Construction sites are often hives of activities. Large skyscrapers will have hundreds of workers ranging from ironworkers to crane operators to cement contractors to landscapers. But even residential homes will often different crews handling roofing, framing, pouring the foundation or laying sod. In both cases, there are also architects, suppliers, and manufacturers of building materials.
The result is a commercial space or home that smells like fresh paint, new carpet, no nicks in the doors, nor cracks in the foundation. However, the HVAC may not work properly, the windows leak, or there is flooding in the basement. These problems are known as construction defects. They can be latent defects that emerge over time or patent defects that are immediately apparent.
Common causes of defects
Different businesses involved in the project can be the cause of a defect:
- Shoddy workmanship leads to cosmetic issues, leaking or structural problems.
- Poor site selection, preparation or design can lead to problems with the foundation.
- Building materials do not perform as advertised by manufacturers.
- The utilities or HVAC do not function as designed by engineers.
These issues can then lead to other problems. For example, roof leakage can lead to toxic mold and interior blemishes on ceilings and walls.
Fixing the problem
Ideally, the people involved in the building project are willing to fix mistakes, but it is rarely as simple as changing the paint color. Few contractors will drop everything to redo work, and then they may disagree on the scope of the repair. Fixing leaks in the foundation or roof can cost thousands of dollars or more, and sometimes problems appear months or a few years after occupants move in.
Filing a claim
Fortunately, Texas and other states have statutes regarding building defects that, depending on the defect, last for many years. This can include compensation for the cost of the repairs or replacement. Owners of a commercial building can seek compensation for the expense of not being able to fully utilize spaces by leasing them to tenants. There may also be a loss of value due to the defect, punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
Those with questions about construction defects can contact an attorney who handles construction litigation. They can provide helpful insights based on the specific details of the issue.