective building materials, it doesn’t matter how good his workmanship is. The roof will be a construction defect. The roof may leak, allow for moisture to seep in, cause dryrot to occur, allow for mold or mildew to grow and cause other problems. A builder should inspect all products for material deficiencies. He needs to ensure that everything is up to code, high in quality, and has gone through a proper quality control process. This will help decrease the chance of getting defective building materials (material deficiencies).

Negligent Construction
Negligent construction is an unfortunately common occurrence. A builder has to be very careful when choosing a contractor or subcontractor. A builder will sometimes use one contactor for various projects. A contractor may have skills to install plumbing but not the know how to build a roof. The responsibility can fall on several parties when there is a defect, and that’s up to your attorney to determine.

Design Deficiencies
Architects sometimes have a role in the cause or prevention of construction defects. An architect can create a design that may be aesthetically pleasing but weak functionally. This is where the other building professionals need to evaluate a structure for any design deficiencies. Some design deficiencies can be easily discovered while others will not be evident until implementation. This means that testing should be a required step. All of these checks and balances do not always happen.

There are a lot of building issues that can happen because of the actual material of your home. They can be defective building materials, negligent construction, design deficiencies, or material deficiencies. Any of these construction defects are hard to investigate since there are so many professionals involved. If you suspect that any of these could be issues in your home, you need to contact an attorney. An attorney can help you take the right steps to determine what caused your construction defects and what you need to do to take care of it. If you are not sure you even have a construction defect, contact an attorney today to get the answers you deserve.

Construction Deficiencies
Construction defects in a home or condo can be caused by a variety of issues. Determining if an issue is actually a construction defect is sometimes the biggest challenge you face. However, once you have determined that you have a construction defect, then you are ready to not only develop a strategy to perform the repair but also to determine who is responsible to repair the issue(s).

One cause of your construction defect could be construction deficiencies (poor quality or substandard workmanship). Builders today work fast. They have a timeline and a budget. Their goal is to complete a housing development on time while saving where possible. Where can they save? They can cut corners by hiring contractors who may not be the most qualified and do not have the skills to get the job done right. This is what it means to have an issue like construction deficiencies (poor quality or substandard workmanship).

Construction deficiencies (poor quality or substandard workmanship) can cause some of the most serious construction defects. If a roof is not built correctly, the result could mean mold or mildew. If windows are not installed properly, your home could have inefficient insulation or moisture buildup. With moisture comes mold. The construction defects could be numerous.

This would also be the case for subsurface/geotechnical problems. The burden is on the builder to choose a land to build on and then more importantly analyze the soil properly. If the analysis is performed properly the builder and/or developer are able to select the construction strategy that will consider potential subsurface/geotechnical problems. Expansive soil and collapsing soil are both examples of subsurface problems that can impact a house and cause rather serious building issues.

A builder and/or developer needs to know the land they are building on inside and out, or above and underground is more accurate. Besides soil analysis they should have a land survey that will consider other types of potential subsurface/geotechnical problems such as slope instabilities, landslides, mudslides, erosion, and so on.

These causes of construction defects, that is, construction deficiencies (poor quality or substandard workmanship) and subsurface/geotechnical problems can be difficult to detect and difficult to fix. The priority is to get your house back to a livable, safe condition. This can be an arduous task if you are not familiar with land development and all that goes in to it. Homeowners usually do not have knowledge in this area so choose to have an advocate that does. You need to contact an attorney that has the experience with construction defect issues and knowledge of construction law. Contact an attorney in our office today to be your advocate.

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We are dedicated to the successful representation of homeowners and homeowner associations in construction defect matters.
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Construction defects can cause a variety of building issues. Determining the root of the defect will depend on which area or areas of the house have been affected. Defects in the foundation, floor, or wall can be the direct result of soil issues, water issues, or even workmanship issues.

Questions about Building Issues and Problems?
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When a builder starts a new project, there are a lot of decisions to be made. But before any decision is made the first step is to survey the factors that will impact these decisions. One important factor to consider is soil. Does the builder know what kind of soil upon which the building will be built? What type of contractor will the builder use and what is the budget for them? The builder also has to decide what products and what building material will be used. Before groundbreaking, the builder has to make a lot of decisions that can either help prevent or may actually cause some building issues. Soil issues are a leading cause of construction defect. If the land is not properly prepared, the soil, whether expansive or collapsing, can cause damage to all areas of your home, i.e. the floor, the wall, the foundation and even roof cracks.

If you are noticing problems with your foundation, you may be experiencing water-caused issues as well as or instead of soil issues. You need to obtain a professional assessment of the situation, discover what the root cause is and receive an estimate for the repair. Cracks you find on your foundation could be the result of the builder choosing the wrong contractor or choosing a substandard plumbing system. Either way, water issues can become even more severe when they begin to affect the foundation, floor or wall.

If you are seeing roof cracks, then your construction defect can be due to faulty design. At times an engineer or architect can create a unique roof design that aesthetically is very pleasing but is functionality inadequate. It is the responsibility of the builder and architect to work together to ensure that a good design will not sacrifice proper functionality.

Building issues like roof cracks or foundation issues can be a root cause of many different construction defects. Do not wait to get an advocate on your side to help you take the right steps to resolve these issues. Contact an attorney today.

Types of Building Issues:Structural FailurePoor FramingVOCFaulty FoundationDeteriorating Asphalt PavementWindows and Doors DefectsMechanical DefectsFinishing IssuesDeteriorating Wood TrimExterior Wood Surfaces Not PaintedCracked TilesRotted Eave Boards
Structural Failure from Roofing Installed Incorrectly
One example is starting from the “top.” When a house has roofing installed incorrectly it can cause all sorts of building issues. If a contractor has poor workmanship in the roof, he or she can allow moisture to seep through. This can cause mold, mildew, or even dryrot. Dryrot can be extremely damaging. It attacks the wood leaving it discolored and inevitably ready to crumble. This can cause structural failure like the roof collapsing or a hardwood floor collapsing. Like mold and mildew, dryrot needs a moist area to survive as well as poor ventilation or wood that has not been weathered properly. The moisture does not even have to be that high. This, again, can be the result of substandard workmanship or the purchase of faulty building materials. This is a construction defect that needs immediate attention. If you suspect that your home has roofing installed incorrectly or dryrot is growing, you must get a repair strategy in place. Depending how far the dryrot has progressed, since structural failure is foreseeable, your home is not a safe place to reside.

