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Residential Construction Defect Law: A Primer (Part 2 of 4)

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2010 | Uncategorized

Last Friday, I posted part one of a five part primer on Construction Defect Law.  To read part one follow this link: Part 1

Part 2: Types of Construction Defects

Construction defects usually include any deficiency in the performance of work and/or the supply of services including design, planning, supervision, inspection, construction and/or observation of construction. The legal standard implicated in these cases generally involve a failure to construct the building in a reasonably workmanlike manner and/or in the manner that is reasonably expected by the homeowner. Some of the most common and expensive construction defects include:

· Moisture intrusion (often resulting in toxic mold)
· Lack of Structural integrity – concrete, masonry, framing, foundation
· Unstable soils
· Mechanical
· Electrical
· Doors, windows and glass

Construction defects generally fall into one of four categories:.

Design Deficiencies

Design professionals, such as architects or engineers, who design buildings and systems do not always work as specified, which can result in a defect. Typical design deficiencies relate to building outside of the specified code. Roofs are an example of a typical design defect that result in water penetration, intrusion, poor drainage, or inadequate structural support.

Material Deficiencies

The use of inferior building materials can cause significant problems, such as windows that leak or fail to perform and function adequately, even when properly installed. Window leaks can result from many things including, rough framing not being flush with outside at openings, improperly flashed windows, improperly applied building paper, window frame racked during storage/moving, lack of sheet metal drip edge above window header, etc. Common manufacturer problems with building materials can include deteriorating flashing, building paper, waterproofing membranes, asphalt roofing shingles, particle board, inferior drywall and other wall products used in wet and/or damp areas, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Construction Deficiencies

Poor quality workmanship can result in a long list of defects. A typical example is water infiltration through some portion of the building structure, which may create an environment for the growth of mold. Other problems include cracks in foundations or walls, dry rotting of wood, electrical and mechanical problems, plumbing leaks, or pest infestation.

Subsurface Deficiencies

Expansive soil conditions are typical in California and Colorado, as well as other parts of the country. Many houses are built on hills or other areas where it is difficult to provide a stable foundation. A lack of a solid foundation may result in cracked foundations or floor slabs and other damage to the building. If subsurface conditions are not properly compacted and prepared for adequate drainage, it is likely the property will experience problems such as improperly settling to the ground (subsidence), the structure moving or shifting, flooding and in many cases more severe problems such as landslides.

For more on Construction defects click here.

Also see Part 1 and check back for tomorrow’s blog on Construction Defects & Legal Theories.

part three >>