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Types of Construction Defects

McCarter | East PLLC Nov. 15, 2023

Building Inspector Checking Material and Structure in ConstructionAs a construction law firm, we realize the stress and frustration that can accompany dealing with construction defects. It's especially tough when you've invested so much time, money, and effort into your property. Whether you're a homeowner or a property owner dealing with issues stemming from construction projects, we're here for you. Our team at McCarter | East PLLC stands ready to provide the legal guidance and support you need to navigate these often complex and challenging situations. 

Our experience in construction law equips us to handle a wide array of construction defect cases. We understand the intricacies involved and are committed to helping our clients seek the compensation they rightly deserve. We're located conveniently close to the courthouse in Murfreesboro and Manchester, Tennessee, making us your local choice for legal assistance. 

What Qualifies as a Construction Defect? 

A construction defect is more than just an error or hiccup in the construction process. It's a significant flaw that can lead to severe consequences, affecting not only the integrity of the structure but also the safety of those who inhabit or visit it. These defects can stem from various sources, including problematic design, subpar materials, or poor workmanship.

To give you a clearer picture, let's break down some key elements that qualify as a construction defect:  

  • Design deficiencies: This involves errors or oversights in the architectural design that may compromise the building's structural integrity and functionality. Design deficiencies can lead to problems like roof leaks, structural failures, or inadequate provision for drainage. 

  • Material defects: When builders use substandard or faulty materials during construction, it can result in material defects. For example, using low-quality concrete that cracks easily or installing defective windows that fail to provide proper insulation. 

  • Workmanship defects: Sometimes, even with a sound design and high-quality materials, poor construction techniques can lead to defects. These can include improper installation of components, not following the design specifications, or failing to adequately prepare the site. 

  • Operational and maintenance issues: Often, defects arise from inadequate maintenance or operation of systems within a building. For instance, neglecting regular inspection and maintenance of HVAC systems can lead to malfunctions. 

  • Site selection and planning errors: If the site selected for construction is inappropriate, or if there are errors in site planning, it could lead to construction defects. For example, constructing a building on unstable soil without proper measures can lead to foundation issues. 

These defects can have serious ramifications. They can necessitate costly repairs, and cause injuries to construction workers, future occupants, visitors, or even pedestrians passing by the site. 

Common Construction Defects 

When it comes to construction defects, several common issues can affect property owners. These include: 

  • Foundation problems: Cracks, settling, or inadequate drainage can lead to structural instability. 

  • Roofing issues: Leaks, improper installation, or defective materials can result in water damage and mold growth. 

  • Plumbing and electrical failures: Faulty installations or substandard materials can lead to leaks, electrical hazards, and system malfunctions. 

  • Structural deficiencies: Poor workmanship, inadequate materials, or design flaws can cause walls, floors, or ceilings to sag or collapse. 

  • Water intrusion: Improper waterproofing, inadequate drainage, or faulty windows and doors can result in water damage and mold growth. 

  • Code violations: Failure to comply with building codes and regulations can lead to safety hazards and legal consequences. 

These are just a few examples of the many construction defects that can occur. It's essential to identify and address these issues promptly to mitigate further damage and protect your rights. 

Who Can Be Held Liable for Construction Defects? 

In cases of construction defects, multiple parties may be held liable depending on the circumstances. These could include contractors, and subcontractors involved in the construction process, architects, and engineers responsible for design errors, or omissions, manufacturers, and suppliers of faulty products, or materials, and developers, and property owners who oversaw the construction project. 

Determining liability in construction defect cases can be complex. It often requires a thorough investigation and analysis of the facts. That's where we come in. Our skilled real estate attorneys can help identify the responsible parties and build a strong case on your behalf. 

Time Limit to File a Lawsuit for Damage/Repairs 

It's important to note that there are time limitations for filing a lawsuit related to construction defects. These time limits, known as statutes of limitations, vary by state and depend on the type of claim. Generally, the statute of limitations for construction defect claims starts from the date the defect was discovered or should have been discovered through reasonable diligence.

Missing the deadline to file a lawsuit can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation for damages or repairs. That's why it's crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Our experienced construction litigation attorneys can guide you through the legal process and help file your claim within the applicable deadlines. 

Rely On Our Experience 

At McCarter | East PLLC, we bring a wealth of experience in handling construction defect cases. Our team is committed to providing professional, reliable, and trustworthy legal services. We not only highlight our qualifications but also strive to ensure our clients' voices are heard and their rights protected.

If you're dealing with a construction defect, don't navigate these choppy waters alone. Reach out to us today.