Construction companies, home builders, and contractors can be held responsible for any defects found on new residential or commercial projects in the State of Florida. Making repairs and paying legal fees can hurt your company’s profitability. One way to prevent possible financial liability is to do everything within your company’s power to avoid any defects in the construction process.
In this editorial, a Naples contractor lawyer discusses eight of the most common construction defects in Florida so that you can ensure that your company’s projects will not face defect liability in any of these areas. However, if you are dealing with a dispute related to a construction defect, consult our construction law firm today.
1) Defective Piping
Defective piping is among the most common construction defects. Laying pipes takes a special level of detail in Florida because of the humidity, temperature changes, and below-ground conditions that affect the integrity of pipes. While a quality plumbing job can prevent leaks around joints and other structures, defective pipes are prone to breaking or leaking due to construction quality and shifting foundations. It only takes one broken pipe to create a plethora of problems. If a contractor’s defective piping work impacted one of your builds, call a Ft. Myers construction attorney to discuss your options.
2) Drainage Issues
All buildings are designed to drain water off of surfaces in a specific way. A bad drainage system could damage the structure’s foundation. Florida is known for its inclement weather, especially during the summer. Getting several inches of rainfall at once, a building with a bad drainage system can experience flooding, foundation problems, or develop water hazards. Fixing drainage issues can be expensive since it may require reshaping large areas of land or parts of buildings.
3) Bad Electrical Work
Bad electrical work can be a common problem and a major hazard for the entire construction project. A single bad wire can lead to a fire or other safety hazards. Repairing faulty electrical work can be relatively easy. However, it may require extensive remodeling to access wires, sockets, and other components in walls. This is why it’s essential to have a reputable electrical company perform the work. Depending on who installs the electrical wires, different parties could be held responsible, from the electrician and the company that manufactures the wires to the construction company.
4) Weak Foundation
Foundations in Florida present a unique challenge given the ground composition of most of the state. The water level in most places is within three to five feet of the surface, many areas are low-lying or prone to flooding, and temperature changes can make foundations unstable. Because of this, some buildings experience foundation problems, such as shifting or cracking. Any perceived damage to the foundation of a building should be inspected further.
Fixing a foundation could mean heavy construction work with sections of the building being removed to do the repairs. Foundation repairs are almost always costly. If a client is claiming that there is a construction defect with the foundation, call a Naples construction attorney today.
5) Structural Failure
Alongside foundation problems, structural failures are a consistently costly problem to fix. A structural failure occurs when a section of the building cannot support the weight that it is given and begins to fall apart. This is more common with load-bearing walls and support beams. However, any load-bearing part of a building can experience structural failure. If too many parts of a building fail, the entire building could collapse. Repairing structural failures requires specialized equipment, replacing the damaged components, and adding new support pieces.
6) Facade Leaks
The facade of a building may make a big impression, but it can also be a dangerous part of the building if the facade parts are not installed properly. There are many cases where building facades fall away from a building, presenting a hazard to the occupants and pedestrians. Water leaks can come from the seams of the facade.
7) HVAC Problems
HVAC problems can lead to internal damage that is costly to repair. Airflow errors, system design, and installation issues are common problems that can lead to more serious issues if not addressed immediately. The amount of compensation can be extensive since HVAC problems may not be detected until they are already causing damage within the building. Mold stemming from an HVAC issue is also a major concern.
8) Faulty Floors
A large number of liability lawsuits happen because of floors. Improperly installed floors become a tripping hazard that can make your company liable for any injuries. If a contractor installs the floor improperly, they can be held accountable. If your company hires the subcontractor working on the floors, it can also be held liable for any injuries or defects that the floor installation causes.
The statute of limitations for construction defects in Florida is four years from the date of occupancy. A client can question the defects in your build until this time passes. If you have any questions about liability for construction defects in Florida, call a Ft. Myers construction lawyer to schedule a consultation to discuss any concerns.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.