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Common construction defects impacting buildings and homes

| Sep 1, 2020 | Construction Law |

Construction projects are a frequent occurrence in Florida. Whether it is to rebuild what is lost in a hurricane or storm or a project to renovate or build up an area, the construction of buildings, businesses and homes occur each year throughout the state. While they are a common occurrence, construction projects are not perfect. Delays could happen, issues with the contract could occur and major issues with the constructed building or dwelling could arise. Whether it was improperly built, the wrong material was used or another issue occurred, construction defects or deficiencies could happen. When such an incident does transpire, it could result in major defects that significantly impact the quality, functionality and livability of a structure.

Most common defects in construction

Oftentimes, construction defects are major and expensive. They could occur in the design and planning phase, during construction or during the inspection of the building. The most common and high-cost construction defects include structural integrity, expansive soils, mechanical defects, electrical defects, water intrusion that results in toxic mold, thermal and moisture protection, doors, windows and glass and finishes.

Types of construction deficiencies

There are four types of defects that could impact a constructed building or home.

  • The first is design deficiencies. This occurs when the design of the building or system within it does not work as specified. Commonly, this occurs when the building r system are outside of the specified code. For example, a roof design may fall outside of a code, resulting in water penetration, intrusion, poor drainage or inadequate structural support. Any of these defects could significantly compromise the quality, integrity and livability of a building.
  • The second type of construction defect is material deficiencies. This commonly occurs when inferior building materials are used. This could result in significant problems with the structure. This could range from installing windows that fail to perform to inferior drywall. When inferior materials are used, this could result in significant issues with the building, such as leaks, heating, cooling and overall functionality of the structure.
  • The third type is construction deficiencies, which focuses on the workmanship of the structure. When the quality is poor, this could lead to major issues.
  • The final type is subsurface deficiencies. This occurs when there is a lack of solid foundation. This could result in improper settling, structure moving or shifting, flooding and even landslides.

When a construction defect occurs, there are possible actions one could take. No matter when they occurred or when they are discovered, one could take legal action to resolve the matter. Because they can evolve into a complicated matter, it is vital to fully explore your legal rights and options when filing a civil action.

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Dana Watts is a board certified civil trial lawyer by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization with more than 30 years of litigation experience. He also received an AV* peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell.

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Dana J. Watts Attorney at Law

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