A construction defect is a condition in your home that reduces its value. This covers a number of potential problems, from exposed nails and peeling paint to cracked foundations and structural failure. The number of construction defect cases is on the increase as more homes are constructed to meet the demands for housing.
There are four general categories of construction defects:
- Design Deficiencies: Design deficiencies typically result from design professionals, such as engineers and architects, who build outside the applicable code. For example, a roof built not following the building code can result in water intrusion or inadequate support.
- Material Deficiencies: Material deficiencies include the use of bad or improper building materials. Common examples include: leaky windows, bad asphalt, poorly installed roofing shingles, inferior sheetrock in damp areas.
- Construction Deficiencies: Construction deficiencies result from poor workmanship during home construction. This can result in issues like cracked foundations, dry rot, electrical problems, plumbing problems, and pest infestation.
- Subsurface Deficiencies: Subsurface Deficiencies occur when soil conditions make the home unstable. These often occur in homes built on hills or otherwise unstable locations. The result may be cracks in the walls, floor, or foundation of the home.
Common lawsuits for construction defects include negligence, breach of contract, strict liability, and fraud. If the lawsuit goes to trial, the construction defect will be proven in court with the help of expert testimony. Damages awarded by courts in cases of construction defects include:
- The cost of repair
- Decline in value
- Cost of temporary housing
- Court costs
- Occasionally, attorney fees.
Construction defect cases can be complex. They can include several defendants, insurance companies, and may be limited by a statute of limitations. If you believe your home may have construction defects, contacting an real estate attorney immediately can help you protect your investment.