construction defects 1.1

Construction defects are not always easy to identify. There are numerous things that can go wrong in a house that are a result of the house settling or just expected wear and tear. When you begin to see electrical system issues that are affecting your heating and electrical flow or even causing HVAC issues, then there may be a potential construction defect. In this case, the culprit could be faulty wiring.

Faulty wiring can cause serious damage in a home. It can cause a fire, a blow out of the heating and electrical systems, general electrical system issues or HVAC issues. Faulty wiring is not something you should ever to try to fix. Contact a professional licensed technician to evaluate the problem. Once you have gotten the proper advice, make sure you document the problem. Keep all paper work given to you by the technicians including their estimates for repairs.

Faulty wiring that is so severe that it causes electrical system issues or HVAC issues can be negligence on the part of the builder or the developer. There could also be some negligence on the part of the heating and electrical technician, but who chose this contractor or subcontractor is also relevant. It is difficult to speculate where exactly the responsibility of the cost of damages and cost of repair should fall. This is why documentation of every step you take is important. Since your first priority is to fix your house and to make it safe, having evidence of what the “before” situation was will be crucial for someone to determine who was at fault.

In addition, the builder could have used shoddy wiring and other inferior material. The builder could have used a second-rate electrical system or HVAC system that, when combined with faulty wiring, is bound to result in serious heating and electrical damage or HVAC issues. The reality is that the liability of these issues could very easily be the builder’s but to prove this can be quite challenging. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney today. Trying to fix your house and make it safe to live in but not miss anything that can help you hold the appropriate person or group responsible can be very daunting. Do not think you have to take care of this on your own. You need to contact an attorney today that will make sure you are taking the right steps to resolve these serious problems.
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The following is a list of the most common types of construction installation problems found in homes and condos:

1. Asphalt Overheated before Installation, Asphalt Too Cold before Installation

There are other kinds of installation deficiencies besides the concrete varying in thickness. Asphalt overheated before installation or asphalt too cold before installation can be the result of negligence by unqualified contractors or subcontractors. Asphalt overheated before installation or asphalt too cold before installation can be a costly repair to fix. When your asphalt overheated before installation it can be a delay that could have been avoided. Your next step would be to move forward and complete your project. Be sure to keep good records and notes of every step you make after you have discovered that you have a potential construction defect. You may not need the information now, but it may come in handy if you decide that your issue is a construction defect that is not your responsibility. Take pictures and keep all contractors’ paperwork.

Asphalt issues can indeed be a result of a construction defect. It could be poor workmanship, bad building materials, soil issues, water issues, and so on. Whether you have improper design: asphalt/concrete mixture not per specifications issues, installation deficiencies: varying in thickness, asphalt that overheated before installation, or asphalt too cold before installation, you will have questions. There are different strategies available when dealing with these types of issues. If you contact an attorney, you can begin to understand what your rights are immediately. You will have someone that can help you take the proper next step and advise you on your course of action. Contact an attorney today.

2. Improper Installation of Windows at the Sliding Glass Door

If your builder is responsible for improper installation of windows at the sliding glass door, you need to contact an attorney immediately. Improper installation of windows at the sliding glass door will not only make using these windows difficult, but it will also lead to additional structural problems.

3. Improper Installation of Flashing Paper or Sheet Metal Flashings

Improper installation of flashing paper or sheet metal flashings is a serious construction defect. The absence of either of these materials can lead to moisture making its way into your windows, thereby causing damage not only to your windows but potentially to several surrounding structures.

4. Missing or Incomplete Installation of Firestops Between Floors

Missing or incomplete installation of firestops between floors is another example of not adhering to construction regulations and building codes. Proper construction requires a strategy of isolating a potential fire outbreak when possible. Missing or incomplete installation of firestops between floors is a serious construction defect that removes the safeguard of containing the fire from spreading to other areas of the house.

Insufficient clearances between fireplaces and combustible materials and/or missing or incomplete installation of firestops between floors have the potential of causing very costly damages and more importantly, create a very dangerous environment.

If you suspect you may be suffering from these problems, contact an attorney today.
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Expansive Soils
Expansive soils are the second leading cause of property damage. Expansive soil swells when wet and then shrinks when dry. The pressure that expansive soil can exert can be very destructive. The pressure produced can reach as much as 15,000 pounds per square foot which is plenty strong to crack driveways, floors, and even foundations. Builders and developers should have previous knowledge as to whether or not their development is on expansive soil and with this knowledge can build accordingly. Unfortunately, some builders or developers will knowingly use construction methods that are cheaper and do not take into account potential damage that may be caused by expansive soil. These are the scenarios where homebuyers are most adversity affected.

Collapsing Soils
Collapsing soils have low moisture content whereby the particles contained are loosely-packed. These soils also contain clay that acts like glue, holding together soil grams. When the soil gets wet, this clay loosens and the particles of soil grams are then dispersed. Signs of collapsing soils can be cracks in the wall which are a common examples of construction defects. The soil would need to be analyzed properly to clearly understand if collapsing soil is indeed the issue. However, if collapsing soil is thought to be the cause of a construction defect, it is important to note that in many cases this damage could have been avoided with proper analysis of the soil before building.

Mudslides and Landslides
Mudslides and landslides can cause very serious damage to property as well as to any life it affects. A mudslide, also known as a mudflow, contains dirt and debris that is accumulated from heavy rainfall, snow melt, volcanic eruption or even a severe wildfire. The speed of the mudslide will depend on the steepness of the slope it is flowing down, the amount of precipitation and other factors such the vibration of the ground. The slide can reach a flow rate of 35 miles per hour while it picks up everything in its path. It will not slow down until it reaches a plateau.

Landslides, unlike mudslides, contain only a block of land. Landslides can also be caused by natural resources; however, they occur often from construction of roads.

Both mudslides and landslides can be quite dangerous and damaging to the property and lives they encounter, but also to future land development sites.

Flooding
Flooding occurs when an excessive amount of water has covered an area, usually land, which is normally dry. Flooding is usually caused by heavy rainfall that happens in a brief amount of time. Flooding can cause minor damage if caught in time and controlled. However, flooding can cause irreversible damage that takes time, resources, and money to fix. Flood damage can leave a property uninhabitable. Flooding is not only a natural disaster but can be caused by plumbing issues. A builder could have cut corners in the materials and/or products used or installed a faulty electrical system that effected the functionality of the plumbing system.

Soil Erosion
Erosion can impact the shaping of a land’s surface. Wind or water can start the process of erosion whereby material from the land is swept down a stream, a coastline, a hill, or a slope. Water has the biggest influence on erosion. Erosion can be a natural occurrence, but it can also be caused by human error. If builders and/or developers do not survey soil properly, they can single-handedly start the process of erosion. They can use construction techniques that instead of preventing erosion of the surface will actually increase the potential of erosion and therefore damage to any future housing.

Soil and geological hazards like expansive soils, collapsing soils, mudslides and landslides, flooding or erosion can cause severe damage to property. Do not wait to contact an attorney that will assist you in taking the proper steps to protect your rights.
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Doors that are difficult to open could indicate an enormous range of problems, and these problems could be as simple as a faulty door or as severe as a problem with your subgrade, foundation or frame. If you have doors that are difficult to open, call an expert to examine the problem immediately.

Sliding Windows or Sliding Glass Doors that are Difficult to Open and Close

Although sliding windows or sliding glass doors that are difficult to open and close could be seen by many as a mere annoyance, these problems could actually be much more serious. If windows or sliding glass doors don’t open and close with ease, it could signify defective windows and doors or even problems with the entire framework of your home or condo.

Trapped Moisture or fogging between Panes on Double-glazed Windows

Trapped moisture between panes on double-glazed windows can indicate several problems, so if you see such a condition, you need to act quickly to find out if this moisture is the result of defective windows or faulty craftsmanship.

Fogging between glass in double glazed windows simply should not occur. These windows were designed to prevent air leakage, so if you notice fogging between glass in double glazed windows, you need to have it looked at right away, as it could signify a problem not only with the windows but the surrounding structure.

Overall, there are several issues that can arise with windows as they relate to construction defects. Windows need to be properly installed not only to promote efficiency with your utilities, but also to protect a home’s inhabitants from harmful elements in the atmosphere.

If you have noticed any problems with your windows in your home or condo, you need to take fast action. The first step you take should be to contact an independent contractor to examine the problems and to identify a cause of these imperfections. If a problem is discovered that cannot be easily and permanently repaired, then you need to take the next step to protect your rights. That step is to contact a construction defect attorney as soon as possible.

Drafts from Windows

If you notice windows that, when closed, allow air drafts into your building, you need to take action immediately, as the problems that could be a cause of such a condition are numerous in nature. Windows that, when close, allow air drafts into a building could be defective. This condition could also mean that the framework of your home is defective, which is much more serious in nature.

Gaps between Stucco and Window Frames

Gaps between stucco and window frames are not only unacceptable according to any building codes, but they could signify serious problems with the level of construction within your home. These gaps could mean that improper windows were used or that the window frames were improperly installed, among many other potential problems, all of which could lead to permanent damage to the building.
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The area of construction defect law is quite complicated, and you owe it to yourself to find out as much as possible in regards to any problem you’ve discovered with your home or condo.

Below you’ll find a few examples of common questions about construction defects, but we encourage you to contact an attorney for a full consultation regarding your situation.

1. What is a construction defect?

A construction defect is any problem or damage caused by improper conduct or omission on the part of a builder. The legal definition of a construction defect is quite complicated, but the reasonability standard is generally applied to any construction defect issue.

2. What should I do if I discover a problem with the construction of my home?

The first thing you should do is contact an expert to take a close look at the problem. If he or she determines that substantial repairs are necessary to fix the problem, you need to contact an attorney immediately before you agree to these repairs.

3. What if my builder denies the fact that a construction defect is present?

First of all, if you discover a construction defect, you should not attempt to work directly against your builder. Most companies employ defense attorneys whose job it is to limit the exposure to liability on the part of their clients. You should contact a construction defect attorney for a free case evaluation.

4. What if a construction defect in my home creates a dangerous situation?

If your home is dangerous or uninhabitable because of a construction defect, do not place yourself or your loved ones in harm’s way. Take the proper steps to ensure the safety of anyone who could be harmed by this defect and contact an attorney immediately.

If you have other questions that are not covered by these examples of construction defects FAQs, then you cannot let the problem fester or let your questions go unanswered. Contact a construction defect attorney as soon as possible and schedule a free consultation. Your financial, emotional and physical health may depend on the timeliness of your attorney consultation.
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List of Drain Problems from Construction Defects includes:

1. No Drain Installed Near Foundation

If no drain is installed near your foundation or slab, natural water that appears near your home from time to time has no place to go. If water is allowed to collect and fester, a whole host of problems can arise, including water damage and mold.

2. Drain Installed, but No Outlet for Water

There are several accounts of faulty construction where there is a drain installed, but no outlet for water is provided. Installing a drain without an outlet is self-defeating, as the whole point of installing a drain is to provide an outlet for water to be removed from a threatening location.

3. Drain Installed Without Proper Gravel and Filter Fabric – Leading to Clogging

Unfortunately, a drain installed without proper gravel and filter fabric – leading to clogging, is an all-too-common construction defect. The filter fabric protects the drain from the debris that naturally flows with ground water, and too much debris getting into the drain will prevent it from working properly.

4. Drain Installed too High – Allowing Water Pressure to Build up Below the Drain

If you have a drain installed too high – allowing water pressure to build up below the drain, your home will inevitably suffer. Water pressure is an irresistible force, and if it’s allowed to build, eventually it will force its way into the nearest opening, even if reaching that opening requires the water to travel through parts that are there to protect your home.

If you’ve experienced any of these problems, you’re far from alone. However, “alone” is exactly how you should not proceed. Contact a licensed professional to examine your problem, and contact a construction defect attorney immediately.

5. No Foundation Drain

If your home is found to have no foundation drain, you have a serious problem. No foundation drain means that water that inevitably seeps into your basement or below has no place to go, and as it pools, the potential for water damage and mold increases.

6. No Gravel or Filter Fabric around Drain

If there is no gravel or filter fabric around the drain in your foundation, your home is unnecessarily exposed to pebbles and other materials causing completely unreasonable damage to your drainage system. Damage to your drain leads to the presence of water where it shouldn’t be, and that’s the very definition of a construction defect.

Overall, if you’ve experienced any of these serious issues, you need to get help immediately. You need to contact a licensed contractor to determine the cause of your issue and you need to contact a construction defect attorney immediately to protect your rights.

7. Improper Slope to Drain

A builder can do a soil analysis and then soil preparation based on the results of the analysis. At times the soil analysis is wrong or not done; consequently the soil is improperly prepared. Preparing the soil includes implementing a drainage system. If there is an improper slope to drain this could carry water towards the house and creating potential water issues.
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Construction defects can occur in multiple areas of your house, condo, or townhome, including the exterior. Since there is such a wide range of construction defects it is sometime difficult to determine whether or not the building issues you are experiencing are in fact construction defects or just simply a necessary repair. How do you know if your issues are from a construction defect and why does it matter?

If the cause of the building issue is not from your negligence but from the negligence of the builder, developer, contractor, or any other professional involved in the construction of your house, any one of them or all of them may be responsible for the cost of repairs.

One root of these building issues can be fireplaces. You may have an issue with insufficient clearances between fireplaces and combustible materials and/or missing or incomplete installation of firestops between floors.

Insufficient Clearances between Fireplaces and Combustible Materials

Insufficient clearances between fireplaces and combustible materials can be a serious construction defect. The construction, placement, chosen material, and other aspects of fireplaces have to adhere to certain regulations and building codes. These regulations and building codes are in place to look out for the safety of the inhabitants of a building. They can be strict but they do serve a public purpose. Not being compliant with these restrictions can result in a hazardous situation. Insufficient clearances between fireplaces and combustible materials are fire hazards.

Use of Non-Approved Decorative Chimney Terminations

Use of non-approved decorative chimney terminations is a common problem that many homeowners may have, unbeknownst to them. A construction defect like this may only become evident to a homeowner when there are some obvious issues, such as excessive smoke collection or when the fire cannot escape and/or have room to breathe. If you are having issues with the functioning of your fireplace and chimney you may need to verify that use of non-approved decorative chimney terminations is not the issue.
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Construction laws and regulations exist in every state in the union, and these laws exist on both a state and local level to ensure a minimum level of safe and professional craftsmanship in every structure that’s built. These laws also exist to provide those who are wronged as a result of construction defect a set of remedies to pursue to make sure that any builder who violates these construction laws and regulations is held to a standard of justice.

