When a new home is pronounced ready for occupancy, a Certificate of Occupancy or “C.O.” is usually issued by the local municipal permitting authority and the house is ready for years of service. But that’s not always entirely accurate.
There are times when builders miss something in the plans or a product is delivered that was improperly manufactured at the source and there is a resultant serious defect.
Broadly speaking, defects fall into the two following categories:
“Patent Defect” – A patent defect is one which is detectable upon reasonable inspection and can be notified to the contractor either before practical completion or during the defects liability or rectification period. This might include a warped, cracked or bowed ceiling. Example: If a roof truss is not properly designed or fabricated, it may actually bend on it’s bottom chord and cause what looks like a dent in the ceiling. This can usually be detected and repaired.
“Latent Defect” – A latent defect is one that is not apparent or readily detectable until after the expiry of any defect liability or rectification period. Example: A vertical column is not properly set in the ground and begins to sink. It may be months or even years before this defect becomes evident, but when it does it is a very serious problem. Floors, walls, and windows may suffer cracks and structures have even been known to collapse when there are failures with columns, foundations, and beams.
If the responsibility for these types of defects is in doubt or dispute, mediation may resolve the issue but often lawsuits are filed and the courts get involved.
When you’re entering a trial, arbitration or mediation, owners and attorneys have a lot riding on the outcome.
It makes sense to build your case with the best information you can find – clear-cut evidence, fact-based investigations, and the testimony of acknowledged industry experts.
Construction Defect Expert Witness
Justin Hall, PE conducts investigations into construction and structural integrity defects, supplying clients with the thorough research, hard evidence, and qualified opinions that provide a rock-solid foundation for strong cases. From structural to geo-technical and construction expertise, we provide a full range of architectural and engineering services. Our staff of construction experts and estimators use state-of-the-art software to determine the cost of repair, liability, allocation, and actual cash value. We have extensive experience in evaluating, estimating and reporting on condominiums, high-rises, and multi-million dollar custom homes.
Getting in touch with Justin Hall, P.E. is easy. Please call 501-436-0091 and we will be happy to discuss how we might help with your situation.
Structural Engineering – Mechanical Engineering – Civil Engineering