A construction defect is any condition on a property, industrial or residential, that reduces the value of the property. The party must identify a deficiency in the construction process itself, a failure in the structure, or serious damage to a person or property.
These types of defects can be caused by multiple situations, but some of the most common are:
When distinguishing the type of construction defect, it is broken down into two types: patent or latent defects. Patent defects are easily identifiable and often discovered during or soon after a project is completed. They should be found during initial or standard inspections. Latent defects are a bit less obvious – they will most likely be missed during inspections and cause larger, deeper issues for projects.
Once a defect is classified as patent or latent, we can break it down even further into a defect category. The three most common defects are design, material, and workmanship defects.
Design Defects: A design defect stems out of the inability of a construction organization to produce accurate or usable construction documentation. Errors usually require redesign and can often be addressed by a change in the scope of work.
Workmanship Defects: These types of defects often boil down to human error – displaying as simple aesthetic issues or something as serious as structural integrity. Identifying who failed to follow the proper standard of care in these situations can prove challenging.
Material Defects: Usually the fault of a manufacturer, material defects arise when faulty materials are unknowingly incorporated into a project.
When a construction defect is identified, the process of construction defect litigation often follows. The construction defect litigation process is long, costly, and very complicated. Some of the biggest challenges include communicating with numerous defendants, identifying varying insurance policy coverages, anti-indemnity statutes, and fact-intensive discovery procedures.
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