Federal Laws for Construction

Most federal laws exist to provide guidance in terms of legal procedure, but new legislation is emerging to protect homeowners, business owners and general consumers from negligence or fraud as it relates to construction defects. These federal laws are extremely complicated, as it’s a general policy that federal courts would like state matters to be settled in state courts.

Construction State Laws

Every state has a full set of codified statutes as they relate to construction laws and regulations, and these state laws change regularly. Even seemingly unrelated legislation can have a profound effect on state laws, with examples being tort reform and environmental statutes.

Legislation

Legislation changes almost daily, and new controversies often result in updated legislation to reflect a previously-unforeseen set of circumstances. Updates on legislation are available through many resources, but you’d be best-served by keeping up with the news and paying attention to any legislation that deals with construction laws and regulations.

What to Do

We do not encourage you to attempt to perform legal research in regards to construction laws. What you should do if you are experiencing problems with a construction defect is contact an attorney who can help with a free consultation. Attorneys have a duty to remain up-to-date on all the latest rules, statutes and regulations, so don’t take the risk of misinterpreting or missing completely a law that may be relevant to your situation. Let an experienced attorney handle the situation for you.
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Landscape and soil issues can be considered a construction defect. Although the make-up of soil is natural in existence, how you prepare the soil and/or build on the soil is the responsibility of the builder and developer.

A builder has the responsibility to analyze the soil and with the results determine the best construction strategy to use. Expansive soil and collapsing soil are two major types of soil for which there is technology and know-how of how to build upon. Both can cause certain landscape and soil issues if the proper construction strategy is not used.

Landscape and Soil Issues with Expansive Soils

Expansive soil is a major cause of property damage. When wet, expansive soil swells can create pressure that can be destructive and a leading cause of landscape and soil issues. Evidence of expansive soil is cracks that you will see in your landscaping. This is because once the soil dries it shrinks, and this back-and-forth movement easily shifts pavement and walls. This can all be avoided or at least the risk decreased if the builder or developers do their research to find out what kind of soil they have. The next responsibility of the builder is to choose the proper construction strategy. With the rate at which housing developments are going up, builders or developers will cut corners where they can and this could mean using a construction strategy that is cheaper and will not necessarily take care of the potential soil issues.

Landscape and Soil Issues with Collapsing Soils

Collapsing soils can also cause issues with your landscape and soil. Collapsing soil is loosely packed soil that can act like gooey clay depending on the amount of water it absorbs. You will see cracks in your landscaping on areas such as pavement, retaining walls and pillars. Like building on expansive soil, the construction technology is there, the builder or developer just has to choose to use the correct method. If they do not, then this can be a major construction defect that could have been avoided.

If you are noticing some subtle cracks in your landscape, walls, stucco, pavement, or garage floor these may be symptoms of a bigger problem. Your home may have a construction defect that although difficult to fix may be easy to determine. Do not wait – contact an attorney today to perform the proper assessment to determine if you have a defect and if so, what you should do next.

Soil Contamination

Soil contamination is a result of man-made chemicals getting into the soil. This occurs in several different ways. Soil contamination can occur when an underground storage tank is punctured, when waste is leaked from landfills or when an industrial waste is discharged into the soil. This can be a huge concern since soil contamination can seep into the water supply if not cleaned up in time.

A builder should always know what type of soil they are dealing with including whether or not it has been contaminated. No matter the cause of the soil contamination, the important factor is what is being done to take care of it. People who may be in direct contact with the soil, e.g. those in parks, schools and playgrounds, should be aware if there is a soil issue and if so what is or has been done to fix it. This also holds true for soil that has yet to be contaminated. After surveying the land, the builder will learn what type of drainage is needed to avoid potential contamination of the soil. Soil contamination can occur when chemicals sit dormant in the soil because of faulty drainage as opposed to being washed away with correct drainage slopes. The builder and/or developer have the opportunity to take the necessary steps to help decrease the potential risk of soil contamination.

Subdivision Draining

Most planning departments incorporate a subdivision draining system to avoid the potential of the housing development to become flooded. Proper subdivision draining will provide an area with the proper safety nets in place for any major water issues or faulty drainage. As a home buyer, you have the right to understand what system is currently in place and if that system has ever been tested. Although it is not something you think about when making a purchase, it is something to think about when you start to see water issues within your home along with other construction defects. Do not hesitate to talk to the builder to get a better understanding of how subdivision draining works in your development.

Retention Basins

Retention basins are used to prevent flooding. Sometimes referred to as retention ponds, these retention basins are like a repository for rain. They are viewed as a good thing since it’s a structure that is trying to replace the duties of a forest that would normally absorb excess water. With forests being cleared before development, a retention basin can be constructed to serve the function of a forest. Retention basins are quite common in new developments. With building roads, streets, etc. the soil that acts as a natural means of absorption is no longer there, so a retention basin is necessary to fill this void.

Do not try to become an expert on these faulty drainage issues. There is so much information out there that it can become quite overwhelming. Contact an attorney today to figure out your next step.
====================Improper use of materials can also be a cause to the construction defect you are experiencing. Builders have a choice of materials they use and how they use it. If a builder or developer makes a decision on buying substandard material, this can be the cause of your issues. In addition, improper use of materials could stem from an unqualified contractor or subcontractor working on your roof, or any other areas of your house.

Whether your issue is a roof missing or short cut roof underlayment felts or improper use of materials, an immediate fix can be necessary. If you decide to look into getting repairs, or if you have already repaired your construction defect, you need to track all your steps. It is important to keep a copy of all contracts or statements of work. If you have any correspondence with the builder, the developer, architect, contractor, or any other building professional, you need to document them and/or keep a copy of the emails, faxes and letters. If possible, it would be prudent to take before and after photos as well.

This construction defect issue can be very tedious and time consuming. It can also get quite costly, and there may be costs that you can avoid. If you suspect you are having issues with a construction defect, it is important to know what steps you should take to the resolve the issue. You probably do not have any knowledge or experience in this area, which means that you need to consult with someone who does. Do not hesitate – contact an attorney today.

Use of “Mix And Match” Components

During the development stage of a housing community, the builder and/or developer make several decisions. This would include hiring contractors as well as selecting the products and building material they will use. This process allows the builder to choose components or building equipment from a different source or manufacturer. It is decisions like these that will help the project or create construction defects the builder and developer will have to later explain. The use of “mix and match” components comes in handy for specific situations. Usually in these situations, the benefits are obvious, but the defect may not show itself immediately. Once you see a symptom related to a system, equipment or machine that relates to the potential use of “mix and match” components, start documenting what you observe. The issue may or may not be a construction defect.

Another common issue besides the use of “mix and match” components is unsealed gas pipe penetrations. This is an issue when the fire, gas and heat are not contained, but instead move into the wood framing. As you can imagine, unsealed gas pipe penetrations can become a big issue. A lot of times the defect of these unsealed gas pipe penetrations could be resolved relatively easily. It may just need a new sealant. Any repairs you make or at least look into, document the process and take several pictures.

The use of “mix and match” components can be a quick fix. It can include purchasing all new building material as well as new components. Getting your house at least back to a livable condition is your priority. Again, it is important to collect as much documentation as possible.

There are many causes of construction defects like unsealed gas pipe penetrations as well as building issues that appear to be more serious than they are. If you suspect you may have some defects in your home you need to make the next step. You need to contact an attorney to help you determine what that next step should be. These issues can be very difficult to take care of alone. They can be time consuming and very costly. With an advocate that has expertise in construction law, the process will be easier. You need to contact an attorney – and you need to do that today.

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Potential Damage arising from Construction Defects in Homes and Condos
Potential damage arising from construction defects in homes and condos can arise from countless sources, and on the following pages you’ll see dozens of examples of how these issues can arise. Regardless of the cause of these issues, you need to protect your rights, and the first step in doing so is not only making a record of these problems in every way possible by way of documentation and photographic records.

Construction Defect Attorney
You should also contact a construction defect attorney. Your attorney will be able to advise you as to your rights and the proper steps to take to make sure that you don’t suffer any further.

Construction defects in homes can result in:

Personal Injury

If you suffer personal injury as a result of a construction defect in your home, you need to make sure that you protect your rights by contacting an attorney who regularly deals with construction defect cases. Merely going to a general personal injury attorney could be a mistake, as an attorney who handles construction cases will understand all the intricacies and possible damages involved with such an unfortunate occurrence.

Overall, construction defects that permeate your new home or condo can not only completely devalue your home and force you to find shelter somewhere else, but they could also cause serious injury or illness. If this has happened to you, the worst thing you can do is waste time. Contact an experienced construction defect attorney immediately.

Decreased Property Value

Almost any serious construction defect will result in substantially decreased property value. If you’re dealing with decreased property value due to a construction defect, you are most likely not responsible for this financial loss. Contact a construction defect attorney immediately to explain your decreased property value problem.

Voiding of Manufacturer’s Guarantees

When you move into your new home, you need to make sure that you don’t undertake conduct that results in the voiding of manufacturer’s guarantees. Any manufacturer will provide you with instructions on how to properly maintain your home, and you owe it to yourself to make sure that you follow these instructions.

If you have any questions regarding any of the above issues, please do not hesitate to contact an attorney immediately. Your financial and physical health and safety may depend upon your quick and responsible action.

Constructive Eviction

If a construction defect results in the loss of a living space/constructive eviction, you do not have to cover the costs of this unforeseen loss if the defect was the reason you had to abandon the premises. Most states have statutes in place that will at the very least cover your moving expenses and any other damages that you suffered as a result of the loss of a living space/constructive eviction.

Unfair Business Practices

Unfair business practices is a wide-ranging area of the law, but unfair business practices relates to construction defect law in several ways. Examples of unfair business practices as they relate to construction defect law include failure by the construction company to acknowledge and examine potential construction problems and failure to disclose the presence of mold in commercial or residential properties.

Negligence or Fraud

Negligence or fraud are legal claims that exist in several circumstances, but negligence or fraud are issues that arise within the area of construction defect law due to the lack of proper craftsmanship on the part of any builder or the failure to disclose potential problems when that builder should have known of that potential problem.

Bad Faith Claims

Bad faith claims by homeowners and commercial property owners against their own insurance companies for failing to promptly and fairly process claims is an unfortunate circumstance. However, it is also quite prevalent within the realm of construction defect law, as most construction problems that cause damage result in insurance claims. If you’re getting the runaround from your insurance company, you need to contact an attorney immediately.

Overall, several areas of law come into play when construction defects are discovered. If you have suffered damages of any kind as a result of construction defects, contact an experienced attorney right away for the answers you need.
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List of common leaks and water intrusion problems.

1. Interior Leaks

Interior leaks may be difficult to notice, but many times interior leaks will show themselves by leaks in the ceilings or bubbling of the plaster on your home’s walls. Interior leaks not only indicate plumbing problems but can also lead to the deterioration of your home’s frame and foundation.

As you’ve seen above, not all construction defects are readily apparent, and the problems that arise from these construction defects are not always obvious. Therefore, you need to be vigilant when you move into your new home, and if you notice a problem, the worst thing you can do is to wait to protect your rights. Contact a construction defect attorney immediately.

2. Water Leaks into Non-ventilated Areas Adjacent to Windows

Water leaks into non-ventilated areas adjacent to windows always indicate serious structural problems with your home. If you happen to see water leaks into non-ventilated areas adjacent to windows, however, you do need to act quickly, as unwanted water in any area of your home can lead to irreparable damage if it’s not repaired immediately.

Regardless of the cause or specific facts that surround a circumstance, water existing where it shouldn’t within a home never leads to a positive result if it goes on without the proper attention. These are also clear signs of construction defects, which means that you should contact an experienced attorney immediately.

3. Water Intrusion

Water intrusion is usually a sign of a deeper problem with the construction of your home. If you notice any type of water intrusion, you need to call an expert for closer inspection. The expert you need could be a plumber or a contractor, as there’s no telling where the water intrusion originates. What can be foretold is the serious damage that will usually follow any type of water intrusion.

4. Water through Foundation Wall

Water through foundation walls is not something that should be taken lightly, as that indicates a problem with your foundation’s integrity. If a foundation is not properly poured, your home will eventually become unlivable. If you notice the leaking of water through your foundation wall, call a contractor immediately to make sure that this issue does not fester.

5. Water in Crawlspace

Water in your crawlspace is a symptom of bigger problems in your home or condo’s construction. Water in your crawlspace can be the result of faulty plumbing and can ultimately degrade the integrity of your home’s frame overall.

Water in your home where it wouldn’t normally be found is not a good thing, and if you notice water in any of these areas, you need to take swift action to protect your rights. Failing to do so in a timely manner can leave you responsible not only for the repairs but also for any damages that result from these conditions. You can prevent this result by contacting a construction defect attorney immediately.

6. Moisture Migration though Slabs

Moisture migration through slabs can have serious consequences on any home or structure, and if you notice the result of moisture migration through slabs, which is usually presented in the form of puddles, your foundation could be in danger.

7. Cracks, Alligatoring, and Checks Leading to Water Intrusion to Subgrade

Cracks, alligatoring and checks leading to water intrusion to subgrades are serious construction defects, as it only takes a microscopic opening for water to find a pathway to destruction. Your subgrade is crucial to the long-term stability of your home or condo, and any compromise of the subgrade can lead to disastrous consequences.

8. Water Intrusion into the Framing System and Living Spaces Resulting In:

Dryrot in the Wood Framing System
Water intrusion into the framing system and living spaces can lead to dryrot in the wood framing system, and this dryrot can result in nothing short of the total collapse of walls in your home or condo.

Water-stained Gypsum Board
Water intrusion into the framing system and living spaces can also result in water-stained gypsum board, which will not only result in you having to replace the gypsum board, but could also lead to more serious issues such as deterioration of the wall itself.

Damaged Flooring Materials, Carpeting and Interior Furnishing
Water intrusion into the framing system and living spaces can result in seriously damaged flooring materials, carpeting and interior furnishings, and this damage could result in a homeowner having to replace several highly-expensive components of a livable household for both aesthetic and safety reasons.

9. Wet Insulation

Wet insulation creates serious problems with the overall integrity of the structure being built, as any type of wet insulation could potentially create unwanted moisture within the framework of the walls throughout your home. This can lead to several other serious problems within your home.
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Builders and developers perform soil analysis when researching areas they intend to develop. The analysis results allow the builder and/or developer plan what construction strategies they will use along with what soil preparation, if any, they will have to undertake. Once they have determined their development plans, they also need to hire contractors to do the job. A construction defect can be the result of poor planning, insufficient soil analysis, or unqualified contactors. Improperly compacted soils and contaminants remaining in soils (usually organic types of build up, i.e. lumber) are two examples of construction defects that can occur as a result of these errors.