Building Issues with Poor Framing
It is hard for a homeowner to know what poor framing can cause. In fact, some may assume that poor framing is due to an issue with the foundation, when in reality the issue is with the inadequate workmanship or inferior quality materials put into the framework of the house. Poor framing can show symptoms such as cracks around doors and windows. Some define a construction defect as an issue that will lower the value of your home. Poor framing is definitely a construction defect. Not to mention, this is a devastating issue to have to deal with. It can cost thousands to repair. There are other signs of poor framing that a professional can recognize.

Poor framing, dryrot growing, roofing installed incorrectly and potential structural failure are not building issues you want to deal with on your own. These issues can be quite detrimental, costly to repair, time consuming to deal with and emotionally draining. You need an advocate that understands these construction defects and how the law allows you to deal with them. You need an attorney who has experience with construction defect cases. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney to formulate the best resolution plan for your home.

VOC
Your new home, condominium, or townhome should be a safe haven for you and your family. You buy a home with a sense of confidence that your home is built tightly and up to code and that the builder and developer has your best interest in mind. This is usually the case. But, sad to say, the housing development industry has experienced such a rapid growth that it’s hard to for building professionals to keep pace. When they have chosen a type of house to build they make decision on the materials to use, e.g. carpets, plastics, or varnishes. These decisions are made quickly and frequently; consequently, choices are made without having enough information to make an adequate choice, or quite frankly with reducing costs wherever possible in mind.

The results of such a lack of due diligence is construction defects that can be quite a risk to someone’s health. For example, if a builder or developer hires a contractor that does not have the know-how to build a roof and is unable to recognize poor building material, then the roof will not be installed properly. Moisture can seep in causing mold issues, but to the contrary, the roof can be built tightly such that there is lack of breathing room for the wood. VOC or volatile organic compounds can be released into the air and can get into the house. The VOC comes from an organic chemical compound that has vaporized into the air. These VOCs can come from paint thinners, dry cleaning solvents, and other chemicals used in the building process. A builder, or more importantly, the contractor or subcontractor has to understand how different chemicals will react if for example the area they are going be used in is built tightly allowing for high vapor pressure. The contractor needs to know that volatile organic compounds are a serious potential problem that can also come from carpers, plastics or even varnishes.

If VOCs are not taken care of properly they can be released into the environment where they can cause soil contamination and/or groundwater contamination. VOC vapors can also add to air pollution. Your home that has off-gassing of the carpets and plastics can begin with being a problem for just you, but can quickly become your neighbor’s building issues, and his neighbor’s building issue.

You need an attorney who has experience with construction defect cases. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney to put together the best resolution plan for you and your home.

Faulty Foundations and EIFS (synthetic stucco) Installed improperly
Besides faulty foundations, lack of experience and excellent workmanship can become evident with your EIFS (synthetic stucco). If EIFS, a multi-layered finish, is installed improperly there are a number of symptoms you may see. Your EIFS can begin to crack and/or peel. EIFS (synthetic stucco) installed improperly can allow moisture or water to seep through into the walls. Usually when you see issues with EIFS, moisture is a factor. Once you have moisture in your walls, you have a potential for greater issues such as mold. You can begin to see leaks inside of your home. This trapped moisture may also create the perfect environment for mold or mildew to grow. Once mold or mildew starts to grow, what once was a somewhat easy and manageable fix has just jumped to a new level. Sometimes mold or mildew can be removed with household cleaners. If the mold spreads too quickly, you will need a professional cleaner to come and remove it. EIFS (synthetic stucco) installed improperly can be a silent destroyer. You could have a small enough crack you don’t notice that it has allowed this mold to grow beyond control. Cracks in the stucco could be a cause of the soil movement. This would mean that the builder did not take into account the type of soil where the house is built.

Damage seen in stucco could be cracks that are caused by soil 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 see 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.

If you have building issues with faulty foundations or are seeing some cracks and defects and suspect the EIFS (synthetic stucco) was installed improperly, contact an attorney today.

Deteriorating Asphalt Pavement
Deteriorating asphalt pavement is a construction defect that can be a result of poor building material or deficient workmanship. A builder has to know what type of soil will be under any pavement or concrete that will be developed. Soils can have an immense impact on the concrete that covers it. For example, expansive soil can swell and create a tremendous amount of pressure when wet, initiating cracks and deterioration of the asphalt. But deteriorating asphalt pavement can be avoided. A builder and/or developer can perform soil analysis that will uncover what type of soil there is as well as any other issues that would be a factor in determining what construction strategy should be used.

Windows Defects and Doors Defects
If deteriorating asphalt pavement remains for too long, it can begin to impact the structure of a house. Again, strong pressure from the soil can cause these pavement cracks to spread and also cause window defects and door defects. Window defects and door defects can be as minor has not closing properly or as major as cracks around the frame. It is sometimes hard to establish the root cause of window defects and door defects. This is why you need to consult with a professional that knows what to look for while inspecting your property. During this process it is important to take detailed notes as well as photos of everything. Your focus is how to fix the defects, but you should keep in mind that this may not be your responsibility to incur the cost of the repairs.

Mechanical Defects
A mechanical defect is a broad construction defect category and can happen quite often. The defect can be the result of poor material or a substandard product. How do you determine if the building issues you are having are because of a mechanical defect or simply because of poor workmanship? If your objective is to determine who is responsible for the cost of repairs, the answer does not matter. The onus is on the builder to choose a quality product and to ensure a qualified contractor will be performing the installation. If your garage door no longer shuts properly, if your chimney does not close correctly, if your ventilation system is failing, these can all be the result of a poor product or again, a quality product installed incorrectly. It is important do take note of the mechanical defects or failures you experience. With any machine or equipment, the defect may vary based on environmental conditions.

Whether you see window defects or door defects, or you have deterioration in your asphalt pavement or mechanical defects, you need to consult with an attorney. These building issues can be quite overwhelming; do not hesitate to contact an attorney today.

Finishing Issues
Construction defects can result in a variety of building issues. It’s sometimes hard to determine whether a defect is indeed just that, or if it’s simply a cosmetic issue that has no further root problem. Cracks in slabs can be a serious issue since a very likely cause is expansive soils. Finishing issues or improperly painted surfaces may not seem like a defect, but you have to evaluate your issue against what is defined as a construction defect.

