Who’s liable for construction defects?

| Jan 28, 2021 | Firm News |

Commercial development involves so many different parties that it can be difficult to know where you should place the accountability if something has gone wrong. Construction defects can lead to significant monetary losses. Determining liability at the outset of a dispute can help lead to a quicker resolution.

Examples of construction defects

Generally speaking, there are three main types of construction defects:

  • Design defect: This type of defect is pretty self-explanatory. A poorly designed roof could lead to interior or exterior water damage. Failures to account for adequate structural support during planning phases could lead to disaster. Most often, engineers, architects, or building designers are responsible for design defects.
  • Material defects: Panels on a building’s exterior may have been designed to last 25 years. However, within two years, they begin to show cracks. Windows that warp shortly after installation. These are examples of material defects. Often, the manufacturer will be liable for these types of issues.
  • Workmanship defects: Poorly trained workers or laborers who cut corners can lead to serious problems. Typically, contractors or subcontractors are responsible for the people who work under them.

Of course, determining every party who may have some liability for a construction defect is not always as straightforward as the examples mentioned above. Multiple parties may need to be held accountable for any problems that arise. It’s also important to review any contracts to determine if they provide an avenue for dispute resolution. Surety bonds and other documents may also come into play. You should review your case with a skilled legal professional. Doing so can help you determine the best path for going forward.