Improperly Compacted Soils

As a homeowner, you rely on the contractors that are working on your home to be qualified for the job. At the same time, you have a right to understand what poor workmanship can be. If you are seeing cracks in the drywall, cracks in bricks, windows or doors that do not open and close properly or cracks in the foundation you may have improperly compacted soils. These symptoms could also be the result of expansive soils. Whether improperly compacted soils or other soil issues, this can be a very damaging defect that will require time and money to fix.

Contaminants Remaining in Soils

If you suspect you have an issue with contaminants remaining in soils you need to investigate it immediately. Contaminants remaining in soils can cause issues with your drinking water and other types of water issues. The severity of the issue will depend on the contaminants and also on how extensive the repair will be. In a situation like this, you do not want to go long with contaminants remaining in soils. This construction defect can be caused by human error or poor building materials.

At this point, your priority is to get your house back to a livable condition. If you move forward with getting repairs for either of these construction defects, be sure to keep good records. Document everything and make sure to take pictures. Keep any correspondences to or from the builder and document phone calls. It may be a bit tedious now, you’ll be thankful you have these records later.

Improperly compacted soils and contaminants remaining in soils are complicated construction defect issues to handle. There is a lot that goes into knowing what needs to be done. If you think you may have a construction defect issue, contact an attorney today.
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List of Construction Material and Product Failures & Defects:

Leaking and Rotting Roofs
Leaking and rotting roofs are true signs of construction defects. The root cause may, however, be a little more difficult to discover and prove. Leaking and rotting roofs damage may be a direct result of poor material used to build the roof, e.g. substandard shingles. This could also be the result of using less-experienced and less-skilled workers to build the roof than is reasonable. Workmanship should always be considered when assessing issues rooted from a structure that is built piece by piece. The first priority is always to reestablish a safe residence for you and your family. This may even call for a temporary fix.

Rotting and Failure of Flooring
Rotting and failure of flooring is a very difficult construction defect to repair. It can be the result of a variety of mistakes. The builder and/or developer makes decisions that can prevent damage from rotting and failure of flooring. Quite frankly, they also make decisions that increase the potential risk of this kind of damage occurring. To start, signs of rotting floors can be due to water damage. This could mean flooding, moisture buildup or simply water leakage. There are a number of suspects in this scenario. The plumbing equipment used, the contractors or subcontractors hired for installation, or the flooring material used are all potential causes. Again, these issues would be a result of the choices the builder and/or developer made.

Siding Defects and Exterior Surface Failures
Siding defects and exterior surface failures are construction defects that can be caused by soil issues (mass movements) or construction material issues. Building on land with potential soil movement, i.e. expansive soil, can cause visible damage such as cracks in the siding. This same result can be due to using substandard construction material. In both cases the builder and/or developer has failed to take into account the land where house was being built. Siding defects and exterior surface failures damages may come and go (and appear to have stopped), but will persist in some shape or form until the cause is discovered and adequately repaired.

Stucco and EIFS Problems
Stucco and EIFS problems occur when moisture is a factor. Stucco is used quite frequently as well as EIFS, or synthetic stucco, a multi-layered finish, because it is reliable in most circumstances. Damage to stucco could be cracks that are caused by soil movement. This means that the builder did not take into account the type of soil the house is built on and therefore did not build a foundation that could absorb any movement. EIFS has layers that do not breathe. This is not an issue until moisture is present. If there is a problem with material used to construct the walls, the roof, or any other area that would allow for moisture to seep into the EIFS, you will experience stucco and EIFS problems. In addition, this moisture leakage could be due to poor construction material, poor contractor work or simply poor or lack of proper soil analysis.

Water Intrusion from Faulty Plumbing
Water intrusion from faulty plumbing is a troublesome problem. If not dealt with immediately, damage control can be quite difficult. This damage can be the direct result of a builder cutting corners. A builder could have used faulty products that have not gone through proper quality control so as to reduce costs. The builder could have also hired less-skilled contractors or subcontractors whose workmanship simply does not “hold water.” The first priority is to repair the plumbing, but there will then be a need to determine exactly what part of the plumbing system failed, what the cause was, and most importantly, what should be done to prevent any future water intrusion from faulty plumbing.

Construction material and product failure and defects such as leaking and rotting roofs, rotting and failure of flooring, siding defects and exterior surface failures, stucco and EIFS problems and water intrusion from faulty plumbing can cause severe damages if not taken care of properly. Your steps in implementing a solution are crucial and may require legal assistance. Do not wait – contact an attorney today to help guide you through this difficult process.
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We are dedicated to the successful representation of homeowners and homeowner associations in construction defect matters.
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Structural failure can occur as a result of any number of reasons, but the result is almost always the same, in that structural failure will make a home or condo uninhabitable, as the walls and/or foundation of a home need to be devoid of structural failure in order to meet safety code standards.

Structural Failure: Decks

A deck/structural failure can be the result of several causes, but the bottom line is that any deck/structural failure results in a seriously dangerous condition in your home or condo that could lead to your exposure to personal injury liability if it’s not properly repaired. If you notice a deck/structural failure, you owe it to your own peace of mind to take care of it immediately.

Structural Damage: Wood Rot

Wood rot and structural damage are inter-related issues, as wood rot in the lumber used to build your home or condo will lead to structural damage that can make your home uninhabitable. Wood rot and structural damage can also cause walls and frames to collapse, which will almost always cause serious injuries.

Collapse

Any undiscovered problems such as those described above could result in collapse of not only walls but the entire structure. Obviously, if your walls or entire structure collapse, your home is uninhabitable, and immediate action needs to be taken.

Often times, the appearance of one problem in a home signifies the existence of another that could be much more serious. If you’ve suffered damage as a result of a construction defect, contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights.

Partial or Total Collapse of the Framing System

There is no mistaking or overlooking a partial or total collapse of the framing system in your home. A partial collapse of the framing system almost immediately makes your home or condo unlivable, and if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could be seriously injured as a result.

Corrosion of Aluminum Threshold Due to Lack of Protection Barrier

Corrosion of the aluminum threshold due to the lack of a protection barrier is a difficult problem to identify, but letting it go unnoticed can have disastrous consequences. Corrosion of any kind is dangerous, but if the aluminum threshold is compromised, the integrity of the entire structure of a home or condo is in imminent peril.

If any of these problems have arisen, or even possibly arisen in your home or condo, you need to take action to protect your home, your safety and your rights. Contact a construction defect attorney immediately, as he or she will be able to guide you through the process of repairing these issues without exposing you to further loss.

Dryrot

Dryrot is a problem that arises when wood used for a structure does not contain enough moisture to maintain its integrity. When dryrot occurs, the wood used to build a home or condo becomes brittle and increasingly fragile. This fragility creates a grave risk in regards to the safety of the home’s occupants and puts any investment in a property suffering from dryrot problems at risk.

Wood Destroying Organisms

Wood destroying organisms are numerous in nature, and generally it is the duty of the construction company to make sure that there are no wood destroying organisms present in the materials that are used to build a home or condo. Your rights in regards to who is responsible for using materials that contain wood destroying organisms may extend not only to the construction company but to the lumber company as well. However, you need to consult a construction defect attorney to make sure that your rights are enforced on the proper parties.

Interior Distress to Cabinets and Countertops

Interior distress to cabinets and countertops is usually visible in the form of bent shelves or uneven door fits, but the problems that cause interior distress to cabinets and countertops could be much more serious than a what a quick fix can provide. Interior distress to cabinets and countertops could be indications of problems with your frame, your slab or any other component of your home.

Defective or Broken Tiles/Shingles

Defective or broken tiles/shingles are not only hazardous, but can lead to serious problems with any home or condo. Defective or broken tiles/shingles generally lead to wear and tear on the slab in the case of broken tiles and a dysfunctional roof in the case of broken shingles. If any of these problems persist, the very nature of the structure will be compromised, and the home or condo will not only be uninhabitable, but the structure will require repair before it can be sold.

If you notice any of these issues in your home or condo, you need to gather all documentation of these occurrences, take photos and contact a construction defect attorney immediately to protect your rights.

Excessive/Unsightly Leaning/Rotation

Excessive/unsightly leaning/rotation of your walls is not something to take lightly. Any time you notice excessive/unsightly leaning/rotational issues, you need to have the condition looked at as soon as possible, as this problem could indicate faulty construction.

Soil/Pavement Buckling in Front of a Wall

Soil/pavement buckling in front of a wall could also be due to several causes. If you notice soil/pavement buckling in front of a wall, it could be faulty craftsmanship in building the wall itself, subgrade problems or any number of other issues that were not handled properly by the contractor.

Ruptured Plumbing and Gas Lines

Ruptured plumbing and gas lines are not only a clear sign of a serious construction defect, but ruptured plumbing and gas lines also cause serious damage to any structure where they occur. Not to mention, these issues quite often result in personal injury to those who exist within the dwelling.

Washboard Surface

A washboard surface can result from such forces as erosion, dust blowing and many other causes that should be foreseeable for any construction company. A washboard surface is an issue that leads to several other problems, as it creates a dangerous condition on your property. A washboard surface can damage your car if it occurs on your driveway or garage, and can lead to personal injury liability of a guest trips on a sidewalk that has a washboard surface.

Although construction companies have a duty to build a home or condo that is devoid of foreseeable construction defects, you also have a duty to take steps to protect your rights when you become aware of potential problems. Those steps involve gathering all the information that relates to these potential problems and contacting a construction defect attorney as soon as possible.

System Failure

System failure is a term that can involve several construction defects. A home could suffer from electrical system failure, septic system failure or many other system failures that each will make a home uninhabitable and could lead to injuries or health problems. If you notice a system failure, you need to take action immediately.

Cities and communities in Nevada (NV) Las Vegas, Summerlin, North Las Vegas, The Lakes, Queensridge.

Cities and areas in Arizona (AZ) Prescott, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Paradise Valley, Anthem-Parkside, Tucson, Casa Grande, Chandler.

Cities and communities in California (CA), Bakersfield, Sacramento area Elk Grove, San Diego area EastLake, Moreno Valley, Rancho Cucamonga.
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If you are dealing with the consequences of a construction defect or you’re concerned that your home may have been built defectively, you need to act quickly in order to prevent further damages from occurring and to protect your legal rights. As such, you will find below a Construction Defect Legal Guide that will help you decide whether or not filing a claim is worth your effort.

Please remember that this Construction Defect Legal Guide is not a be-all-end-all source of information, and if you have a question, you should contact an attorney immediately to explain your situation.

How are construction defects determined?
The answer to the question, “How are construction defects determined?” is not a simple answer, and the analysis involves several technical legal theories. Therefore, you should use this information for your benefit, but you should also contact an attorney for a full explanation as it pertains to your situation.

Whether or not something is construed as a construction defect involves analyzing the problem with the building and comparing it to other buildings that do not contain construction defects. Basically, if a problem with your structure is considered “unreasonable” in relation to other like structures, and was either ignored or should have been noticed and corrected, it can be considered a construction defect. There are different standards for different types of buildings, different locations and different types of code regulations, but overall, a construction defect is usually found if workmanship is not up to reasonable industry standards and you have or soon will suffer damages as a result.

Help for Victims and Families
Luckily for you, if your home is found to contain one or more construction defects, there is available help for victims and families that suffer as a result of these defects. Although many HOA’s and other administrative bodies exist for the purpose of providing help for victims and families in these types of situations, the worst thing you can do to protect your rights is to “go it alone” and face a corporate construction company by yourself.

You need to enlist the help of a professional who has experience in providing help for victims and families who suffer from a construction defect and who can handle the defense attorneys often employed by construction companies. In short, you need to work with a construction defect attorney. He or she understands the intricacies of this area of law, as the legal standards involved can be extremely technical in nature, and one mistake during the process can prevent you from properly recovering for your damages.

Don’t let your rights go unprotected – contact an attorney today for the help you need.

Help for Organizations and Associations
There are several instances in which a construction defect issue can arise, and that pertains not only to the type of defect but also to the type and number of people who are harmed as a result of a construction defect. Construction defects that occur in an individual home are problematic for several reasons, and anyone who has suffered as a result should contact an attorney immediately.

However, there are also highly-qualified attorneys available who provide legal help for organizations and associations when a construction defect is found that affects several homeowners in an area. Providing construction defect help for organizations and associations is much more complicated than providing help on an individual basis, so the following are steps that should be taken if several people in your development are experiencing problems.

Communication

If you have noticed a problem or an imminent problem and you live in a community development, you need to contact your HOA and report it immediately. You may not own the only home that’s been damaged, and your HOA will be able to get everyone together to discuss the problem. If your issue is occurring in other homes, you may have an advantage.

The reason for this advantage is that there is power in numbers, and if an entire group of homes acting as a united front reports the same problems, the construction company that’s responsible will have a difficult time proving that this issue is merely a “nuisance” or an “isolated incident.” Basically, you will get a faster response from a construction company if there is a development-wide problem on most occasions. Therefore, the first steps in providing help for organizations and associations when dealing with a construction defect issue can and will often come from the HOA.

Contact a Construction Defect Attorney

Although an HOA can help gather the necessary information and help present an impression of unity on the part of homeowners, the HOA and its members should not attempt to deal with the construction company on its own. The law of construction defects is extremely complicated, and this is especially so if you need help for organizations and associations, as multiple alleged transgressions can be easily convoluted by defense attorneys. You owe it to yourself, your family and your neighbors to make sure that whatever issue is plaguing your home or group of homes is handled properly, because if it isn’t, everyone will collectively suffer the consequences in some situations.

An experienced construction defect attorney will be able to listen to your problems and to recommend a proper course of action. He or she will also be able to deal with the construction company that may be at fault to ensure that any recovery is not only proper but expedient.

Waiting for a solution will only make matters worse, so contact a construction defect attorney today.

Statute of Limitations for Lawsuits and Claims
The concept of the statute of limitations for lawsuits and claims is extremely complicated, and making a mistake on this technicality can have disastrous results, including having your claim dismissed. The statute of limitations for lawsuits and claims is especially complicated when it comes to construction defects, as it’s not always easy to discover construction problems right away, and it is possible to have the statute begin to run at the first sign of trouble. Below is a brief explanation of the theory behind the statute of limitations for lawsuits and claims, but this information should be used only in furtherance of contacting an attorney, as he or she will be able to apply the facts of your situation to the statute and properly guide you through the process.

