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Construction Defects

Construction Defects

Pursiano Barry Bruce Demetriades Simon LLP has vast experience representing clients such as community associations, commercial property owners and tenants, residential multi-unit property owners, governmental entities, design professionals, contractors, subcontractors, and individuals. We represent owners who have been damaged by faulty construction.

Often defective construction is the result of inadequate supervision, cutting corners, hasty construction schedules, or poor design. Some of the worst problems stem from water intrusion which can be very difficult to detect.  The issue often persists for years before being noticed. Though not easily discoverable to an owner, water intrusion can cause wood rot, decay, mold, and mildew. These conditions often require extensive repair and remediation. Other common problems with construction include poor ground preparation and analysis.  In regions prone to earthquake collapsible expansive soils or sinkholes, such defects are critical.

At no cost to you, our law firm will analyze your claim.  If we deem it viable, we will engage expert architects, engineers, and contractors to evaluate the quality of construction and develop a scope of repair. We will engage in pre-suit negotiations with the developer, contractors, and design professionals as appropriate.  If these negotiations do not resolve your claim, we will file a lawsuit. We will interview witnesses, gather relevant documents and further develop the case for trial. All of this occurs at no cost to the client. We are only paid if you recover money from a judgment or settlement.

If you require counsel regarding a case for construction defects, contact our civil law attorneys.

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What Is A Construction Defect?

Construction defects can be categorized as design defects, material defects, or poor workmanship that makes the structure unsafe or unsuitable for the structure’s intended purpose or may cause permanent or severe damage to the property if uncorrected. Defects in construction may result in substantial impacts to the structure itself, the individuals who either inhibit or spend time within or near the structure, and the financial investment of the property owner, property manager, managing company, or individual who paid for the construction. The nature of the impact varies widely, depending on the type of defect and can range from a simple inconvenience to the complete degradation and loss of the property. Not only do construction defects reduce the value of residential and commercial properties, but these defects may also subject occupants to health and safety hazards.

Construction defect litigation requires specialized skill and knowledge regarding the issues and techniques involved in common construction activities. Such defects often involve problems that may have arisen in during the design, planning, supervision, inspection or construction of any new structure, whether residential or commercial. The legal standard is whether the contractor or developer built the building in a reasonably workmanlike manner and/or if the structure fails to perform in a manner that is reasonably intended by the purchaser.

Assessing Defects & Compensatory Damages

Our civil litigation law firm works closely with top architecture, engineering, construction, and statistical experts to establish the existence of defects and damages at our client’s property. The cost to repair the defects is the heart and soul of the case. Through advanced computer simulation, our experts gain a thorough understanding of the ways in which the defective building acquired the damage and how the structure may perform in the future, which provides scientific-supported evidence to legal recommendations for compensatory damages. These defects can appear immediately or upon completion of construction. However, it typically takes several years of weathering for the symptoms of a defect to manifest.

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Common Types Of Construction Defects

Common types of conditions which directly result from construction defects include the following.

  • Damaged drywall either around or adjacent to windows and sliding glass doors (due to failure to install required weatherproofing per the building code)
  • Sewer/plumbing backups (inadequate sewer line installation)
  • AC and ventilation systems fail to cool and dehumidify (causing mold growth)
  • Cracks in drywall and stucco (caused by inadequate design or failure to follow the design plans)
  • Cracks in building foundation and/or slab (suggestive of underlying soil issues)
  • Flickering Lights or electrical outage (inadequate electrical load and/or wiring)
  • Roof defects (leaks or tiles falling off roof)
  • Damaged drywall at or adjacent to the windows and sliding glass doors (due to failure of installing weatherproofing measures as required per the building code)

Why Do Defects Occur In Construction?

All structures develop natural signs of wear and tear over time due to environmental elements and regular use. When a structure develops issues associated with age-related degradation immediately or soon after it was developed or built, the fault is often attributed to the designer, contractor, builder, or manufacturer of products used during construction.

There are four main types of construction defects — poor workmanship, design deficiencies, material deficiencies, and land defects. Each has its own implications for civil litigation. For more information about construction defects or to discuss your case with a civil law attorney in Florida, Nevada or California, contact us today.

Poor Workmanship

Poorly performed work often results in defects such as cracks in the structure’s foundation or load-bearing walls, plumbing problems, and faulty electrical wiring, among a number of other types of construction defect issues.

Design Deficiencies

Design defects occur when there is a flaw in the design of a structure, for which the liability is often attributed to a construction design professional, such as the architect or the engineer. Buildings that are not in compliance with the relevant building codes or structures which suffer from issues integrally related to the design fall within this category.

Material Deficiencies

When the materials used to construct a building are inadequate or function poorly, there is likely a construction defect of material deficiency or inadequacy. Examples of such deficiencies are leaky roofs or windows, inferior drywall, deteriorating flashing, or faulty building paper.

Land Defects

Land defects often occur due to problems in the design and planning phase of a construction project. Issues regarding land defects do not relate to a defect with the structure itself, but rather the issue is with the land or soil atop which the structure is built, which causes substantial problems for the structure.

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