Why You Shouldn't Be Stuck with the Cost of Construction Defects

The moment you realize there is a construction defect in either your home or business is a dark one indeed. After all, whether it's where you live or where you work, your livelihood is heavily wrapped up in this place. And the worst part about it is that you didn't cause the damage. This is why you shouldn't be forced to pay the cost to fix the problem without being compensated.

Who Is Responsible?

Once you notice a construction defect, the first thing you need to do is figure out who is responsible for the defect and, thus, the necessary repairs. Often it's the builder of the property who's to blame, but there are many cases in which there are other responsible parties. Before building a case to recover damages, the question of who is responsible must be answered.

Besides the builder, other individuals who may be liable include the developer, general contractor, or one of the subcontractors involved with the project. Once you decide which person to build your case against, it is common for that person to bring other parties into the lawsuit.

Any attorney experienced in these types of cases will be able narrow down your scope and focus your case on the most relevant parties so as not to waste time and weaken your case.

The Most Common Construction Defects

Construction defects, flaws, and design errors have a negative impact on any building. The problems caused by these issues range from the structure losing value to posing a danger to those in and around the building. Most often, construction defects are found with the roof, plumbing, and frame of a building. Other, harder to notice issues also arise, from time to time, in areas such as the improperly installed siding or drywall, and soil that was inadequately compacted or graded.

Some problems are easier to notice than others, but some of the biggest nuisances are hidden under floorboards, behind walls, or within the foundation. The worst thing is, some of the harder-to-see defects are left undetected for years, causing untold amounts of damage to your home and to your health. These defects usually only show themselves in toxic forms, such as mold or mildew that have been there longer than anybody cares to think about.

What Should I Do After Uncovering a Construction Defect?

After you find a defect in your home or office building, there are some basic steps you should take to ensure that you, your family, and your business are taken care of. Start by taking pictures of the damage or defect so there is a visual record of the problem. It's also a good idea to maintain records of phone conversations, inspections, and the results thereof. Even receipts and other written documentation relevant to the construction defect can prove to be vital to your case.

Having the Damage Repaired

Some repairs simply cannot wait until your case settles, but regardless of when you elect to get the repairs done, there are a few rules to follow. Most importantly, only allow a licensed contractor to do the work. That means that your great-uncle Charlie shouldn't be the one doing the repairs, unless, of course, he's properly licensed. Contractors are licensed by the state, so proof that they are licensed should be easy to come by. Also, and this may go without saying, don't allow anyone associated with those you are suing to make the repairs (unless that is part of the settlement you agree to).

Filing a Lawsuit

If you are going to file a lawsuit to pursue damages for construction defects, there are a few things you should know. It can be difficult to prove fault in these cases, as experts are usually required to testify that work was poorly done. There is also extensive testing that needs to be done, such as taking down a wall to demonstrate the presence of mold. This testing can prove that the work done did not meet building code or regulations, nor live up to the industry standards.

In Conclusion

Assuming you didn't build your own home or office building, you shouldn't be saddled with a bill for damages for which somebody else is at fault. Fortunately, there are many lawyers with expertise in construction defect cases who can assist you should you decide to pursue a case against the party responsible for damage caused to the place you live or work.

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