The Concept of the Statute of Limitations

The concept of the statute of limitations is grounded in the general ideal of equity. Plaintiffs need to bring a suit for damages incurred within a reasonable timeframe for several reasons. First, if someone waited 25 years to bring a claim, evidence and witnesses would not be as available as they would be if the claim was brought in a timely fashion, making it more difficult for the defendant to provide a suitable defense.

Not to mention, as the years go by things change, and that includes legal standards. Attorneys need to prosecute and defend cases based on laws that are at least somewhat current, or else the entire proceeding can be quite confusing and lead to extended delays and expense as the proper legal standards are established.

Potential Complications

There is a little-known standard that applies to all statutes of limitation, and that standard is called “tolling.” Basically, the statute of limitations begins to run when one of two things occurs:

The plaintiff discovers the injury he or she has suffered; or
The plaintiff reasonably should have known that an injury occurred.
This can be difficult when it comes to construction defects, as problems can arise within walls, below floors and in several other places that are not regularly seen in a home or structure. As such, a plaintiff is taking a risk by ignoring a small lead, for example, as that leak could lead to the statute of limitations beginning to toll from the date that leak was noticed.

The answer to this question, then, is that you should pay close attention and take careful note of any potential problem with your home, and you should not waste any time in contacting an experienced construction defect attorney who will be able to help you move forward with your situation. The number of years allowed under a statute of limitations can vary by jurisdiction, so contact an attorney today for the answers you need.

Filing a Construction Defect Lawsuit
If you have suffered from damages resulting from a construction defect, you are taking the right step by looking into the possibility of enforcing a claim. However, there are several things you need to consider before filing a construction defect lawsuit. All of these decisions should be made with the help of an experienced attorney, as he or she will be able to assist you in moving the process forward in an expedient and professional manner.

Who is responsible for the damage caused to my home?

It is very important to have a solid theory in regards to who may be responsible before filing a construction defect lawsuit. An attorney with experience in this area of law will be able to help you determine who built what part of your home and who may be negligent in building or not building something that causes damage. This is an extremely important step, as suing the wrong party can be extremely stressful and costly.

How much are my damages worth?

The last thing you want to do when filing a construction defect lawsuit is guess as to how much you’ve suffered in terms of damages. An attorney with experience in these matters will be able to help you come to a financial figure based on several factors, and chances are that unless you have experience practicing trial law within this specific discipline, you may miss something that’s completely relevant to your claim.

Should I attempt to settle the dispute privately?

Again, this is a question best answered by an experienced attorney. There are companies in existence that may offer a “low-ball” settlement figure just to make a potential dispute go away, and this is done because many potential plaintiffs are inclined to take the first offer, if one is even made. A skilled construction defect attorney will be able to work for a settlement if that’s in your best interests. If it’s not, your attorney will explain to you why it’s best to push for a trial. Regardless, this is a strategic question that should only be handled by someone with experience.

If you have suffered as a result of faulty construction, you need to act now to make sure that your rights are protected. Not only will your problems get worse and your suffering needlessly continue, but you could lose certain rights that are in place to protect you if you wait too long. Contact a construction defect attorney today to explain your situation.

How We Can Help With Your Construction Defect
If you’ve suffered damage as a result of a construction defect, you need to take specific steps to protect your rights. We’ll detail below what these steps are and explain how we can help you with your situation.

1. Contact Our Office Immediately

If you discover a defect in your home, you have no time to waste. Contact our office immediately to schedule an appointment. When you make that call, one of our staff members will ask you for some basic information and tell you what you need to bring to your appointment in order to make it as productive as possible.

2. Explain Your Situation To Us During Your Free Consultation

When you arrive for your appointment, be prepared to explain every detail that surrounds your situation, no matter how insignificant it may seem. What may seem meaningless to you may be of paramount importance to your legal claim, and we’ll make sure that no stone goes unturned as we evaluate your potential case.

3. Listen to Our Analysis of Your Situation

After we’ve gathered the initial facts surrounding your defect, we will tell you frankly whether or not you have a potentially-valid claim. If you do, we’ll explain how we can help you obtain a fair judgment or settlement based upon the information you’ve provided. Rest assured that we will tell you in all sincerity whether you have a claim that’s worth pursuing or not.

4. Ask Questions of Us

We’d like to present you with a full picture of how we can help. If you would like to know any details regarding our experience, familiarity with specific laws or recommendations as they relate specifically to your situation, we encourage you to ask. We want you to feel totally comfortable with us and the work we may be performing on your behalf, and that comfort level is achieved by full disclosure.

The bottom line is that you need to get in touch with us today to get the process of protecting your rights started. Every day you waste may make the problem worse for several reasons, and if you delay too long you may lose out on a justifiable recovery.

Verdicts and Settlements for Construction Defects
Over the past few years, as the housing boom across the country has increased the volume of building projects in nearly every market, contractors and construction companies have been working under extreme pressure to take on and meet more deadlines and to do so under budget. This phenomenon logically leads to more mistakes, and these mistakes can cause serious damages to those who live in or work in these buildings.

As such, there has also been an upswing in the number of construction defect verdicts and settlements around the country. Below we’ll list just a few examples, but the message should be clear: If you’ve suffered as a result of a construction defect, you’re far from alone, and you should contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights.

$3,493,600.00 Settlement

In an action for damages arising from the faulty construction of more than 40 homes in suburban San Diego, a settlement for the above figure was reached prior to trial. The problems existed with the walls, windows and roofs of the homes in question.

$1,700,000.00 Settlement

A condominium development in Arizona experienced problems with water proofing, mechanical problems and electrical work defects. The HOA brought suit and the defendants settled rather than face a jury.

$39,500,000.00 Settlement

The Boulder County HOA brought a claim for construction defect, foundation and moisture intrusion in 226 unites. The defendants settled before trial.

There are countless other examples of verdicts and settlements, and what you should do if you’ve suffered as a result of faulty construction is contact an attorney immediately. The longer you wait, the worse your problem will get and the less time you’ll have to state your claim. You have only time, stress and a justifiable recovery to lose, so act now to protect your rights.
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Some of the more common problems on roadways and private roads includes the following:

Street Collapse
A street collapse can be the result of a builder not taking into consideration the type of soil he is building on. Soil can be either expansive or collapsing, both of which will cause movement and potential collapse of a street. This street collapse can also be caused by a nearby hill or mountain that has a mudslide or that has eroded land under or next to the street. A builder or developer needs to properly analyze the land where a street or roadway will be build before it is built. With this assessment, a builder will know what construction strategies to implement.

Sinkholes
A sinkhole is caused by a collapse of a cavern roof. It is a natural indentation of the land surface that connects to a passage that is underground. These collapsed sinkholes can grow to be very deep and wide within hours and sometimes minutes. These are quite rare, however. Sinkholes generally occur in limestone. The damages a sinkhole can inflict on your property are serious. The problem never gets better, only worse. Some effects of sinkholes can include but are not limited to cracks in windows or doors, doors that are hard to close, deep separation of concrete walks or sediment in your water.

Utility Failures (downed/broken lines)
Utility failures in downed or broken lines occur because of natural causes such as weather or by human negligence. When an underground line is broken it takes longer to detect and is extremely costly to repair. These utility failures with broken or downed lines can adversely affect a home or building by disrupting telecommunication services, cable services, or electrical services. As you can imagine, the damage caused by utility failures can be as simple as loss of power for an hour causing minimal damages, to extended loss of power causing personal injury and/or damage to personal items in the home.

Erosion
Erosion occurs when material from the Earth is transported via stream flows, coastline, or hill slope. It is a gradual wearing away of the land. Factors such as wind or water can provide the force needed to start this erosion process. Erosion can affect the shaping of land surfaces or the quantity of material built up on the land surface. Water is one of the most significant natural factors in the process of erosion. Although a certain amount of erosion is natural, erosion is sometimes increased by poor construction actions and can be decreased by using proper techniques such as tree planting.

Landslides and Falling Rocks
Landslides and falling rocks can be described as a measurable plane of land that has slipped resulting in falling rocks. It can turn into a pretty steady flow as the block of land gains momentum down the slope. Steep slopes are susceptible to landslide occurrences, but they occur in almost any environment. They can be caused by an earthquake and by construction, specifically road construction. Falling rocks will result when the landslide moves the debris or soil that covered the rock. This exposes the rock allowing it to tumble along with the landslide or on its own time, sometimes after the landslide has occurred.

Damages from street collapse, sinkholes, utility failure (downed/broken lines), erosion, or landslides and falling rocks to roadways and private roads can be serious. Without proper expertise regarding these defects, a resolution to these issues can be time-consuming and costly. Do not try to take care of these issues on your own. Contact an attorney today to help you take the proper steps.
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We are dedicated to the successful representation of homeowners and homeowner associations in construction defect matters.
Begin your FREE case review today!
Water issues can affect all areas of a house, a condominium, or a townhome. You can find evidence of this construction defect in your roof, your walls, your floors, your ceilings, and/or structures around your home. This could include structures like a deck, a patio, or other outside additions to your home. The water issues can be far-reaching to impact areas such as concrete around a pool or a retaining wall adjacent to your home.

Water intrusion can be a sign of a serious construction defect. It is important to know your rights as a homeowner.
Contact our experienced attorneys today!
Water issues can cause leaks in your residence. Leaks can be found anywhere in your house and must be fixed as soon as they are discovered. This actually goes for most any water issues. Water intrusion into garages is also a damaging issue that needs to be resolved quickly. Even if you suspect this to be a construction defect, it is your responsibility to minimize the damage. After contacting an attorney, you can then determine what liability you have and what the responsibility of the builder or developer is.

Leaking from water issues can also cause moisture buildup which can result in serious moisture intrusion. This is also a serious concern that could very well be caused by a construction defect.

Are you experiencing any water issues in your house, condominium, or townhome? If you answer “yes,” there is a good chance that there may be a construction defect in your home. How do you determine that? As was previously stated, there are many causes of a construction defect and yet, there are defects that can appear to be more severe than they really are. If you suspect you have a construction defect, you need to make the next right step. You need to contact an attorney to help you determine how you should proceed. Do not wait – contact an attorney today.

Guide to Known Water IssuesLeaksWater Intrusion into GaragesSerious Moisture IntrusionToxic MoldMildewWater Proofing Failure
Leaks
Water issues can include a number of defects that result in leaking. Water leaks can be a nightmare to deal with especially if the leakage is not caught in time and the root cause of the leak goes undetected. The leaking can start or end at the stairs, bathtubs, showers, balconies, or decks. Leakage can also be a silent assassin that does its work behind a wall. This means the leakage could be quite severe by the time it is visible to a person standing in a room with leaks. Water issues can also be visible on exterior walls such as the stucco, dry walls or siding.

Damage control can be the first dilemma to deal with after you’ve discovered your water issues. Issues such as leaks and/or moisture buildup can cause all kinds of temporary or permanent damage. You can be looking at an entire room that needs its walls and floor ripped out and redone. You could have leaks that create such moisture buildup that mold begins to grow and you now have some serious and quite costly repairs that need to be done. The whole situation can be quite overwhelming, especially when you have already attempted to contact the developer and/or builder for resolution. Those responsible for such construction defects that cause water issues like these are not always anxious to acknowledge the problem even exists. Unfortunately, builders and/or developers are aware of the potential liability they have with a construction defect and how costly it will be to resolve this problem. It is sometimes a challenge to have them take the necessary steps to fix the issue and to make sure the issue does not reappear. So, what do you do next?

Water issues that affect stairs, bathtubs, showers, balconies, decks, or other areas are not something you need to take care of alone. In fact, to the contrary, you need to have an advocate that has some experience in construction defect issues. You need an advocate with knowledge of the law and how it will apply to your situation. Construction defect cases vary depending on a number of factors, so having knowledge of the law is a requirement but experience with litigating these types of cases are also a must. Do not hesitate – you need to contact an attorney now that will help you decide on a proper course of action.

Water Intrusion into Garages
Are you seeing issues with moisture buildup or leaking water? Leaking water can affect several areas of your home. The root cause can be on the exterior and then lead into the house or visa versa. Either way, a leakage can cause water intrusion into garages. This is detectable by looking for common symptoms like water stains on the garage walls and/or floor, moisture buildup in the walls, and/or water damage in the ceiling.

Serious Moisture Intrusion
Leakage that seeps into the walls or ceilings can cause serious moisture intrusion. Whenever you have water build up in somewhat damp areas, it will be inevitable for mold to form. Serious moisture intrusion can be one issue but what this intrusion can lead to is much more severe. Serious moisture intrusion can create a perfect environment for mold. When mold grows, you are left with an extremely difficult repair, even more so than the original moisture intrusion.

Water issues that cause water intrusion into garages or serious moisture intrusion are very difficult defects to control and fix. If you do not take the right steps to control the damage, you may be making your situation worse. You need to contact an attorney today if you suspect you have any of these water-related problems.

Toxic Mold
Mold is a fungus that lives in damp areas of your home that are often not even noticed. Toxic mold can refer to the indoor air quality issue that exists with the presence of this mold. Mold needs a water source for it to sustain growth. Hence, with the existence of toxic mold, your home must have some water issues. Building material, e.g. drywall, carpet padding, etc. can cause the onset of mold or prolong its existence. When you begin to see the mold, you may think it’s a new formation, but it has actually always been there. It is just that now the mold has found an environment perfect for growing and spreading. Mold that is living off wall material or floor material can become so strong that it can completely destroy the wall or floor. Mold can be a serious issue causing damage to property as well as serious health problems to people around it. Quick detection and resolution is a necessity when dealing with this problem.

How Did the Mold Get There?

Mold can grow on everyday building material and mold spores can be everywhere. But for mold to occur inside there must be a water issue or moisture problem. The root of these water issues could be from a number of causes. You could have a leaking roof or bad plumbing that is turning your house into a sick home (mold claim).

Will Toxic Mold Make Me Sick?

Humans can be exposed to small quantities of mold and not have any reactions. But in a sick home, there are large doses in the environment that will cause allergic-like symptoms or worse. A person can have an allergic reaction but it can get as severe as experiencing flu-like symptoms, breathing problems, skin reactions, or concentration and thinking problems.

What Do I Do if I have Mold?

There are different types of mold, some of which could be green or black. Building material that is old may have some discoloration that many will mistake as mold. Mold will appear as something growing on top of the material. It can be concentrated in one area and spread in a dot-like formation. Since mold needs a water source to live, you must discover where your water issues are in the house. Once you have taken care of the water issues, the next step is to clean the mold, which could be as simple as using household cleaners or ventilation. But if the mold quantity is high, you may need to contact a professional to properly remove all molds and any building material that has been affected.