There is a lot of controversy around what is considered to be a construction defect. It really depends on who you ask. In this litigious society we are in, builders are very careful about what they will say is a construction defect since they most likely would be liable. If you talk to a homeowner, their perspective is what will affect the value of their home and the safety of residing in the home. Mistakes made by an architect in the designs, the builder’s inability to build to code, or the inferior standard of what makes up the house, i.e. under-qualified contractors that were used or poor quality building materials used can all be red flags. With so many factors to consider in determining whether a construction defect exits, you must perform further investigation. The finishing issues you have although cosmetic, may affect the value of your property and could be covering up other building issues. This also holds true for improperly painted surfaces. This could be an example of poor workmanship; however, it can also be a sign of something more serious. The paint job could have been adequate; however, any soil movements can cause structure movement which will in effect appear as if there are improperly painted surfaces or other finishing issues.

Cracks in slabs, as mentioned, can be the result of expansive soil. This can be a very serious issue since when wet, expansive soil swells causing a great deal of pressure against anything that lies on it. This condition will cause cracks in slabs, walls, retaining walls and pavement. The builder has the opportunity to analyze what type of soil exists under the land. Proper analysis by the builder or the developer can aid in what construction strategies will be used to build. As the home buyer you have the right to know if the builder made such a discovery and if so, what construction plans were made to accommodate the soil situation. Do not hesitate to ask questions. Make sure to document any communication you have with the builder or any other professional you contact. Although it may be premature to determine if you have a construction defect case, it is better to be safe and track everything.

There is a lot to consider when handling cracks in slabs, finishing issues, or improperly painted surfaces. Contact an attorney today to help you understand what your next step should be.

Deteriorating Wood Trim
Water can be a destructive agent if the right environment exits. For example, if you have building issues that include a leaky roof that is leaking water into the wall it can be deteriorating wood trim on the inside of the wall. This construction defect can also be a result of moisture. If there is enough water that can cause dampness to the wall, deteriorating wood trim is inevitable. The mess water issues can create can be quite overwhelming and quite costly to fix. You have to understand that the root cause in this example is a leaky roof. How did this happen? Did the builder use a contractor that did not have the experience to build a proper roof? Did this contractor use substandard building material that he picked or was picked by the builder?

Unfortunately, builders sometimes cut corners. The goal is to get the house built on time and under budget. This pressure can cause the builder to make choices that may become costly to the homeowner in the future. Your objective should be to get your house fixed and livable if excessive water issues occur. But along the way it is crucial that you take lots of notes, keep all documents, and take lots of pictures. It may be too early to tell who is liable for the cost of repairs, so it is important that you have documentation if it is found that it was indeed the fault of the builder.

Exterior Wood Surfaces Not Painted
Water issues can seeped into a home and affect the integrity of the interior surface. But water and moisture can also affect exterior wood surfaces not painted. This could include window shutters, decks, and patios. If water sits and does not have proper drainage on the exterior of a house it can adversely affect the exterior wood surfaces not painted like a porch. When a builder decides to include such exterior wood structures like decks or porches, he must keep in mind any factors that may damage the deck. This also means that leaving exterior wood surfaces not painted can ultimately be detrimental to the integrity of the structure.

Building issues like deteriorating wood trim can be a construction defect that is the responsibility of someone else to fix. Contact an attorney today to determine what you should do next.

Cracked Tiles
When you discover cracked tiles in floors this can be the result of a serious construction defect. Some causes could be soil issues, poor building material, and/or terrible workmanship. First, soil issues can be a devastating problem. It can begin with cracked tiles in floors and move on to cracks in the stucco, walls, retaining walls, and so on. Second, the tiles that were used on your flooring could be low in quality. Since housing developments go up so quickly builders and developers are always pressured to finish on time and under projected costs. This would mean that when able, a builder may cut costs selecting tiles not up to code or a contractor that does not have enough training and/or experience. Hiring a contractor is one of many decisions a builder can make that will directly impact the quality of your house. It is their workmanship that can either prevent construction defects or cause them.

Rotted Eave Boards
Rotted eave boards can be the result of water issues that have been there for some time. Rotted eave boards are usually present for awhile before you discover signs of roof deterioration. The cause is failure to construct a proper drip edge. Again, this can be the fault of poor workmanship. The necessary fix is replacement of the rotted eave boards. However, before you take the steps to fix this building issue, you need to document and take pictures of the construction defect.

How do you determine the root cause of your cracked tiles in floors or rotted eave boards? Is it poor material or bad workmanship? Who incurs the liability to ensure the damage is repaired correctly and to pay for the costs associate with the repair? It is a tough process to go through on your own. You need to contact an attorney to help you make the right choices and steps to take care of these building issues. Contact an attorney in our office today.

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We are dedicated to the successful representation of homeowners and homeowner associations in construction defect matters.
Begin your FREE case review today!
There are some common problems arising from construction defects in homes and condos. As a homebuyer, it is in your best interest to at least be aware of the potential construction defects that can occur in a home or a condo. The first question is what exactly is considered a construction defect? The answer will depend on who you ask since everyone’s perspective in the building process is so different.

Common construction defects include improper design, water intrusion, gutter problems and more. Do you have a potential problem?
Contact our experienced attorneys today!
What is important as a home buyer is whether or not a specific construction defect will affect the value of the home or condo. Construction defects can be very damaging or they can be minimal. Either way the defect needs to be taken care of properly. The nature of the defect will determine how much time it will take to repair, how much it will cost, and quite frankly, how much of a headache dealing with it will be.

Common Construction Defect List
The following are descriptions of some common problems arising from construction defects in homes and condos. Construction defects could be the result of improper design or installation deficiencies. Construction defects could be due to substandard construction strategies, faulty workmanship inside and outside the house, bad building material, poor drainage systems or improper soil analysis and preparation.

If you have a construction defect that needs immediate repair, take steps to correct it and maintain detailed records. Make sure you document any communication you have with contractors, the builder or the developer. Although you may not need it now, if you suspect that you may have a construction defect, these records may come in handy later.

While dealing with a construction defect you may have many questions about how to best handle the situation. At what point do you contact the builder? Should you hire a third-party contractor for the repairs or use the builder’s contractor? How much of the repair costs is your responsibly? There are a lot of unknowns. Do not hesitate – contact an attorney today to help answer these questions.

Improper Design: Asphalt/Concrete Mixture not per Specifications

Construction defects can stem from the concrete and asphalt that surrounds your house. This could be due to improper design: asphalt/concrete mixture not per specifications. This kind of issue can result in a construction defect that may not appear at first, but will become more obvious with time. These installation deficiencies could cause a varying in thickness of the asphalt. Again, this may not be evident right away but if you add an issue like evasive soil, the defect will become more severe. Evasive soil, when wet, will swell and when dry will shrink. Depending on the climate, specifically the rainfall, evasive soil can be very damaging to concrete. The soil movement is unpredictable. At one time it can swell, shifting the house one way, and once the soil dries it can cause the house to shift the other way. This constant soil movement can cause all kinds of issues. It can create large cracks varying in thickness. Improper design: asphalt/concrete mixture not per specifications may increase the defects you experience with expansive soil.

