Even the most experienced and knowledgeable prime contractors can put together a structure that contains defects. The causes of these defects often have to do with poor designs and blueprints or inferior materials, but sometimes your clients will allege shoddy workmanship on your part.
Regardless of the root cause of a construction defect, there are a few structural components often associated with patent or latent defects.
1. Inadequate window installations. Improper window installations or inferior materials used for sealant are both common causes of serious structural defects. One of the most prominent concerns here is the potential for moisture to get into the house and compromise the integrity of the building. Poorly installed windows can also cause unwanted air filtration, which affects the energy efficiency of the structure.
2. Inferior weatherproofing assemblies. Builders must pay close attention when installing exterior weatherization components. This is especially crucial for single-family homes. Any compromises in weatherization protection can decrease the energy efficiency and air quality in homes.
3. Poor foundational or footing work. The foundation of any structure—single or multi-family building, high rises, and everything in between—can be a hotbed for latent construction defects. Sometimes, the cause of a foundation failure has nothing to do with the workmanship and materials and everything to do with site preparation. There is always the potential, of course, for transpiration and evaporation to chip away at the integrity of the soil under the foundation.
4. Roofs with insufficient wind-resistance components. The upward force exerted on roofing systems can cause the edges to rip off the membranes. Florida roofs, in particular, must be prepared for high wind speeds due to the potential for devastating hurricanes. Improper roof flashing can cause water to leak into the ceilings and result in expensive repairs.
5. Inaccurate readings of blueprints. Depending on the project delivery method used on a particular construction project, the prime contractor might not have sufficient access to the designers and engineers. When each team is on a deadline, opportunities are rife for cutting corners. While we understand that you, as a prime contractor, are focused on responsibly executing your duties for construction of a safe structure, there is always a potential for disconnect with other teams on key project objectives. Having the right tools in place for effective interdepartmental communication is vital for an efficient project.
Again, even contractors with great reputations are not immune from construction defect claims. Many times, these defects are either frivolous or not directed against the responsible party. Our firm has spent countless hours defending contractors against defect claims. If your livelihood and reputation are at stake, contact Florida Construction Law Group to discuss your options with our legal team.