Construction defects can range from an improperly installed tile to more serious and costly problems, like an improperly installed exterior wall system that allows water intrusion or mold-growth. When such errors result in property damage or harm to a person, owners may pursue compensation for their losses.
What Is a Construction Defect?
Construction defects may include deficiencies in the design, manufacture, construction or repair of a new residential property or an addition to an existing residence, or of an appurtenance. Faults in the construction may rise to the level of defects when they are not completed in a “good and workmanlike manner” and “proximately causes physical damage” or “which presents an unreasonable risk of injury to a person or property”.
Design defects include errors to certain design elements that require a redesign or the replacement of some components to correct the mistake. For example, a roof designed with an incorrect pitch may cause poor drainage or allow water seepage, which may increase the risk of mold growth, destroy appliances or home interiors, or result in other costly damages.
Material defects involve the use of substandard, damaged, or otherwise inadequate building materials in the construction of a home. Inferior building materials may result in home features not functioning correctly, deteriorating quicker than expected, or providing inadequate structural support.
Errors involving the construction or repair of a property may occur as a result of contractors failing to follow applicable codes, industry quality standards, construction documents, or manufacturer’s installation instructions. For instance, workmanship defects may include improper soil compaction, which may allow a home’s foundation to sink, crack, or otherwise sustain damage.
How Do Construction Defect Cases Work?
Property owners who fall victim to negligent construction may take legal action and may be able to recover compensation for their losses. Homeowners may be able to file a lawsuit against their contractor or developer and, potentially, others involved with the design and building of their properties. Within 10 years of the substantial completion of a new construction or a property improvement, owners may be able to seek damages, including the costs of repairing the damage and some of the expenses associated with pursuing their claims, from those responsible for the defects to their properties.