Dealing with mold issues is very difficult and cannot be neglected. A sick home that has high quantities of toxic mold needs more than just a quick fix; your next step is to file a mold claim. If you suspect that you have a pretty serious issue with mold, if you are not sure, or if you have a sick home (mold claim) already causing problems, you need to contact an attorney. There are a lot of sick home (mold claim) cases that you are not aware of and will be very helpful as you proceed towards a resolution. Do not wait and try to take care of this on your own. Contact an attorney that has been there and knows what you need to do get you and your home back in shape.

Mildew
Mildew is a furry fungus that can grow on plants or around windows. Mildew thrives in humid conditions and in areas with poor air circulation. Mildew can be white or gray in color. The presence of mildew can cause various health issues such as allergic reactions and/or breathing problems.

What do I do about the Mildew?

You must first understand that mildew is only a symptom of a bigger problem. If you have mildew in your home, even if it is in small quantities, there is a water issue or moisture issue in your house. The only way to take care of the mildew is to take care of the source of the water issues. Water issues can be caused by different construction defects in your home.

Builders and developers have to make a lot of decisions when they begin their housing development projects. Included in their decision making process is what products they buy, what building materials they use, and which contractors and/or subcontractors they hire. Frankly, these decisions can sometimes prevent or at least decrease the risk of any potential construction defect. However, these decisions could also be the root cause.

A water issues can stem from a roof that is leaking or a serious plumbing problem. Both of these examples can be caused by the developer or builder making a bad decision. They could have tried to cut costs by using a plumbing system that is substandard. They could have cut costs by using roofing material such as shingles that are also substandard and low in quality. The contractor that installed the plumbing system or built the roof could have been less than properly skilled, not licensed, or simply inexperienced. The fact remains that the liability for the damage the mildew has caused may lie in the lap of the builder or developer.

Since your water issues are most likely the cause of the mildew, you need to find out from where the water is coming. Once you have determined that, fix it and move on to cleaning the mildew. The mildew may be able to be cleaned by a cleaner bought in the store, but if the mildew has spread, it may require a professional cleaner. You do not want to leave any mildew behind.

If you see mildew or what you think may be mildew in your home, you need to contact an attorney today. An attorney will help you understand what needs to be done and in what order. Mildew problems can be quite overwhelming to deal with and quite costly. Your first priority is to make your home livable again, and second, you need to make sure who is actually responsible for this mess is held accountable. Contact an attorney today to help you protect your rights.

Water Proofing Failure
When you have water issues, it can be challenging to determine what the root cause is. Most likely your expertise is not in home construction, but you at least can recognize potential problems without further investigation. How do you determine if the water issues you are experiencing are because of a construction defect or just some needed small repairs? The answer will depend upon whom you ask. Nowadays, professionals in the construction business are fully aware of the litigious society we live in. If they can avoid liability, they will. There is a good chance that your water issues are because of water proofing failure which is most likely not the responsibility of the homeowner.

So what do you do? The first step is to get your house back to suitable living conditions. You need to find out what is causing your water issues. During this process it is very important that you document everything. Take lots of detailed notes, take pictures, and consult with an attorney. Since your goal is to fix your problem, you may lose some valuable evidence along the way. You are responsible for preventing any further damage to your home. You cannot just let your water issues worsen with hopes that someone else will take care of the repairs. You do not want mold or mildew to grow.

If you have discovered that water proofing failure is the cause of your water issues, you must contact an attorney. Water proofing failure occurs when a builder does not make appropriate choices. For example, the builder needs to choose quality material. Let’s use a roof as an example. If the materials used to waterproof the roof are substandard, water issues are inevitable. If the builder chooses a contractor whose skills are less than average resulting in poor workmanship, this can also cause leaks in your roof and then water issues.

Water proofing failure is the responsibility of the builder (or developer). You need to first discover what the root cause of your water issues is, and if you find a leakage somewhere contact an attorney. Do not wait. It is difficult and distressing to know exactly what you should do next. Contact an attorney, and he or she will help you determine your next step.
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Edge of Green Board above Tub or Shower Pan Lip has a Cut Edge Instead of the Wrapped Factor Edge

When the edge of green board above tub or shower pan lip has a cut edge instead of the wrapped factor edge you can experience water issues. Water issues can escalate quickly, turning what could be a quick repair into a major problem. If the edge of green board above tub or shower pan lip has a cut edge instead of the wrapped factor edge there is potential risk of mold or mildew to grow. This could be a costly fix while also creating an unhealthy environment.

Joints and Penetrations are Not Sealed with a Coat of Ceramic Tile Mastic Prior to Tile Installation

When joints and penetrations are not sealed with a coat of ceramic tile mastic prior to tile installation this may also allow for water issues to occur. It only takes a weak seal or lack thereof for moisture to seep under flooring. This construction defect can be detected in the beginning phases if there is some already-obvious water damage, e.g. dampness under the tile. But there is a good chance that a homeowner will not recognize this as an issue until there is serious water damage. Joints and penetrations that are not sealed with a coat of ceramic tile mastic prior to tile installation is an example of poor workmanship.

Insufficient Gap (Less than 1/4 Inch) between the Base of Green Board and the Tub or Shower Pan

Insufficient gap (less than 1/4 inch) between the base of green board and the tub or shower pan can cause a construction defect. There are building codes that a contractor needs to follow in any construction project. An example of this code or guideline is requiring a certain sized gap to exist between a base board and its tub. This will allow the building material to breathe properly.

Lack of Flexible Sealant Joint at the Tile-To-Tub or Shower Pan Juncture

Lack of flexible sealant joint at the tile-to-tub or shower pan juncture can also cause a water issue in your bathrooms. Again, a contractor carries the onus of ensuring that all proper materials and procedures are being implemented during a construction project. As a homeowner, you count on that.

The following are examples of what can go wrong in the finishing stages of a house:

Edge of green board above tub or shower pan lip is cut edge instead of the wrapped factor edge
Joints and penetrations are not sealed with a coat of ceramic tile mastic prior to tile installation
Insufficient gap (less than 1/4 inch) between the base of green board and the tub or shower pan
Lack of flexible sealant joint at the tile-to-tub or shower pan juncture
Do not delay – contact an attorney for help with any of these issues.
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To answer the question, “What are construction defects?” would depend on your point of view, e.g., that of a homeowner, contractor, builder, product manufacturer, etc. Understand that there is a difference between what would be considered just a nuisance claim and an actual construction defect claim. Construction defects can be as complex as foundation issues that threaten the structural integrity of a building to more aesthetic issues such as improperly applied stucco.

Although there is controversy in defining what are construction defects, trial courts have grouped construction defects into four categories. These categories will help you understand what construction defects are.

1. Design Deficiencies in Engineering

The first category is design deficiencies which sometimes stem from the work of architects or engineers. These design professionals design a building or design a specific system that does not function as it was intended to function. The end result is a product that is defective. An example would be a roof that has been designed to be aesthetically pleasing and complex in design but is prone to leakage.

2. Material Deficiencies

The second category is material deficiencies. Using inferior building material can cause a variety of defect issues. An example of this type of defect that is fairly common is windows built with poor materials that leak even after being installed perfectly. Another example is material used inside of a wall that causes issues such as wall leaks or moisture damage. The building material that would be in question could be the building paper, particle board, roof shingles, etc.

3. Substandard Workmanship

The third category is construction deficiencies, also known as substandard workmanship. This category of construction defect usually becomes evident with water damage through some part of the actual building structure. Other examples of such a defect would be rotting wood, pest infestations, and cracks in floor slabs or in the foundation. There could also be evidence of construction deficiencies in lack of adequate sound insulation, electrical problems, plumbing issues, and/or inadequate fire-resistive construction between housing units.

4. Subsurface or Geotechnical Problems

The fourth category is subsurface or geotechnical problems. An expansive soil condition is a perfect example of this concern and is commonly found in California and Colorado. This issue occurs when housing developments are built in areas where water once stood, or is hilly, both resulting in an unstable foundation upon which to build a house. If the builder does not prepare the soil properly on this type of subsurface condition, then inevitably you will begin to see symptoms of this construction defect. This also holds true if the builder does not keep in mind this type of potential soil issue when deciding on structure design. As a result, you may see problems including but not limited to vertical and horizontal settlement, slope failures, flooding, cracks in floor slab and hardscape. An extreme case would leave a building uninhabitable.

Since there are numerous issues that can occur with a building or a home, it’s hard to decide what are construction defects and what are not in a simple way. Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney today to find out exactly what is going on with your property and what steps you need to take to take care of it and to protect your rights.

construction defects

If you have a problem with something that you purchase in a store, you can simply return the item most of the time and get a refund or another item that isn’t damaged. In the new home building construction business, this isn’t exactly how it works, all of the time.

All of the products that are purchased are brought to the job site and assembled into the new home. If any of these items are damaged, there’s a good chance that they will need to be removed, if possible and returned to the store that they were purchased from to make the exchange.

That’s okay and usually works… sometimes. If you install a couple of boxes of floor tile and you notice that there is a flaw of some sort after you have installed them, I don’t think the store is going to be happy or interested in having you return floor tiles that have tile grout or adhesive dried on to the back of them.

In other words, some new home construction defects are going to be bigger problems than others. If you notice there’s a chip in a piece of tile, bathroom sink or even a light fixture, don’t bother to install it in the new house. This is the point when it needs to be returned for an undamaged item.

By now you’re probably wondering, wouldn’t everybody do this, isn’t this kind of stuff called common sense. Not when someone’s in a hurry and isn’t really worried about the finished product. The biggest problems with construction defects in new homes is building materials that get damaged by other workers or building materials that are already damaged and installed anyway.

There’s not a lot that you’re going to be able to do about building materials that become damaged after they are installed, but there is something that you can do before they are installed.
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If you have recently purchased a home, or are about to do so, you owe it to yourself and your family to understand everything that should be done to make sure that you know everything you need to know about the premises in question. One of the most overlooked aspects of purchasing any home is understanding how construction defects affect new and used home buyers.

Examples of Home Construction Defects:

How Construction Defects Affect New and Used Home Buyers
Financial Loss

Construction defects can occur almost anywhere in any home. Examples include mold in the woodworking, leaks in the plumbing, toxins in the soil in your yard or even dangerous gaseous emissions emanating from your duct system. There are way too many defects to list in one location, but the bottom line is that repairing any construction defect can be extremely expensive, especially if you’ve just made the biggest financial commitment that Americans can make – buying a home.

Physical Injury from a Construction Defect:
Given all the different scenarios that can unfold with any construction defect, any number of serious injuries can occur, ranging from a trip to the doctor’s office up to and including death. A guest could slip and fall on your stairs if there is a plumbing leak that creates dangerous conditions on your floors, respiratory conditions can form if a person continually inhales toxic substances from your soil, and any presence of carbon monoxide can lead to respiratory failure and death.

Not only do these conditions place you and your family in the way of potential harm, but you could also be liable for any damages that others suffer as a result of unsafe conditions present in your home. The presence of a construction defect, in some situations, could also lead to your insurance company refusing to cover your damages, leaving you vulnerable in several ways.

Your rights and construction defects, finding a construction defect attorney:
If there is a construction defect present in your home, whether you bought it new or used, you do have rights. If you discover such an issue, you need to notate its presence properly and contact a construction defect attorney immediately. He or she will be able to guide you through the legal process of protecting your rights so that you don’t incur the financial and/or physical damages that these conditions can create both for you and your guests.

There is no time to waste, so contact an attorney today to make sure that the negligence of the construction company does not go unenforced, leaving you “holding the bag” for any unforeseen results.

Construction Defect Lawyers are available in these States:
These are the cities with the highest growth rates in 2007 according to the latest estimates from the Census Bureau:

Cities and communities in Nevada (NV) Las Vegas, Summerlin, North Las Vegas, The Lakes, Queensridge.

Cities and areas in Arizona (AZ) Prescott, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Paradise Valley, Anthem-Parkside, Tucson, Casa Grande, Chandler.

Cities and communities in California (CA), Bakersfield, Sacramento area Elk Grove, San Diego area EastLake, Moreno Valley, Rancho Cucamonga.
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The reasons and causes of construction defects in homes and condos can also be based on the products and building materials the builder selects. Housing developments are going up with at such a rapid rate that builders and developers have a tendency to cut corners when they can. One area to do this is with building materials and/or products they use in the house. This could be appliances, plumbing equipment, dry wall material, and so on. This also goes for the contractors they choose to use. Again, some contractors cost more than others. This is clearly based on their qualifications and whether they are licensed or not. Poor workmanship frequently causes construction defects.

If you suspect that you may have a construction defect in your home contact our office right away.
Contact our experienced attorneys today!
Construction defect liability generally is based on the decisions the builder and/or developer makes. First, they are in the position to decide what construction strategy they will use. The need to analyze the soil and prepare it adequately before breaking ground to build is an example of a decision. Second, the developer has a choice where to build and if land with bad soil is chosen, it is both the builder’s and developer’s responsibility to choose the best construction strategy that will prevent building issues and construction defect to occur (as much as possible).

If you suspect that you may have a construction defect in your home, condo or townhome, you need to document the issues you are experiencing. This would include taking pictures of any noticeable defects inside and outside your house. Also, you need to determine how severe the construction defect is to know whether or not you should take steps to repair it or if you can wait until you have consulted with an attorney. You need to consult with an attorney to know exactly what steps you need to take to come to the best resolution to your potential construction defect issues.

Causes of Construction Defects in Homes and CondosImproper Soil Analysis and PreparationsSite Selection and PlanningCivil and Structural EngineeringDefective Building Materials (Material Deficiencies)Negligent ConstructionDesign DeficienciesConstruction Deficiencies
Improper Soil Analysis and Preparations
When a builder chooses an area of land to build on, it is important they do some sort of soil analysis and preparation. The analysis will provide the developer and/or builder with enough information to choose the adequate soil preparation and construction strategy that should be used to develop the land. Improper soil analysis and preparations can be very damaging to a housing development. For example, a builder can discover that the land soil is made up of expansive soil. If this is the case, houses need to have a foundation that will be able to support the changing pressure and consistency of the soil. This is because expansive soil will swell when wet and then shrink once it dries. If one builds on this type of soil and is not aware or it, there will inevitably be issues to handle. There will be cracks in the stucco, walls, retaining walls, garage floor, pavements and elsewhere. The fix is very costly and very intrusive. Unfortunately, the reality is improper soil analysis and preparations happen all the time.

Site Selection and Planning
The developer usually performs site selection and planning. This is a crucial decision since there are areas of land that are better to build on than others. A developer has to know to consider the potential risks in any given area. Is there a mountain nearby that could cause a potential landslide, mudslide? Are there geological hazards or slope instabilities that exist in the area? The developer needs to have answers to these questions.

