Construction professionals know that whenever they begin a new project, whether big or small, they are at risk for nasty disputes. The construction industry is litigious by nature, and the larger and more complex a project is, the higher the stakes. When an alleged construction defect surfaces, it can negatively affect a business’s profits and reputation. Our Miami construction lawyers know the importance of managing your risks and would like to provide some tips for managing defect risks in this four-part article series.
This section and part two will focus on the four types of defects and who is liable for defects. In part three and four, we will discuss the factors that make defects challenging and give tips for minimizing defects.
Understanding the Types of Defects
A defect is the result of a failure in the design and/or construction of a building or a structure. The defect creates a deficiency that not only damages the property but also has the potential to place those that enter the property at risk for physical harm. Even if the defect does none of the aforementioned, it can “harm” the property owner by way of diminished property value and an increase in expenses to remedy the defect. There are many types of defects that can occur during construction, but they are typically categorized into four groups: design, material, construction, and maintenance.
A design defect is an issue with the design which makes the final product useless or dangerous. On the outside, a design may look great, but underneath its appearance exists some inherent deficiency. Deficiencies are not always obvious and could take a while to manifest unless the product is inspected by a trained professional or it creates another issue. For example, if a roof design is flawed in some way, it may cause water leakage or may not support the home adequately.
Installing materials that are already defective or inferior, or using the wrong products for a particular portion of the project will lead to failure and damage. The use of low-quality building materials might cause problems even when installation is done correctly. For example, using inferior window materials could lead to windows that do not work properly.
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.