One of the most stressful things that can happen when you're anticipating the end results of a carefully-planned build or remodel is to find out that you aren't happy with the results. In some cases, construction defects are so serious that they lead to major lawsuits.

What is a construction defect?

Generally speaking, construction defects are problems in a building's design that go beyond mere superficial details. In other words, it probably takes more than a coat of paint to fix.

The four broad categories of construction defects are:

  1. Defective designs: A lot of engineering goes into every construction project. One mistake can lead to a serious structural flaw later. A wrong angle and weight on an overhang, for example, could cause a structure to lean.
  2. Construction deficiencies: If defective designs can be laid at the feet of engineers and architects, construction defects are the fault of the actual contractors and workmen involved in the building. Slipshod or inexpert work produces substandard results, no matter what the materials being used.
  3. Material deficiencies: Contractors sometimes try to sneak cheaper materials in the build to save money -- think Chinese drywall -- but cheap or defective materials always give inferior results. A waterproofing job that was done with the wrong medium could quickly erode and leave a property irrevocably damaged.
  4. Problems subsurface: A good foundation is essential when you build. Without it, you could easily have shifting, flooding, subsidence, slides and a cracked foundation in short order.

Construction defects can involve a lot of different issues, including contractual liability claims. If your building has a serious construction defect, it's wise to get experienced advice early.

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