Civil and Structural Engineering
Once the developer has completed the site selection and planning, civil and structural engineering comes into play. Decisions made during the civil and structural engineering phase can also impact the fate of each housing unit. The civil and structural engineering phase of a development project includes acquiring permits that need to be obtained, identifying codes that need to be adhered to and planning design phases that will be implemented. There is room for errors in any of these steps, as any of them cause construction defects.

Improper soil analysis and preparations or other errors of a builder and/or developer can be the cause of construction defects. Do not try to tackle these issues on alone. Contact an attorney today.

Defective Building Materials (Material Deficiencies)
Defective building materials can be a root cause of many building issues or construction defects. If a highly-skilled contractor builds a roof with defective building materials, it doesn’t matter how good his workmanship is. The roof will be a construction defect. The roof may leak, allow for moisture to seep in, cause dryrot to occur, allow for mold or mildew to grow and cause other problems. A builder should inspect all products for material deficiencies. He needs to ensure that everything is up to code, high in quality, and has gone through a proper quality control process. This will help decrease the chance of getting defective building materials (material deficiencies).

Negligent Construction
Negligent construction is an unfortunately common occurrence. A builder has to be very careful when choosing a contractor or subcontractor. A builder will sometimes use one contactor for various projects. A contractor may have skills to install plumbing but not the know how to build a roof. The responsibility can fall on several parties when there is a defect, and that’s up to your attorney to determine.

Design Deficiencies
Architects sometimes have a role in the cause or prevention of construction defects. An architect can create a design that may be aesthetically pleasing but weak functionally. This is where the other building professionals need to evaluate a structure for any design deficiencies. Some design deficiencies can be easily discovered while others will not be evident until implementation. This means that testing should be a required step. All of these checks and balances do not always happen.

There are a lot of building issues that can happen because of the actual material of your home. They can be defective building materials, negligent construction, design deficiencies, or material deficiencies. Any of these construction defects are hard to investigate since there are so many professionals involved. If you suspect that any of these could be issues in your home, you need to contact an attorney. An attorney can help you take the right steps to determine what caused your construction defects and what you need to do to take care of it. If you are not sure you even have a construction defect, contact an attorney today to get the answers you deserve.

Construction Deficiencies
Construction defects in a home or condo can be caused by a variety of issues. Determining if an issue is actually a construction defect is sometimes the biggest challenge you face. However, once you have determined that you have a construction defect, then you are ready to not only develop a strategy to perform the repair but also to determine who is responsible to repair the issue(s).

One cause of your construction defect could be construction deficiencies (poor quality or substandard workmanship). Builders today work fast. They have a timeline and a budget. Their goal is to complete a housing development on time while saving where possible. Where can they save? They can cut corners by hiring contractors who may not be the most qualified and do not have the skills to get the job done right. This is what it means to have an issue like construction deficiencies (poor quality or substandard workmanship).

Construction deficiencies (poor quality or substandard workmanship) can cause some of the most serious construction defects. If a roof is not built correctly, the result could mean mold or mildew. If windows are not installed properly, your home could have inefficient insulation or moisture buildup. With moisture comes mold. The construction defects could be numerous.

This would also be the case for subsurface/geotechnical problems. The burden is on the builder to choose a land to build on and then more importantly analyze the soil properly. If the analysis is performed properly the builder and/or developer are able to select the construction strategy that will consider potential subsurface/geotechnical problems. Expansive soil and collapsing soil are both examples of subsurface problems that can impact a house and cause rather serious building issues.

A builder and/or developer needs to know the land they are building on inside and out, or above and underground is more accurate. Besides soil analysis they should have a land survey that will consider other types of potential subsurface/geotechnical problems such as slope instabilities, landslides, mudslides, erosion, and so on.

These causes of construction defects, that is, construction deficiencies (poor quality or substandard workmanship) and subsurface/geotechnical problems can be difficult to detect and difficult to fix. The priority is to get your house back to a livable, safe condition. This can be an arduous task if you are not familiar with land development and all that goes in to it. Homeowners usually do not have knowledge in this area so choose to have an advocate that does. You need to contact an attorney that has the experience with construction defect issues and knowledge of construction law. Contact an attorney today to be your advocate.
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Construction defects can cause a variety of building issues. Determining the root of the defect will depend on which area or areas of the house have been affected. Defects in the foundation, floor, or wall can be the direct result of soil issues, water issues, or even workmanship issues.

Questions about Building Issues and Problems?
Contact our experienced construction defect attorneys today!
When a builder starts a new project, there are a lot of decisions to be made. But before any decision is made the first step is to survey the factors that will impact these decisions. One important factor to consider is soil. Does the builder know what kind of soil upon which the building will be built? What type of contractor will the builder use and what is the budget for them? The builder also has to decide what products and what building material will be used. Before groundbreaking, the builder has to make a lot of decisions that can either help prevent or may actually cause some building issues. Soil issues are a leading cause of construction defect. If the land is not properly prepared, the soil, whether expansive or collapsing, can cause damage to all areas of your home, i.e. the floor, the wall, the foundation and even roof cracks.

If you are noticing problems with your foundation, you may be experiencing water-caused issues as well as or instead of soil issues. You need to obtain a professional assessment of the situation, discover what the root cause is and receive an estimate for the repair. Cracks you find on your foundation could be the result of the builder choosing the wrong contractor or choosing a substandard plumbing system. Either way, water issues can become even more severe when they begin to affect the foundation, floor or wall.

If you are seeing roof cracks, then your construction defect can be due to faulty design. At times an engineer or architect can create a unique roof design that aesthetically is very pleasing but is functionality inadequate. It is the responsibility of the builder and architect to work together to ensure that a good design will not sacrifice proper functionality.

Building issues like roof cracks or foundation issues can be a root cause of many different construction defects. Do not wait to get an advocate on your side to help you take the right steps to resolve these issues. Contact an attorney today.

Types of Building Issues:Structural FailurePoor FramingVOCFaulty FoundationDeteriorating Asphalt PavementWindows and Doors DefectsMechanical DefectsFinishing IssuesDeteriorating Wood TrimExterior Wood Surfaces Not PaintedCracked TilesRotted Eave Boards
Structural Failure from Roofing Installed Incorrectly
One example is starting from the “top.” When a house has roofing installed incorrectly it can cause all sorts of building issues. If a contractor has poor workmanship in the roof, he or she can allow moisture to seep through. This can cause mold, mildew, or even dryrot. Dryrot can be extremely damaging. It attacks the wood leaving it discolored and inevitably ready to crumble. This can cause structural failure like the roof collapsing or a hardwood floor collapsing. Like mold and mildew, dryrot needs a moist area to survive as well as poor ventilation or wood that has not been weathered properly. The moisture does not even have to be that high. This, again, can be the result of substandard workmanship or the purchase of faulty building materials. This is a construction defect that needs immediate attention. If you suspect that your home has roofing installed incorrectly or dryrot is growing, you must get a repair strategy in place. Depending how far the dryrot has progressed, since structural failure is foreseeable, your home is not a safe place to reside.

Building Issues with Poor Framing
It is hard for a homeowner to know what poor framing can cause. In fact, some may assume that poor framing is due to an issue with the foundation, when in reality the issue is with the inadequate workmanship or inferior quality materials put into the framework of the house. Poor framing can show symptoms such as cracks around doors and windows. Some define a construction defect as an issue that will lower the value of your home. Poor framing is definitely a construction defect. Not to mention, this is a devastating issue to have to deal with. It can cost thousands to repair. There are other signs of poor framing that a professional can recognize.

Poor framing, dryrot growing, roofing installed incorrectly and potential structural failure are not building issues you want to deal with on your own. These issues can be quite detrimental, costly to repair, time consuming to deal with and emotionally draining. You need an advocate that understands these construction defects and how the law allows you to deal with them. You need an attorney who has experience with construction defect cases. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney to formulate the best resolution plan for your home.

VOC
Your new home, condominium, or townhome should be a safe haven for you and your family. You buy a home with a sense of confidence that your home is built tightly and up to code and that the builder and developer has your best interest in mind. This is usually the case. But, sad to say, the housing development industry has experienced such a rapid growth that it’s hard to for building professionals to keep pace. When they have chosen a type of house to build they make decision on the materials to use, e.g. carpets, plastics, or varnishes. These decisions are made quickly and frequently; consequently, choices are made without having enough information to make an adequate choice, or quite frankly with reducing costs wherever possible in mind.

The results of such a lack of due diligence is construction defects that can be quite a risk to someone’s health. For example, if a builder or developer hires a contractor that does not have the know-how to build a roof and is unable to recognize poor building material, then the roof will not be installed properly. Moisture can seep in causing mold issues, but to the contrary, the roof can be built tightly such that there is lack of breathing room for the wood. VOC or volatile organic compounds can be released into the air and can get into the house. The VOC comes from an organic chemical compound that has vaporized into the air. These VOCs can come from paint thinners, dry cleaning solvents, and other chemicals used in the building process. A builder, or more importantly, the contractor or subcontractor has to understand how different chemicals will react if for example the area they are going be used in is built tightly allowing for high vapor pressure. The contractor needs to know that volatile organic compounds are a serious potential problem that can also come from carpers, plastics or even varnishes.

If VOCs are not taken care of properly they can be released into the environment where they can cause soil contamination and/or groundwater contamination. VOC vapors can also add to air pollution. Your home that has off-gassing of the carpets and plastics can begin with being a problem for just you, but can quickly become your neighbor’s building issues, and his neighbor’s building issue.

You need an attorney who has experience with construction defect cases. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney to put together the best resolution plan for you and your home.

Faulty Foundations and EIFS (synthetic stucco) Installed improperly
Besides faulty foundations, lack of experience and excellent workmanship can become evident with your EIFS (synthetic stucco). If EIFS, a multi-layered finish, is installed improperly there are a number of symptoms you may see. Your EIFS can begin to crack and/or peel. EIFS (synthetic stucco) installed improperly can allow moisture or water to seep through into the walls. Usually when you see issues with EIFS, moisture is a factor. Once you have moisture in your walls, you have a potential for greater issues such as mold. You can begin to see leaks inside of your home. This trapped moisture may also create the perfect environment for mold or mildew to grow. Once mold or mildew starts to grow, what once was a somewhat easy and manageable fix has just jumped to a new level. Sometimes mold or mildew can be removed with household cleaners. If the mold spreads too quickly, you will need a professional cleaner to come and remove it. EIFS (synthetic stucco) installed improperly can be a silent destroyer. You could have a small enough crack you don’t notice that it has allowed this mold to grow beyond control. Cracks in the stucco could be a cause of the soil movement. This would mean that the builder did not take into account the type of soil where the house is built.

Damage seen in stucco could be cracks that are caused by soil movement. EIFS has layers that do not breathe. This is not an issue until moisture is present. If there is a problem with material used to construct the walls, the roof, or any other area that would allow for moisture to seep into the EIFS, you will see stucco and EIFS problems. In addition, this moisture leakage could be due to poor construction material, poor contractor work or simply poor or lack of proper soil analysis.

If you have building issues with faulty foundations or are seeing some cracks and defects and suspect the EIFS (synthetic stucco) was installed improperly, contact an attorney today.

Deteriorating Asphalt Pavement
Deteriorating asphalt pavement is a construction defect that can be a result of poor building material or deficient workmanship. A builder has to know what type of soil will be under any pavement or concrete that will be developed. Soils can have an immense impact on the concrete that covers it. For example, expansive soil can swell and create a tremendous amount of pressure when wet, initiating cracks and deterioration of the asphalt. But deteriorating asphalt pavement can be avoided. A builder and/or developer can perform soil analysis that will uncover what type of soil there is as well as any other issues that would be a factor in determining what construction strategy should be used.

Windows Defects and Doors Defects
If deteriorating asphalt pavement remains for too long, it can begin to impact the structure of a house. Again, strong pressure from the soil can cause these pavement cracks to spread and also cause window defects and door defects. Window defects and door defects can be as minor has not closing properly or as major as cracks around the frame. It is sometimes hard to establish the root cause of window defects and door defects. This is why you need to consult with a professional that knows what to look for while inspecting your property. During this process it is important to take detailed notes as well as photos of everything. Your focus is how to fix the defects, but you should keep in mind that this may not be your responsibility to incur the cost of the repairs.

Mechanical Defects
A mechanical defect is a broad construction defect category and can happen quite often. The defect can be the result of poor material or a substandard product. How do you determine if the building issues you are having are because of a mechanical defect or simply because of poor workmanship? If your objective is to determine who is responsible for the cost of repairs, the answer does not matter. The onus is on the builder to choose a quality product and to ensure a qualified contractor will be performing the installation. If your garage door no longer shuts properly, if your chimney does not close correctly, if your ventilation system is failing, these can all be the result of a poor product or again, a quality product installed incorrectly. It is important do take note of the mechanical defects or failures you experience. With any machine or equipment, the defect may vary based on environmental conditions.

Whether you see window defects or door defects, or you have deterioration in your asphalt pavement or mechanical defects, you need to consult with an attorney. These building issues can be quite overwhelming; do not hesitate to contact an attorney today.

Finishing Issues
Construction defects can result in a variety of building issues. It’s sometimes hard to determine whether a defect is indeed just that, or if it’s simply a cosmetic issue that has no further root problem. Cracks in slabs can be a serious issue since a very likely cause is expansive soils. Finishing issues or improperly painted surfaces may not seem like a defect, but you have to evaluate your issue against what is defined as a construction defect.

There is a lot of controversy around what is considered to be a construction defect. It really depends on who you ask. In this litigious society we are in, builders are very careful about what they will say is a construction defect since they most likely would be liable. If you talk to a homeowner, their perspective is what will affect the value of their home and the safety of residing in the home. Mistakes made by an architect in the designs, the builder’s inability to build to code, or the inferior standard of what makes up the house, i.e. under-qualified contractors that were used or poor quality building materials used can all be red flags. With so many factors to consider in determining whether a construction defect exits, you must perform further investigation. The finishing issues you have although cosmetic, may affect the value of your property and could be covering up other building issues. This also holds true for improperly painted surfaces. This could be an example of poor workmanship; however, it can also be a sign of something more serious. The paint job could have been adequate; however, any soil movements can cause structure movement which will in effect appear as if there are improperly painted surfaces or other finishing issues.

