Fixing a construction defect is relatively easy while the project is still underway. Unfortunately, a lot of the time the property owner does not discover the problem until the job is done and the builder has moved on to other projects. It can be years before a serious defect comes to light.
Besides the timing factor, some defects are more obvious than others. Defects can be very visible, or they can be very hard to find. Construction problems that cannot easily be discovered are called “latent defects.” It can be difficult for owners to prove that a problem with their property is due to a latent defect, but it is possible.
Repairing defects can be expensive for construction companies. The cost in money, workers’ time and resources depends on the type of problem. For new home builders, the cost to their reputation that a lawsuit causes can be even more serious than the cost of the suit itself.
Possible construction defects include:
- Structural deficiencies
- Defects in the heating, electrical or mechanical systems
- Defective construction materials
- Subsurface problems
- Water seepage and faulty drainage
Especially when the owner is alleging a latent defect, construction litigation can be highly technical. A construction company can be vulnerable to an unfair judgment or settlement if they do not hire an experienced attorney to represent them during the litigation.
Mistakes happen, but if there is no defect, or if a problem with a building is not the fault of the company that built or remodeled it, that company should not have to pay to solve the issue.