How common are construction defects in new homes and commercial buildings? A lot more common than you might think.
In 2016, the nations largest home builder, DR Horton set aside $426 million dollars for legal claims involving construction defects. Exact numbers are hard to come by, but it’s reasonable to assume defects for both commercial and residential properties run into the billions of dollars.
Despite the fact that virtually all new construction is subject to numerous inspections and must follow building codes, design issues and shoddy construction is still too common.
Some polls of new construction occupants report that as many as 25% of newly-built properties in the U.S. have serious construction defects, and because of the complex system of builders, contractors, sub-contractors, architects, and engineers involved in building a new structure it is very hard to figure out who is at fault. When a defect is detected, there is often a lot of finger-pointing about who did what, sometimes involving mediators and eventually lawsuits.
What are the most common defects?
- Structural Defects – Cracks in the foundation or in walls and columns are possibly the most serious, expensive, and dangerous problems and they are sometimes very hard to find until it’s too late.
- Air Conditioning and Furnace Defects – These problems can be minor or major. In some cases, improper venting can cause carbon monoxide leaks into the interior of the house.
- Electrical Defects – Improper grounding can cause a person to be shocked, possibly with very serious results.
- Plumbing Errors – A leak in a hidden pipe may slowly erode the foundation or may cause mold, both major problems.
Construction Defect Expert Witness • The prudent way to handle disputes about construction mistakes is to bring in an expert, and in almost all cases the best choice is a structural engineer who is very experienced with construction principles and practices.
Justin Hall, P.E. has been handling inspections and following up with clear, concise reports detailing the extent of damages and who is responsible. Services include preparing for and giving expert witness testimony in depositions and when necessary, in court. You can call Justin Hall P.E. at (501) 240-9213