Lack of Steel Reinforcement

Concrete steel reinforcements are used to minimize cracks. There are some in the industry who believe the lack of steel reinforcement can simply be replaced with supplemental admixtures. However, the lack of steel reinforcement will allow random cracking to occur and allow any expected cracks to become wider than normal. Proper steel reinforcement will minimize curling and displacement and increase the strength of the concrete slab.

Lack of Cross-Ventilation

An HVAC system needs to promote proper cross-ventilation. The lack of cross-ventilation can create issues with air quality and possibly lead to moisture buildup. The presence of moisture trapped in a humid area where there is a lack of cross-ventilation could be an inviting environment for mold. Lack of cross-ventilation can be the result of improper installation of the HVAC system.

Insufficient Ventilation Openings in Surrounding Walls

If you believe that you have poor air quality in your home, it can be the result of insufficient ventilation openings in surrounding walls. You have to rely on the architect, construction engineer, and/or builder to ensure there is not insufficient ventilation openings in surrounding walls.

Inadequate Clearance between Earth and Wood Components

If there is inadequate clearance between earth and wood components, you could experience the onset of wood-destroying organisms (WDOs). For example, there needs to be a clear space between the bottom of a floor and an area of unimproved ground. Inadequate clearance between earth and wood components should be avoided by following the building guidelines for your state.

Water entry into Crawlspace

If there is water entry into a crawlspace, this can lead to other very damaging issues. Mold and mildew grow best in humid, dark, low ventilated and wet areas. Crawlspaces match these requirements especially when water enters the area. Mold can be easy to remove or very difficult to remove. It depends on how much mold is present. Water entry into crawlspaces can also cause leaks to other areas of the house.

Lack of code-required access to Crawlspace

Once you discover there may be issues with your crawlspace, you need to decide on a repair plan. If there is a lack of code-required access to the crawlspace, you will not be able to complete a repair and in turn, whatever the construction defect may be can now affect other areas of your home. Lack of code-required access to crawlspace can turn a small construction defect into a crippling problem.

Tile Installed Over Water-Resistant Gypsum Board (Green Board) Instead of a Mortar Setting Bed or Cementitious Backer Board

Tile installed over water-resistant gypsum board (green board) instead of a mortar setting bed or cementitious backer board is another common problem. An issue that, again, may not be easy to identify. The choice to use gypsum board or not, or to use any other method is dependent on the contractor or subcontractor that does the job. The builder and/or developer is responsible for hiring a contractor that is qualified for the job they’ve been chosen to do. Unfortunately, there are times when builders need to cut corners. They have a timeline and a budget, both of which impact each and every decision they make. A construction defect like tile installed over water-resistant gypsum board (green board) instead of a mortar setting bed or cementitious backer board can be the result of an unqualified, substandard contractor. It may be difficult to recognize that this is the cause of your construction defect.

Any time you decide to begin repairing what you suspect may be a construction defect, it would be prudent to document any fixes or steps in this direction that you take. This would include taking detailed notes, taking lots of photos, and keeping all written documentation you receive from a worker/contractor.

Grade Slopes toward Building

When a grade slopes toward a building, this could be an example of an exterior construction defect. When this occurs you may experience drainage issues. Soil grading is an important step in the construction process. What kind of soil grading that is done can be determined or influenced by a soil analysis or soil preparations a builder and/or developer does before breaking ground. If the soil analysis was done improperly, if the soil was not prepared well, if the analysis was accurate but not followed, there can be a domino effect. The result in this scenario would be the soil grading. When the grade slopes toward the building, water may flow improperly causing water issues within the house or water issues with exterior structures like a deck or patio. If water is able to seep into the house, you could be looking at dryrot issues, mold or mildew issues, or other water issues.

These issues, improper design, or a grade that slopes toward a building can be construction defects that need immediate attention. Contact an attorney today to help you protect your rights.

Inadequate Vertical Offset between the Interior and Exterior Surfaces

Inadequate vertical offset between the interior and exterior surfaces is yet another construction defect that creates the potential for serious water damage. If the vertical offset is not adequate, water will take advantage of the resulting space and create any number of structural problems.

Lack of a bituminous or plastic protection barrier between the aluminum threshold and the concrete or sheet metal substrate

The lack of a bituminous or plastic protection barrier between the aluminum threshold and the concrete or sheet metal substrate is another example of unreasonable exposure to moisture and water, and is also considered a serious construction defect.

If you’ve experienced any of these issues or noticed any water in your home where it shouldn’t be, the last thing you should do is ignore it or hope that it will go away. If you don’t act, the problem will get worse.

In order to maintain the structural integrity of your home, you need to contact a licensed professional to immediately identify the problem. Your next step should be to contact an attorney immediately, as you have rights that need to be enforced.

No Protection Board

If your outside walls contain no protection board, then the surrounding earth next to your home will be free to erode your outer wall. This erosion will lead to the harming of the integrity of your foundation and subgrade, and no protection board means exactly that – no protection from the elements.

Improper and Incomplete Sheet Metal Flashing

Improper and incomplete sheet metal flashing can be a very serious issue. This is because an improper and incomplete sheet metal flashing can allow moisture to get into the workings of the house. This can then lead to a smelly situation that is hazardous to your house, that being mold or mildew. Mold and/or mildew are sometimes a pretty easy fix. Some mold can be cleaned with everyday household cleaners. Sometimes, however, the mold and mildew could be so bad that it requires a professional cleaner to remove the mold and its entirety. Regardless, mere cleanup is not enough. You need to rectify the cause of this water issue so that this does not happen again.

Both these issues may need some immediate fixes. You want to make sure that your home is back to a reasonable selling price and is a healthy living environment. In general, if you are thinking about getting a repair done, document everything even if it seems you are going overboard. Take lots of photos of before and after your repair and keep all contracts that you may collect.

Missing or Short Cut Roof Underlayment Felts

Leaks from a roof can be caused by several different issues. The design of the roof may be attractive but functionally weak. The roof may have bad workmanship. A roof can have multiple protective layers. If the roof is missing or short cut roof underlayment felts you may see some roof water issues or other problems. Roof underlayments can act as a secondary barrier that’s resistant to changing weather conditions.