Cracks in slabs, as mentioned, can be the result of expansive soil. This can be a very serious issue since when wet, expansive soil swells causing a great deal of pressure against anything that lies on it. This condition will cause cracks in slabs, walls, retaining walls and pavement. The builder has the opportunity to analyze what type of soil exists under the land. Proper analysis by the builder or the developer can aid in what construction strategies will be used to build. As the home buyer you have the right to know if the builder made such a discovery and if so, what construction plans were made to accommodate the soil situation. Do not hesitate to ask questions. Make sure to document any communication you have with the builder or any other professional you contact. Although it may be premature to determine if you have a construction defect case, it is better to be safe and track everything.

There is a lot to consider when handling cracks in slabs, finishing issues, or improperly painted surfaces. Contact an attorney today to help you understand what your next step should be.

Deteriorating Wood Trim
Water can be a destructive agent if the right environment exits. For example, if you have building issues that include a leaky roof that is leaking water into the wall it can be deteriorating wood trim on the inside of the wall. This construction defect can also be a result of moisture. If there is enough water that can cause dampness to the wall, deteriorating wood trim is inevitable. The mess water issues can create can be quite overwhelming and quite costly to fix. You have to understand that the root cause in this example is a leaky roof. How did this happen? Did the builder use a contractor that did not have the experience to build a proper roof? Did this contractor use substandard building material that he picked or was picked by the builder?

Unfortunately, builders sometimes cut corners. The goal is to get the house built on time and under budget. This pressure can cause the builder to make choices that may become costly to the homeowner in the future. Your objective should be to get your house fixed and livable if excessive water issues occur. But along the way it is crucial that you take lots of notes, keep all documents, and take lots of pictures. It may be too early to tell who is liable for the cost of repairs, so it is important that you have documentation if it is found that it was indeed the fault of the builder.

Exterior Wood Surfaces Not Painted
Water issues can seeped into a home and affect the integrity of the interior surface. But water and moisture can also affect exterior wood surfaces not painted. This could include window shutters, decks, and patios. If water sits and does not have proper drainage on the exterior of a house it can adversely affect the exterior wood surfaces not painted like a porch. When a builder decides to include such exterior wood structures like decks or porches, he must keep in mind any factors that may damage the deck. This also means that leaving exterior wood surfaces not painted can ultimately be detrimental to the integrity of the structure.

Building issues like deteriorating wood trim can be a construction defect that is the responsibility of someone else to fix. Contact an attorney today to determine what you should do next.

Cracked Tiles
When you discover cracked tiles in floors this can be the result of a serious construction defect. Some causes could be soil issues, poor building material, and/or terrible workmanship. First, soil issues can be a devastating problem. It can begin with cracked tiles in floors and move on to cracks in the stucco, walls, retaining walls, and so on. Second, the tiles that were used on your flooring could be low in quality. Since housing developments go up so quickly builders and developers are always pressured to finish on time and under projected costs. This would mean that when able, a builder may cut costs selecting tiles not up to code or a contractor that does not have enough training and/or experience. Hiring a contractor is one of many decisions a builder can make that will directly impact the quality of your house. It is their workmanship that can either prevent construction defects or cause them.

Rotted Eave Boards
Rotted eave boards can be the result of water issues that have been there for some time. Rotted eave boards are usually present for awhile before you discover signs of roof deterioration. The cause is failure to construct a proper drip edge. Again, this can be the fault of poor workmanship. The necessary fix is replacement of the rotted eave boards. However, before you take the steps to fix this building issue, you need to document and take pictures of the construction defect.

How do you determine the root cause of your cracked tiles in floors or rotted eave boards? Is it poor material or bad workmanship? Who incurs the liability to ensure the damage is repaired correctly and to pay for the costs associate with the repair? It is a tough process to go through on your own. You need to contact an attorney to help you make the right choices and steps to take care of these building issues. Contact an attorney today.

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We are dedicated to the successful representation of homeowners and homeowner associations in construction defect matters.
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There are some common problems arising from construction defects in homes and condos. As a homebuyer, it is in your best interest to at least be aware of the potential construction defects that can occur in a home or a condo. The first question is what exactly is considered a construction defect? The answer will depend on who you ask since everyone’s perspective in the building process is so different.

Common construction defects include improper design, water intrusion, gutter problems and more. Do you have a potential problem?
Contact our experienced attorneys today!
What is important as a home buyer is whether or not a specific construction defect will affect the value of the home or condo. Construction defects can be very damaging or they can be minimal. Either way the defect needs to be taken care of properly. The nature of the defect will determine how much time it will take to repair, how much it will cost, and quite frankly, how much of a headache dealing with it will be.

Common Construction Defect List
The following are descriptions of some common problems arising from construction defects in homes and condos. Construction defects could be the result of improper design or installation deficiencies. Construction defects could be due to substandard construction strategies, faulty workmanship inside and outside the house, bad building material, poor drainage systems or improper soil analysis and preparation.

If you have a construction defect that needs immediate repair, take steps to correct it and maintain detailed records. Make sure you document any communication you have with contractors, the builder or the developer. Although you may not need it now, if you suspect that you may have a construction defect, these records may come in handy later.

While dealing with a construction defect you may have many questions about how to best handle the situation. At what point do you contact the builder? Should you hire a third-party contractor for the repairs or use the builder’s contractor? How much of the repair costs is your responsibly? There are a lot of unknowns. Do not hesitate – contact an attorney today to help answer these questions.

Improper Design: Asphalt/Concrete Mixture not per Specifications

Construction defects can stem from the concrete and asphalt that surrounds your house. This could be due to improper design: asphalt/concrete mixture not per specifications. This kind of issue can result in a construction defect that may not appear at first, but will become more obvious with time. These installation deficiencies could cause a varying in thickness of the asphalt. Again, this may not be evident right away but if you add an issue like evasive soil, the defect will become more severe. Evasive soil, when wet, will swell and when dry will shrink. Depending on the climate, specifically the rainfall, evasive soil can be very damaging to concrete. The soil movement is unpredictable. At one time it can swell, shifting the house one way, and once the soil dries it can cause the house to shift the other way. This constant soil movement can cause all kinds of issues. It can create large cracks varying in thickness. Improper design: asphalt/concrete mixture not per specifications may increase the defects you experience with expansive soil.

Lack of Steel Reinforcement

Concrete steel reinforcements are used to minimize cracks. There are some in the industry who believe the lack of steel reinforcement can simply be replaced with supplemental admixtures. However, the lack of steel reinforcement will allow random cracking to occur and allow any expected cracks to become wider than normal. Proper steel reinforcement will minimize curling and displacement and increase the strength of the concrete slab.

Lack of Cross-Ventilation

An HVAC system needs to promote proper cross-ventilation. The lack of cross-ventilation can create issues with air quality and possibly lead to moisture buildup. The presence of moisture trapped in a humid area where there is a lack of cross-ventilation could be an inviting environment for mold. Lack of cross-ventilation can be the result of improper installation of the HVAC system.

Insufficient Ventilation Openings in Surrounding Walls

If you believe that you have poor air quality in your home, it can be the result of insufficient ventilation openings in surrounding walls. You have to rely on the architect, construction engineer, and/or builder to ensure there is not insufficient ventilation openings in surrounding walls.

Inadequate Clearance between Earth and Wood Components

If there is inadequate clearance between earth and wood components, you could experience the onset of wood-destroying organisms (WDOs). For example, there needs to be a clear space between the bottom of a floor and an area of unimproved ground. Inadequate clearance between earth and wood components should be avoided by following the building guidelines for your state.

Water entry into Crawlspace

If there is water entry into a crawlspace, this can lead to other very damaging issues. Mold and mildew grow best in humid, dark, low ventilated and wet areas. Crawlspaces match these requirements especially when water enters the area. Mold can be easy to remove or very difficult to remove. It depends on how much mold is present. Water entry into crawlspaces can also cause leaks to other areas of the house.

Lack of code-required access to Crawlspace

Once you discover there may be issues with your crawlspace, you need to decide on a repair plan. If there is a lack of code-required access to the crawlspace, you will not be able to complete a repair and in turn, whatever the construction defect may be can now affect other areas of your home. Lack of code-required access to crawlspace can turn a small construction defect into a crippling problem.

Tile Installed Over Water-Resistant Gypsum Board (Green Board) Instead of a Mortar Setting Bed or Cementitious Backer Board

Tile installed over water-resistant gypsum board (green board) instead of a mortar setting bed or cementitious backer board is another common problem. An issue that, again, may not be easy to identify. The choice to use gypsum board or not, or to use any other method is dependent on the contractor or subcontractor that does the job. The builder and/or developer is responsible for hiring a contractor that is qualified for the job they’ve been chosen to do. Unfortunately, there are times when builders need to cut corners. They have a timeline and a budget, both of which impact each and every decision they make. A construction defect like tile installed over water-resistant gypsum board (green board) instead of a mortar setting bed or cementitious backer board can be the result of an unqualified, substandard contractor. It may be difficult to recognize that this is the cause of your construction defect.

Any time you decide to begin repairing what you suspect may be a construction defect, it would be prudent to document any fixes or steps in this direction that you take. This would include taking detailed notes, taking lots of photos, and keeping all written documentation you receive from a worker/contractor.

Grade Slopes toward Building

When a grade slopes toward a building, this could be an example of an exterior construction defect. When this occurs you may experience drainage issues. Soil grading is an important step in the construction process. What kind of soil grading that is done can be determined or influenced by a soil analysis or soil preparations a builder and/or developer does before breaking ground. If the soil analysis was done improperly, if the soil was not prepared well, if the analysis was accurate but not followed, there can be a domino effect. The result in this scenario would be the soil grading. When the grade slopes toward the building, water may flow improperly causing water issues within the house or water issues with exterior structures like a deck or patio. If water is able to seep into the house, you could be looking at dryrot issues, mold or mildew issues, or other water issues.

These issues, improper design, or a grade that slopes toward a building can be construction defects that need immediate attention. Contact an attorney today to help you protect your rights.

Inadequate Vertical Offset between the Interior and Exterior Surfaces

Inadequate vertical offset between the interior and exterior surfaces is yet another construction defect that creates the potential for serious water damage. If the vertical offset is not adequate, water will take advantage of the resulting space and create any number of structural problems.

Lack of a bituminous or plastic protection barrier between the aluminum threshold and the concrete or sheet metal substrate

The lack of a bituminous or plastic protection barrier between the aluminum threshold and the concrete or sheet metal substrate is another example of unreasonable exposure to moisture and water, and is also considered a serious construction defect.

If you’ve experienced any of these issues or noticed any water in your home where it shouldn’t be, the last thing you should do is ignore it or hope that it will go away. If you don’t act, the problem will get worse.

In order to maintain the structural integrity of your home, you need to contact a licensed professional to immediately identify the problem. Your next step should be to contact an attorney immediately, as you have rights that need to be enforced.

No Protection Board

If your outside walls contain no protection board, then the surrounding earth next to your home will be free to erode your outer wall. This erosion will lead to the harming of the integrity of your foundation and subgrade, and no protection board means exactly that – no protection from the elements.

Improper and Incomplete Sheet Metal Flashing

Improper and incomplete sheet metal flashing can be a very serious issue. This is because an improper and incomplete sheet metal flashing can allow moisture to get into the workings of the house. This can then lead to a smelly situation that is hazardous to your house, that being mold or mildew. Mold and/or mildew are sometimes a pretty easy fix. Some mold can be cleaned with everyday household cleaners. Sometimes, however, the mold and mildew could be so bad that it requires a professional cleaner to remove the mold and its entirety. Regardless, mere cleanup is not enough. You need to rectify the cause of this water issue so that this does not happen again.

Both these issues may need some immediate fixes. You want to make sure that your home is back to a reasonable selling price and is a healthy living environment. In general, if you are thinking about getting a repair done, document everything even if it seems you are going overboard. Take lots of photos of before and after your repair and keep all contracts that you may collect.

Missing or Short Cut Roof Underlayment Felts

Leaks from a roof can be caused by several different issues. The design of the roof may be attractive but functionally weak. The roof may have bad workmanship. A roof can have multiple protective layers. If the roof is missing or short cut roof underlayment felts you may see some roof water issues or other problems. Roof underlayments can act as a secondary barrier that’s resistant to changing weather conditions.

Lack of Gutters

Lack of gutters could also cause water issues with a house. If there is excessive rainfall, lack of gutters could allow for water to drain against the house. This could cause water damage on the dry wall, stucco, decks, and other exterior structures.

Gutters Separating, Improperly Installed, or Missing

Gutters can either protect against water issues or, if the gutters are separating, improperly installed, or missing then the house may experience some minor or possibly major water damage. These issues can be caused because the building materials for the gutter are substandard, or it could even be due to the negligence of the contractor.

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Begin your FREE case review today! List of Common Defects Found in Homes includes: Doors and WindowsGaragesDrainage/Sewage SystemsWallsFireplace, CeilingsFloorsPlumbing, ShowersDecks and Balconies, Crawlspaces Questions about common construction defects?
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Doors and Window Defect Problems
Doors and windows could also demonstrate a construction defect with cracks in their frame or even moisture buildup in the glass. Both of these conditions can be symptoms of a bigger problem. Cracks in doors and windows’ frames can be due to soil movement, foundation issues, or poor building material, or construction deficiencies. Moisture that has entered the window glass can be a symptom of a water leak. A water issue can be a very tricky problem to handle. If not caught in time, water damage can be far-reaching. It can develop into dryrot which may not be evident at first. Moisture is a great breeding ground for mold and mildew. Taking care of an issue like mold or mildew can be as easy as using a household cleaner or as serious as needing to hire a professional cleaner.

Sliding Glass Doors

If there are construction defects like soil issues or construction negligence, one potential building issue would be that the sliding glass doors no longer close as they did before. Some soil issues can cause movement in the house causing almost a twist in the house’s foundation. Sliding glass doors, doors, and windows that used to close properly no longer close easily.

Garage Defects
Garages can also be impacted by construction defects. If there is a mechanical defect, the garage door may no longer work. If there is a soil issue that was not taken into consideration when the house was built, it could cause cracks in the garage floor or slab. Soil issues are not an easy fix like repairing the garage door opener. Garages can sometimes be the place to start when trying to investigate a construction defect.

Drainage/Sewage Systems Defects
Drainage/sewage systems can become an issue with poor workmanship or substandard products. If a contractor without the right skill set installs drainage/sewage systems improperly, it can result in some very damaging water issues. Inferior building materials or products can also cause a water issue. When you have water issues it seems like it doesn’t matter what the root of the issue is, instead your priority is figuring out how to fix it as quickly as possible. Making the repairs should be your priority. But later, when you are looking at the bill, you are going to want to know what caused the problem and who is responsible.

