Contractors often produce a quality product yet find themselves a party to litigation over alleged defects.In some cases, the defect may not be caused by the contractor, but caused by a subcontractor. Sometimes, the defect becomes apparent only after the structure has been completed and tenants have moved in.
Owners are required to report defects in construction, lead paint, pest infestation, boundary issues and drainage issues. Property with unsuitable construction may be considered to have a defect. Examples of defects include: leaky roofs, leaky windows, plumbing issues, foundation cracks, electrical issues, among many others. Hiring an attorney can help identify defects and can assist builders and other clients with next steps for a construction defect litigation dispute.
Still, the best strategy in construction litigation is to avoid a dispute in the first place. It is important that contractors review construction documents carefully in order to minimize the risk of disputes. This can begin with close study of the architectural plans, and continue throughout the construction process. It is also important for contractors to ensure the project subcontractors keep good documentation. This helps expedite the process of locating the party at fault and who is responsible for the damaged work.
Defect claims typically involve insurance companies. Contractors should have insurance to pay for the cost of an attorney if a dispute arises. The insurance company will defend the contractor against defect claims.
Sometimes, no matter how much the parties prepare to avoid it, construction defect litigation becomes unavoidable. These cases can be very complex, and it is important to seek out help from attorneys with experience in real estate and construction law.