Lack of Gutters

Lack of gutters could also cause water issues with a house. If there is excessive rainfall, lack of gutters could allow for water to drain against the house. This could cause water damage on the dry wall, stucco, decks, and other exterior structures.

Gutters Separating, Improperly Installed, or Missing

Gutters can either protect against water issues or, if the gutters are separating, improperly installed, or missing then the house may experience some minor or possibly major water damage. These issues can be caused because the building materials for the gutter are substandard, or it could even be due to the negligence of the contractor.

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We are dedicated to the successful representation of homeowners and homeowner associations in construction defect matters.
Begin your FREE case review today! List of Common Defects Found in Homes includes: Doors and WindowsGaragesDrainage/Sewage SystemsWallsFireplace, CeilingsFloorsPlumbing, ShowersDecks and Balconies, Crawlspaces Questions about common construction defects?
Contact our experienced attorneys today!
Doors and Window Defect Problems
Doors and windows could also demonstrate a construction defect with cracks in their frame or even moisture buildup in the glass. Both of these conditions can be symptoms of a bigger problem. Cracks in doors and windows’ frames can be due to soil movement, foundation issues, or poor building material, or construction deficiencies. Moisture that has entered the window glass can be a symptom of a water leak. A water issue can be a very tricky problem to handle. If not caught in time, water damage can be far-reaching. It can develop into dryrot which may not be evident at first. Moisture is a great breeding ground for mold and mildew. Taking care of an issue like mold or mildew can be as easy as using a household cleaner or as serious as needing to hire a professional cleaner.

Sliding Glass Doors

If there are construction defects like soil issues or construction negligence, one potential building issue would be that the sliding glass doors no longer close as they did before. Some soil issues can cause movement in the house causing almost a twist in the house’s foundation. Sliding glass doors, doors, and windows that used to close properly no longer close easily.

Garage Defects
Garages can also be impacted by construction defects. If there is a mechanical defect, the garage door may no longer work. If there is a soil issue that was not taken into consideration when the house was built, it could cause cracks in the garage floor or slab. Soil issues are not an easy fix like repairing the garage door opener. Garages can sometimes be the place to start when trying to investigate a construction defect.

Drainage/Sewage Systems Defects
Drainage/sewage systems can become an issue with poor workmanship or substandard products. If a contractor without the right skill set installs drainage/sewage systems improperly, it can result in some very damaging water issues. Inferior building materials or products can also cause a water issue. When you have water issues it seems like it doesn’t matter what the root of the issue is, instead your priority is figuring out how to fix it as quickly as possible. Making the repairs should be your priority. But later, when you are looking at the bill, you are going to want to know what caused the problem and who is responsible.

Where do you start? How do you determine what the cause is of your construction defect and who’s liable for the costs of repairs? You need to contact an attorney today to help you find the answers to all these questions.

Problems and defects with Walls
If you have construction defect issue likes soil movement, construction deficiencies, or low quality products used, you may see some symptoms in the exterior walls and interior walls. For example, walls may have cracks from the floor to the ceilings. Exterior walls and interior walls may have water damage. This could be due to poor workmanship on the roof, windows or doors. You may also see water damage from issues with cracks in the exterior wall that have allowed moisture to enter. In this case, you may find dryrot or mildew growing. Either issue is extremely difficult to repair. In general, water issues can be very detrimental since they can even cause structural failures.

Shear Walls

Shear walls refer to the vertical limps that help with structural support of exterior walls, floors and the foundation. Shear walls are an important part of a house’s structure since it has many functions, including keeping the shape of the structure and protecting it from elements such as wind or earthquakes that can literally tear a house apart. If you have a construction defect that impacts the foundation, you do not want the shear walls to be affected, but it can happen. Foundation issues such as expansive soils can create a great deal of pressure that can easily shift a wall or crack a slab. Any damage evident on shear walls is a sure sign of a very serious construction defect.

Below Grade Walls

Below grade walls will be most affected by water issues or foundation issues. Due to the nature of below grade walls, insulation is very important. If the integrity of the insulation is injected with water or moisture, this could result in a whole host of problems. Dryrot, mildew and mold are all potential construction defects you may encounter with below grade walls.

Retaining Walls

If you have a soil or foundation issue causing cracks in exterior pavement or structures, you may also see cracks in retaining walls. When the ground shifts because of improper soil preparation or improper construction strategies, it causes cracks everywhere.

If you are seeing cracks in exterior walls, interior walls, shear walls, below grade walls, and/or retaining walls, you probably have some kinds of construction defect. You need to contact an attorney with experience in construction defect law. Contact an attorney today before your problems worsen.

Fireplace, Ceilings Problems
A construction defect can be so severe that it causes cracks all over your house. The source of the construction defect will dictate what areas of the house will be most affected. Ceilings and fireplaces may show signs of a construction defect rooted from soil issues or water issues, but are not limited to just these two construction defects.

Expansive soil is a major cause of construction defect. Although we have the technology to determine if the land being built on contains expansive soil, builders and/or developers cut corners by disregarding this fact at times. It is necessary to choose a construction plan that will take the soil type into consideration. If a builder does not use these techniques and the soil gets wet, you will see some serious symptoms of a construction defect. A fireplace can become separated from the wall with the enormous pressure that wet expansive soil can produce. A fireplace can incur many cracks all over during this soil movement as well.

Ceilings are also damaged during a soil movement like when expansive soils swell when wet. When dry, expansive soil shrinks. This means that, depending on the weather, expansive soil can have a twisting effect. Ceilings can also be affected from the top down. For example, water damage from a leaky roof can be a big problem for ceilings. Mold and mildew can grow in ceilings if there is enough moisture present. Mold issues can be devastating. Ceilings that have moisture seeping in can be infected with dryrot which can eventually destroy the ceiling. This can be a very dangerous situation.

You need to evaluate what the construction defect is, its location, and how far it has progressed. Your first priority should be trying to repair any defect found. If you start to implement your repair plan, you need to keep all documentation you get from any contractors and keep your own detailed notes. Take pictures if you can. Although right now your focus is on getting your ceilings or your fireplace repaired, later you will want to decide who is ultimately responsible for the construction defects and who should incur the repair costs. Any documentation you have will be very helpful to an attorney that will help you with your case. You need to contact an attorney to help you make the right decisions moving forward.

Problems and defects with Floors
Soil issues can be a real problem for a home buyer. They are a common problem that has a tendency to mostly affect the foundation, i.e., floors, slabs and hardwood floors, but can very easily affect the rest of the house.

