Common Construction Defects – Structural Engineer and Expert Witness

When an automobile is found to have a defect caused by a mistake in design or during assembly, the manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues a recall notice to owners of the vehicle. Owners take their cars to a dealership who represents and sells the cars, and the problem is fixed, hopefully before anyone is hurt. It seems like a pretty good system and it usually works.

Construction Defect Expert WitnessBut what about a defect in a building or house? These defects are usually hard to spot before they become apparent in a bad way, like the structure falls down. Inspections are designed to catch structural and other defects before they cause danger to people or permanent damage, but they sometimes fail to do so due to the size, scope, and complexity of modern construction.

The most common areas for construction defects are:

Roofs: Most residential roofs are built using engineered wood truss systems which are actually manufactured in truss plants. If the wrong lumber or steel plates are used during fabrication there can be a structural failure. Also, if water-protective membranes are installed incorrectly there will likely be intrusion of rain and extensive damage.

Electrical: Incorrect design or installation of electrical components and wiring may not be evident for months or even years, but when an electrical construction defect becomes apparent it is often in a tragic manner. Faulty electric work joins candles, cooking accidents, and faulty heating appliances as the leading cause of fires.

Concrete Slabs: Slabs or foundations that are not properly cured or don’t have adequate compressive strength are issues that are difficult and costly to repair.

Construction Design DefectsHVAC: Incorrect design or installation of heating and air conditioning components can cause several issues including mold and improper ventilation, which can lead to serious sicknesses.

If you are involved with a structure that may have construction defects, a thorough inspection by a qualified engineer is the first thing to arrange. After inspection it can be determined who is likely at fault for damages to persons or property. When parties fail to accept responsibility for incompetent installation or design it is often necessary to move a dispute into the court system for proper resolution and this is when the services of an expert witness is valuable.

Mr. Justin Hall has successfully participated in many cases where the cause of damages has been in dispute, and he has helped to resolve expensive damage claims. Reach out to Mr. Hall at 501-436-0091 for a consultation.