Your first step is to try to locate all areas of your house that are showing symptoms of a construction defect. This would include floors, slabs and the hardwood in your home. Always inspect the exterior walls and exterior structures. Document the symptoms you find with detailed notes and pictures. Take measurements of the cracks as well. Measuring the major cracks will help determine the severity of the issues since you can track any changes in the size of the cracks.

Besides cracks in your floors, slabs or hardwood, you may also discover water damage. Water issues can stem from a number of construction defects. They could include construction negligence, improper soil analysis, poor building materials or inferior workmanship. When the builder or developer chooses land to develop, it is important to conduct a proper survey of the land as well as a proper soil analysis. The findings obtained from this due diligence allow the builder and developer to determine what is the best construction strategy based on the type of subsurface discovered.

Unfortunately, the wrong construction strategy is sometimes used because of negligence or improper soil analysis. The builder could have chosen substandard building materials, e.g. roof shingles or dry wall materials. Contractors and subcontractors that worked on your home may not have been qualified to do so. These errors can results in leaks, drainage issues, sewage issues, moisture entrance and so on, all of which can lead to ongoing, very damaging water issues.

After inspecting your floors, slabs or hardwood and other areas of your house, your next step is to decide on a repair plan. Again, any contractors you contact and/or communication you have with the builder and/or developer should be documented. You should also contact an attorney today to help you take the best step forward towards obtaining a resolution with these construction defect issues.

Plumbing and Shower Problems
If you have begun to see what you suspect are construction defects in your house, condominium or townhouse, it is important that you understand what your options are. Some construction defects can start out as manageable but turn into very damaging issues. Construction defects associated with plumbing or showers are examples of such damaging construction defect issues.

Water issues are significant building deficiencies that cannot go too long without being repaired. Unfortunately, depending on the origin of your water issue, you may not be aware of any issue until it has reached a dangerous level. Water could have seeped in through your roof and produced an environment behind your shower perfect for mold or mildew to grow. It may not be until you start to experience some allergic reaction such as breathing problems or skin rashes that you realize that you may have a mold issue in your showers. It is usually then that you break your shower wall to discover that you have mold. Mold can sometimes be cleaned up simply by using a household cleaner, and other times it can require a professional to come in to remove it in its entirety. On the surface this will take care of the mold, but not the root cause of how it got there in the first place. Are there leaks in the roof? Are your showers made from bad building material? Do you have substandard insulation in your walls? Did the builder not use a contractor that was qualified?

Water issues can be a devastating experience since it can also impact your plumbing system or even stem from your plumbing. A leak or faulty plumbing can result in flooding rather quickly. As with other water issues, plumbing problems can be caused by contractor negligence or a bad product choice. Builders have a choice to make with contractors and/or subcontractors. Using the right contractor can help prevent some of the most common construction defects like those that are found with the plumbing. Conversely, hiring a contractor who does not know what they are doing just to cut costs can result in the situation you are facing – leaks, trapped moisture, or even mold.

What should your first step be? You need to find the source of your water issue. Again, this could have been going on for a long time, so do not take any more time to repair the issue. Not to mention, your aim is to keep your house safe and clean. It is your responsibility to fix the issue once you have discovered it. Some homeowners think they can let their repairs go until they complete any legal steps they have started. This is not a good practice. Once you have begun your repairs, make sure you document everything. This includes taking pictures and keeping all work statements and contracts. The initial discovery of a construction defect with your plumbing and/or showers is a good time to contact an attorney. Even if you are further along in the process, it is still a good idea to contact a construction defect lawyer, as he or she will make sure that your rights are protected.

Decks and Balconies, Crawlspaces
Construction defects can be hard to discover and repair. Each person you talk with will tell you something different in regards to what the construction defect is and how you should deal with it. One thing to understand is that construction defects do not only occur within your house. They can also impact exterior structures such as decks and balconies. They can also reach your crawlspaces. Areas like these are sometimes missed.

A common construction defect is improper soil analysis. A builder needs to survey the land upon which he is developing. There are different types of soil issues like expansive soil or collapsing soil that need to be discovered. If these types of soil issues are found before breaking ground, the builder can then construct with the soil type in mind. Water issues are also another common construction defect issue. These issues can include leaking roofs, moisture getting into walls and/or drainage issues.

Either of these common construction defects will have a direct impact on the obvious areas of your home, i.e. dry wall, showers, stucco, and so on. But these issues will also cause damage outside your house, i.e. to your decks and balconies, and above/below your house, i.e. your crawlspaces.

Crawlspaces can be above or below your house. These areas allow workers to have access to plumbing, electrical systems and other wiring systems. A homeowner will rarely visit this area and therefore, when a construction defect occurs here, the homeowner does not usually know. Water can seep into the walls of crawlspaces and moisture can linger here. Both of these scenarios will allow mold or mildew to grow. Cleaning up mold and mildew can be easy and done with a household cleaner. Other times mold can spread so much that you may need to contact a professional to clean up the mold in its entirety. The soil issues can cause cracks in the walls of the crawlspaces.

Water issues and soil issues impact decks and balconies in similar ways. You will see mildew grow if water seeps into the wood and/or dryrot problems. Soil issues cause ground movement that can shift decks making them unleveled, warped or cracked. Balconies will also become cracked or unleveled.

Construction defects with decks, balconies, and crawlspaces can be costly to repair. If you suspect you have these construction defects document what you are seeing and take pictures. Do not hesitate – contact an attorney to determine what your best next step would be.

Types of cracks from construction defects include:

Cracks in Stucco

Cracks in stucco are indicative of problems with the interior structure of your home or condo. Luckily, cracks in stucco are usually visible to the naked eye, and if you see these cracks in stucco developing, you need to have the issue examined immediately.

Cracks in Drywall

Cracks in drywall are also a signal of deeper problems with the craftsmanship of your home, so if you notice any cracks in drywall in your home or condo, take note of them immediately and contact an expert to identify the source of the problem.

Cracks in Tile Floors

Cracks in tile floors may be an indication of problems much more serious than faulty tiles. Cracks in tile floors could mean problems with your foundation, slab or frame, and you should not simply assume that this type of problem is minor.

Cracks in Concrete Flatwork

Cracks in concrete flatwork may be a signal to you that the flatwork itself is faulty. Cracks in concrete flatwork could also mean that there are problems with your foundation and/or your subgrade. If problems with your foundation or subgrade are not corrected, your home will eventually be destroyed.

Cracks in Slabs and Garage Flooring

Cracks in slabs and garage flooring are not only expensive to repair, but could be a sign that you need to have your foundation and subgrade checked, as these cracks are generally more a symptom than a cause of problems.

Overall, cracks that appear anywhere in your home should not be ignored, as they are often indications that more serious problems exist. If these problems are not resolved, your home could be destroyed. Contact a construction defect attorney immediately if you have concerns about cracks in your home.

Cracking in Stucco or Gypsum Board

Cracking of finishes such as stucco or gypsum board usually means that your home was not built with the proper materials, and this can lead to other serious problems in your home or condo. Builders have a duty to use materials that will prevent cracking of finishes such as stucco or gypsum board, as their professional status should make them aware of faulty materials before they are used.

Cracks in Windows

Cracks in windows may be nothing more than an errant baseball from a nearby game, but many times cracks in windows are the result of improper craftsmanship in regards to their installation or even problems with the frame of your home.

Excessive Wall Cracking

Excessive wall cracking is obvious to anyone who sees it, but what may not be obvious is the real problem behind excessive wall cracking. These cracks could be the result of faulty drywall, dry-rot or even foundational problems.

Cracked Finishes

Cracked finishes could either be a cause or a result of a serious problem with the construction of your home. If you notice any number of cracked finishes, you need to keep in mind that they could be due to improper materials or even serious construction defects as they relate to the frame of the building itself.

If any of the problems above surface after you move into your home, you need to do two things to mitigate the suffering that may follow. First, contact a contractor to examine the problem, as serious issues with the construction of your home could be present. Second, you need to contact a construction defect attorney immediately, as the longer you wait, the worse the problem could get and the more difficult it becomes to protect your rights.

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We are dedicated to the successful representation of homeowners and homeowner associations in construction defect matters.
Begin your FREE case review today! List of Common Defects Found in Homes includes: Doors and WindowsGaragesDrainage/Sewage SystemsWallsFireplace, CeilingsFloorsPlumbing, ShowersDecks and Balconies, Crawlspaces Questions about common construction defects?
Contact our experienced attorneys today!
Doors and Window Defect Problems
Doors and windows could also demonstrate a construction defect with cracks in their frame or even moisture buildup in the glass. Both of these conditions can be symptoms of a bigger problem. Cracks in doors and windows’ frames can be due to soil movement, foundation issues, or poor building material, or construction deficiencies. Moisture that has entered the window glass can be a symptom of a water leak. A water issue can be a very tricky problem to handle. If not caught in time, water damage can be far-reaching. It can develop into dryrot which may not be evident at first. Moisture is a great breeding ground for mold and mildew. Taking care of an issue like mold or mildew can be as easy as using a household cleaner or as serious as needing to hire a professional cleaner.

Sliding Glass Doors

If there are construction defects like soil issues or construction negligence, one potential building issue would be that the sliding glass doors no longer close as they did before. Some soil issues can cause movement in the house causing almost a twist in the house’s foundation. Sliding glass doors, doors, and windows that used to close properly no longer close easily.

Garage Defects
Garages can also be impacted by construction defects. If there is a mechanical defect, the garage door may no longer work. If there is a soil issue that was not taken into consideration when the house was built, it could cause cracks in the garage floor or slab. Soil issues are not an easy fix like repairing the garage door opener. Garages can sometimes be the place to start when trying to investigate a construction defect.

Drainage/Sewage Systems Defects
Drainage/sewage systems can become an issue with poor workmanship or substandard products. If a contractor without the right skill set installs drainage/sewage systems improperly, it can result in some very damaging water issues. Inferior building materials or products can also cause a water issue. When you have water issues it seems like it doesn’t matter what the root of the issue is, instead your priority is figuring out how to fix it as quickly as possible. Making the repairs should be your priority. But later, when you are looking at the bill, you are going to want to know what caused the problem and who is responsible.

Where do you start? How do you determine what the cause is of your construction defect and who’s liable for the costs of repairs? You need to contact an attorney today to help you find the answers to all these questions.

Problems and defects with Walls
If you have construction defect issue likes soil movement, construction deficiencies, or low quality products used, you may see some symptoms in the exterior walls and interior walls. For example, walls may have cracks from the floor to the ceilings. Exterior walls and interior walls may have water damage. This could be due to poor workmanship on the roof, windows or doors. You may also see water damage from issues with cracks in the exterior wall that have allowed moisture to enter. In this case, you may find dryrot or mildew growing. Either issue is extremely difficult to repair. In general, water issues can be very detrimental since they can even cause structural failures.

Shear Walls

Shear walls refer to the vertical limps that help with structural support of exterior walls, floors and the foundation. Shear walls are an important part of a house’s structure since it has many functions, including keeping the shape of the structure and protecting it from elements such as wind or earthquakes that can literally tear a house apart. If you have a construction defect that impacts the foundation, you do not want the shear walls to be affected, but it can happen. Foundation issues such as expansive soils can create a great deal of pressure that can easily shift a wall or crack a slab. Any damage evident on shear walls is a sure sign of a very serious construction defect.

Below Grade Walls

Below grade walls will be most affected by water issues or foundation issues. Due to the nature of below grade walls, insulation is very important. If the integrity of the insulation is injected with water or moisture, this could result in a whole host of problems. Dryrot, mildew and mold are all potential construction defects you may encounter with below grade walls.

Retaining Walls

If you have a soil or foundation issue causing cracks in exterior pavement or structures, you may also see cracks in retaining walls. When the ground shifts because of improper soil preparation or improper construction strategies, it causes cracks everywhere.

If you are seeing cracks in exterior walls, interior walls, shear walls, below grade walls, and/or retaining walls, you probably have some kinds of construction defect. You need to contact an attorney with experience in construction defect law. Contact an attorney today before your problems worsen.

Fireplace, Ceilings Problems
A construction defect can be so severe that it causes cracks all over your house. The source of the construction defect will dictate what areas of the house will be most affected. Ceilings and fireplaces may show signs of a construction defect rooted from soil issues or water issues, but are not limited to just these two construction defects.

Expansive soil is a major cause of construction defect. Although we have the technology to determine if the land being built on contains expansive soil, builders and/or developers cut corners by disregarding this fact at times. It is necessary to choose a construction plan that will take the soil type into consideration. If a builder does not use these techniques and the soil gets wet, you will see some serious symptoms of a construction defect. A fireplace can become separated from the wall with the enormous pressure that wet expansive soil can produce. A fireplace can incur many cracks all over during this soil movement as well.

Ceilings are also damaged during a soil movement like when expansive soils swell when wet. When dry, expansive soil shrinks. This means that, depending on the weather, expansive soil can have a twisting effect. Ceilings can also be affected from the top down. For example, water damage from a leaky roof can be a big problem for ceilings. Mold and mildew can grow in ceilings if there is enough moisture present. Mold issues can be devastating. Ceilings that have moisture seeping in can be infected with dryrot which can eventually destroy the ceiling. This can be a very dangerous situation.

You need to evaluate what the construction defect is, its location, and how far it has progressed. Your first priority should be trying to repair any defect found. If you start to implement your repair plan, you need to keep all documentation you get from any contractors and keep your own detailed notes. Take pictures if you can. Although right now your focus is on getting your ceilings or your fireplace repaired, later you will want to decide who is ultimately responsible for the construction defects and who should incur the repair costs. Any documentation you have will be very helpful to an attorney that will help you with your case. You need to contact an attorney to help you make the right decisions moving forward.

Problems and defects with Floors
Soil issues can be a real problem for a home buyer. They are a common problem that has a tendency to mostly affect the foundation, i.e., floors, slabs and hardwood floors, but can very easily affect the rest of the house.

Your first step is to try to locate all areas of your house that are showing symptoms of a construction defect. This would include floors, slabs and the hardwood in your home. Always inspect the exterior walls and exterior structures. Document the symptoms you find with detailed notes and pictures. Take measurements of the cracks as well. Measuring the major cracks will help determine the severity of the issues since you can track any changes in the size of the cracks.

Besides cracks in your floors, slabs or hardwood, you may also discover water damage. Water issues can stem from a number of construction defects. They could include construction negligence, improper soil analysis, poor building materials or inferior workmanship. When the builder or developer chooses land to develop, it is important to conduct a proper survey of the land as well as a proper soil analysis. The findings obtained from this due diligence allow the builder and developer to determine what is the best construction strategy based on the type of subsurface discovered.

Unfortunately, the wrong construction strategy is sometimes used because of negligence or improper soil analysis. The builder could have chosen substandard building materials, e.g. roof shingles or dry wall materials. Contractors and subcontractors that worked on your home may not have been qualified to do so. These errors can results in leaks, drainage issues, sewage issues, moisture entrance and so on, all of which can lead to ongoing, very damaging water issues.

After inspecting your floors, slabs or hardwood and other areas of your house, your next step is to decide on a repair plan. Again, any contractors you contact and/or communication you have with the builder and/or developer should be documented. You should also contact an attorney today to help you take the best step forward towards obtaining a resolution with these construction defect issues.

Plumbing and Shower Problems
If you have begun to see what you suspect are construction defects in your house, condominium or townhouse, it is important that you understand what your options are. Some construction defects can start out as manageable but turn into very damaging issues. Construction defects associated with plumbing or showers are examples of such damaging construction defect issues.

Water issues are significant building deficiencies that cannot go too long without being repaired. Unfortunately, depending on the origin of your water issue, you may not be aware of any issue until it has reached a dangerous level. Water could have seeped in through your roof and produced an environment behind your shower perfect for mold or mildew to grow. It may not be until you start to experience some allergic reaction such as breathing problems or skin rashes that you realize that you may have a mold issue in your showers. It is usually then that you break your shower wall to discover that you have mold. Mold can sometimes be cleaned up simply by using a household cleaner, and other times it can require a professional to come in to remove it in its entirety. On the surface this will take care of the mold, but not the root cause of how it got there in the first place. Are there leaks in the roof? Are your showers made from bad building material? Do you have substandard insulation in your walls? Did the builder not use a contractor that was qualified?

Water issues can be a devastating experience since it can also impact your plumbing system or even stem from your plumbing. A leak or faulty plumbing can result in flooding rather quickly. As with other water issues, plumbing problems can be caused by contractor negligence or a bad product choice. Builders have a choice to make with contractors and/or subcontractors. Using the right contractor can help prevent some of the most common construction defects like those that are found with the plumbing. Conversely, hiring a contractor who does not know what they are doing just to cut costs can result in the situation you are facing – leaks, trapped moisture, or even mold.

What should your first step be? You need to find the source of your water issue. Again, this could have been going on for a long time, so do not take any more time to repair the issue. Not to mention, your aim is to keep your house safe and clean. It is your responsibility to fix the issue once you have discovered it. Some homeowners think they can let their repairs go until they complete any legal steps they have started. This is not a good practice. Once you have begun your repairs, make sure you document everything. This includes taking pictures and keeping all work statements and contracts. The initial discovery of a construction defect with your plumbing and/or showers is a good time to contact an attorney. Even if you are further along in the process, it is still a good idea to contact a construction defect lawyer, as he or she will make sure that your rights are protected.

Decks and Balconies, Crawlspaces
Construction defects can be hard to discover and repair. Each person you talk with will tell you something different in regards to what the construction defect is and how you should deal with it. One thing to understand is that construction defects do not only occur within your house. They can also impact exterior structures such as decks and balconies. They can also reach your crawlspaces. Areas like these are sometimes missed.

A common construction defect is improper soil analysis. A builder needs to survey the land upon which he is developing. There are different types of soil issues like expansive soil or collapsing soil that need to be discovered. If these types of soil issues are found before breaking ground, the builder can then construct with the soil type in mind. Water issues are also another common construction defect issue. These issues can include leaking roofs, moisture getting into walls and/or drainage issues.

Either of these common construction defects will have a direct impact on the obvious areas of your home, i.e. dry wall, showers, stucco, and so on. But these issues will also cause damage outside your house, i.e. to your decks and balconies, and above/below your house, i.e. your crawlspaces.

Crawlspaces can be above or below your house. These areas allow workers to have access to plumbing, electrical systems and other wiring systems. A homeowner will rarely visit this area and therefore, when a construction defect occurs here, the homeowner does not usually know. Water can seep into the walls of crawlspaces and moisture can linger there. Both of these scenarios will allow mold or mildew to grow. Cleaning up mold and mildew can be easy and done with a household cleaner. Other times mold can spread so much that you may need to contact a professional to clean up the mold in its entirety. The soil issues can cause cracks in the walls of the crawlspaces.

Water issues and soil issues impact decks and balconies in similar ways. You will see mildew grow if water seeps into the wood and/or dryrot problems. Soil issues cause ground movement that can shift decks making them unleveled, warped or cracked. Balconies will also become cracked or unleveled.

Construction defects with decks, balconies, and crawlspaces can be costly to repair. If you suspect you have these construction defects document what you are seeing and take pictures. Do not hesitate – contact an attorney in our office to determine what your best next step would be.

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