Where do you start? How do you determine what the cause is of your construction defect and who’s liable for the costs of repairs? You need to contact an attorney today to help you find the answers to all these questions.

Problems and defects with Walls
If you have construction defect issue likes soil movement, construction deficiencies, or low quality products used, you may see some symptoms in the exterior walls and interior walls. For example, walls may have cracks from the floor to the ceilings. Exterior walls and interior walls may have water damage. This could be due to poor workmanship on the roof, windows or doors. You may also see water damage from issues with cracks in the exterior wall that have allowed moisture to enter. In this case, you may find dryrot or mildew growing. Either issue is extremely difficult to repair. In general, water issues can be very detrimental since they can even cause structural failures.

Shear Walls

Shear walls refer to the vertical limps that help with structural support of exterior walls, floors and the foundation. Shear walls are an important part of a house’s structure since it has many functions, including keeping the shape of the structure and protecting it from elements such as wind or earthquakes that can literally tear a house apart. If you have a construction defect that impacts the foundation, you do not want the shear walls to be affected, but it can happen. Foundation issues such as expansive soils can create a great deal of pressure that can easily shift a wall or crack a slab. Any damage evident on shear walls is a sure sign of a very serious construction defect.

Below Grade Walls

Below grade walls will be most affected by water issues or foundation issues. Due to the nature of below grade walls, insulation is very important. If the integrity of the insulation is injected with water or moisture, this could result in a whole host of problems. Dryrot, mildew and mold are all potential construction defects you may encounter with below grade walls.

Retaining Walls

If you have a soil or foundation issue causing cracks in exterior pavement or structures, you may also see cracks in retaining walls. When the ground shifts because of improper soil preparation or improper construction strategies, it causes cracks everywhere.

If you are seeing cracks in exterior walls, interior walls, shear walls, below grade walls, and/or retaining walls, you probably have some kinds of construction defect. You need to contact an attorney with experience in construction defect law. Contact an attorney today before your problems worsen.

Fireplace, Ceilings Problems
A construction defect can be so severe that it causes cracks all over your house. The source of the construction defect will dictate what areas of the house will be most affected. Ceilings and fireplaces may show signs of a construction defect rooted from soil issues or water issues, but are not limited to just these two construction defects.

Expansive soil is a major cause of construction defect. Although we have the technology to determine if the land being built on contains expansive soil, builders and/or developers cut corners by disregarding this fact at times. It is necessary to choose a construction plan that will take the soil type into consideration. If a builder does not use these techniques and the soil gets wet, you will see some serious symptoms of a construction defect. A fireplace can become separated from the wall with the enormous pressure that wet expansive soil can produce. A fireplace can incur many cracks all over during this soil movement as well.

Ceilings are also damaged during a soil movement like when expansive soils swell when wet. When dry, expansive soil shrinks. This means that, depending on the weather, expansive soil can have a twisting effect. Ceilings can also be affected from the top down. For example, water damage from a leaky roof can be a big problem for ceilings. Mold and mildew can grow in ceilings if there is enough moisture present. Mold issues can be devastating. Ceilings that have moisture seeping in can be infected with dryrot which can eventually destroy the ceiling. This can be a very dangerous situation.

You need to evaluate what the construction defect is, its location, and how far it has progressed. Your first priority should be trying to repair any defect found. If you start to implement your repair plan, you need to keep all documentation you get from any contractors and keep your own detailed notes. Take pictures if you can. Although right now your focus is on getting your ceilings or your fireplace repaired, later you will want to decide who is ultimately responsible for the construction defects and who should incur the repair costs. Any documentation you have will be very helpful to an attorney that will help you with your case. You need to contact an attorney to help you make the right decisions moving forward.

Problems and defects with Floors
Soil issues can be a real problem for a home buyer. They are a common problem that has a tendency to mostly affect the foundation, i.e., floors, slabs and hardwood floors, but can very easily affect the rest of the house.

Your first step is to try to locate all areas of your house that are showing symptoms of a construction defect. This would include floors, slabs and the hardwood in your home. Always inspect the exterior walls and exterior structures. Document the symptoms you find with detailed notes and pictures. Take measurements of the cracks as well. Measuring the major cracks will help determine the severity of the issues since you can track any changes in the size of the cracks.

Besides cracks in your floors, slabs or hardwood, you may also discover water damage. Water issues can stem from a number of construction defects. They could include construction negligence, improper soil analysis, poor building materials or inferior workmanship. When the builder or developer chooses land to develop, it is important to conduct a proper survey of the land as well as a proper soil analysis. The findings obtained from this due diligence allow the builder and developer to determine what is the best construction strategy based on the type of subsurface discovered.

Unfortunately, the wrong construction strategy is sometimes used because of negligence or improper soil analysis. The builder could have chosen substandard building materials, e.g. roof shingles or dry wall materials. Contractors and subcontractors that worked on your home may not have been qualified to do so. These errors can results in leaks, drainage issues, sewage issues, moisture entrance and so on, all of which can lead to ongoing, very damaging water issues.

After inspecting your floors, slabs or hardwood and other areas of your house, your next step is to decide on a repair plan. Again, any contractors you contact and/or communication you have with the builder and/or developer should be documented. You should also contact an attorney today to help you take the best step forward towards obtaining a resolution with these construction defect issues.

Plumbing and Shower Problems
If you have begun to see what you suspect are construction defects in your house, condominium or townhouse, it is important that you understand what your options are. Some construction defects can start out as manageable but turn into very damaging issues. Construction defects associated with plumbing or showers are examples of such damaging construction defect issues.

Water issues are significant building deficiencies that cannot go too long without being repaired. Unfortunately, depending on the origin of your water issue, you may not be aware of any issue until it has reached a dangerous level. Water could have seeped in through your roof and produced an environment behind your shower perfect for mold or mildew to grow. It may not be until you start to experience some allergic reaction such as breathing problems or skin rashes that you realize that you may have a mold issue in your showers. It is usually then that you break your shower wall to discover that you have mold. Mold can sometimes be cleaned up simply by using a household cleaner, and other times it can require a professional to come in to remove it in its entirety. On the surface this will take care of the mold, but not the root cause of how it got there in the first place. Are there leaks in the roof? Are your showers made from bad building material? Do you have substandard insulation in your walls? Did the builder not use a contractor that was qualified?

Water issues can be a devastating experience since it can also impact your plumbing system or even stem from your plumbing. A leak or faulty plumbing can result in flooding rather quickly. As with other water issues, plumbing problems can be caused by contractor negligence or a bad product choice. Builders have a choice to make with contractors and/or subcontractors. Using the right contractor can help prevent some of the most common construction defects like those that are found with the plumbing. Conversely, hiring a contractor who does not know what they are doing just to cut costs can result in the situation you are facing – leaks, trapped moisture, or even mold.

What should your first step be? You need to find the source of your water issue. Again, this could have been going on for a long time, so do not take any more time to repair the issue. Not to mention, your aim is to keep your house safe and clean. It is your responsibility to fix the issue once you have discovered it. Some homeowners think they can let their repairs go until they complete any legal steps they have started. This is not a good practice. Once you have begun your repairs, make sure you document everything. This includes taking pictures and keeping all work statements and contracts. The initial discovery of a construction defect with your plumbing and/or showers is a good time to contact an attorney. Even if you are further along in the process, it is still a good idea to contact a construction defect lawyer, as he or she will make sure that your rights are protected.

Decks and Balconies, Crawlspaces
Construction defects can be hard to discover and repair. Each person you talk with will tell you something different in regards to what the construction defect is and how you should deal with it. One thing to understand is that construction defects do not only occur within your house. They can also impact exterior structures such as decks and balconies. They can also reach your crawlspaces. Areas like these are sometimes missed.

A common construction defect is improper soil analysis. A builder needs to survey the land upon which he is developing. There are different types of soil issues like expansive soil or collapsing soil that need to be discovered. If these types of soil issues are found before breaking ground, the builder can then construct with the soil type in mind. Water issues are also another common construction defect issue. These issues can include leaking roofs, moisture getting into walls and/or drainage issues.

Either of these common construction defects will have a direct impact on the obvious areas of your home, i.e. dry wall, showers, stucco, and so on. But these issues will also cause damage outside your house, i.e. to your decks and balconies, and above/below your house, i.e. your crawlspaces.

Crawlspaces can be above or below your house. These areas allow workers to have access to plumbing, electrical systems and other wiring systems. A homeowner will rarely visit this area and therefore, when a construction defect occurs here, the homeowner does not usually know. Water can seep into the walls of crawlspaces and moisture can linger here. Both of these scenarios will allow mold or mildew to grow. Cleaning up mold and mildew can be easy and done with a household cleaner. Other times mold can spread so much that you may need to contact a professional to clean up the mold in its entirety. The soil issues can cause cracks in the walls of the crawlspaces.

Water issues and soil issues impact decks and balconies in similar ways. You will see mildew grow if water seeps into the wood and/or dryrot problems. Soil issues cause ground movement that can shift decks making them unleveled, warped or cracked. Balconies will also become cracked or unleveled.

Construction defects with decks, balconies, and crawlspaces can be costly to repair. If you suspect you have these construction defects document what you are seeing and take pictures. Do not hesitate – contact an attorney to determine what your best next step would be.

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Types of cracks from construction defects include:

Cracks in Stucco

Cracks in stucco are indicative of problems with the interior structure of your home or condo. Luckily, cracks in stucco are usually visible to the naked eye, and if you see these cracks in stucco developing, you need to have the issue examined immediately.

Cracks in Drywall

Cracks in drywall are also a signal of deeper problems with the craftsmanship of your home, so if you notice any cracks in drywall in your home or condo, take note of them immediately and contact an expert to identify the source of the problem.

Cracks in Tile Floors

Cracks in tile floors may be an indication of problems much more serious than faulty tiles. Cracks in tile floors could mean problems with your foundation, slab or frame, and you should not simply assume that this type of problem is minor.

Cracks in Concrete Flatwork

Cracks in concrete flatwork may be a signal to you that the flatwork itself is faulty. Cracks in concrete flatwork could also mean that there are problems with your foundation and/or your subgrade. If problems with your foundation or subgrade are not corrected, your home will eventually be destroyed.

Cracks in Slabs and Garage Flooring

Cracks in slabs and garage flooring are not only expensive to repair, but could be a sign that you need to have your foundation and subgrade checked, as these cracks are generally more a symptom than a cause of problems.

Overall, cracks that appear anywhere in your home should not be ignored, as they are often indications that more serious problems exist. If these problems are not resolved, your home could be destroyed. Contact a construction defect attorney immediately if you have concerns about cracks in your home.

Cracking in Stucco or Gypsum Board

Cracking of finishes such as stucco or gypsum board usually means that your home was not built with the proper materials, and this can lead to other serious problems in your home or condo. Builders have a duty to use materials that will prevent cracking of finishes such as stucco or gypsum board, as their professional status should make them aware of faulty materials before they are used.

Cracks in Windows

Cracks in windows may be nothing more than an errant baseball from a nearby game, but many times cracks in windows are the result of improper craftsmanship in regards to their installation or even problems with the frame of your home.

Excessive Wall Cracking

Excessive wall cracking is obvious to anyone who sees it, but what may not be obvious is the real problem behind excessive wall cracking. These cracks could be the result of faulty drywall, dry-rot or even foundational problems.

Cracked Finishes

Cracked finishes could either be a cause or a result of a serious problem with the construction of your home. If you notice any number of cracked finishes, you need to keep in mind that they could be due to improper materials or even serious construction defects as they relate to the frame of the building itself.

If any of the problems above surface after you move into your home, you need to do two things to mitigate the suffering that may follow. First, contact a contractor to examine the problem, as serious issues with the construction of your home could be present. Second, you need to contact a construction defect attorney immediately, as the longer you wait, the worse the problem could get and the more difficult it becomes to protect your rights.
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Incorrect sequencing of flashing installation resulting in mislapped building paper and BCRFM (barrier-coated, reinforced flashing material), often identified as Sisalkraft paper

If a contractor is guilty of incorrect sequencing of flashing installation resulting in mislapped building paper and BCRFM (barrier-coated, reinforced flashing material), often identified as Sisalkraft paper, your home will be vulnerable to water intrusion and serious damage. Properly-installed BCRFM is necessary to protect your home from water and other elements.

BCRFM Paper Cut too Short or Missing

If BCRFM paper is cut too short or missing, you will encounter problems. BCRFM paper is used to protect the integrity of your outer fixtures, and if it’s either improperly installed or missing altogether, water will seep in and create a dangerous situation.

Use of Improper Materials in Window Flashing Such as Using Cut-up Building Paper Instead of BCRFM Paper

If a builder is guilty of use of improper materials in window flashing such as using cut-up building paper instead of BCRFM paper, your windows will eventually be damaged, and the surrounding structures could also be unreasonably placed in harm’s way. BCRFM paper is necessary to protect window flashings, as moisture that seeps into your home is only going to lead to additional damages.

If you have noticed water in your home, do not assume it’s just a fluke. Water where it shouldn’t be is always a sign of a potentially serious problem, and you need to take action immediately. The first thing you need to do is contact a licensed professional to properly analyze the problem. You should also get in touch with a construction defect attorney right away, as your rights need to be protected within a certain amount of time.

Omission of Butyl Sealant Bead around Bottom and Slides of Window Units between the Flange and BCRFM Paper

The omission of butyl sealant bead around bottom and slides of window units between the flange and BCRFM paper could be a construction defect. If this is your problem you could be experiencing water issues. When there is an omission of butyl sealant bead around bottom and slides of window units between the flange and BCRFM paper you may have water intrusion into your house that could cause water damage and mold growth.
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Types of cracks from construction defects include:

Cracks in Stucco

Cracks in stucco are indicative of problems with the interior structure of your home or condo. Luckily, cracks in stucco are usually visible to the naked eye, and if you see these cracks in stucco developing, you need to have the issue examined immediately.

Cracks in Drywall

Cracks in drywall are also a signal of deeper problems with the craftsmanship of your home, so if you notice any cracks in drywall in your home or condo, take note of them immediately and contact an expert to identify the source of the problem.

Cracks in Tile Floors

Cracks in tile floors may be an indication of problems much more serious than faulty tiles. Cracks in tile floors could mean problems with your foundation, slab or frame, and you should not simply assume that this type of problem is minor.

Cracks in Concrete Flatwork

Cracks in concrete flatwork may be a signal to you that the flatwork itself is faulty. Cracks in concrete flatwork could also mean that there are problems with your foundation and/or your subgrade. If problems with your foundation or subgrade are not corrected, your home will eventually be destroyed.

Cracks in Slabs and Garage Flooring

Cracks in slabs and garage flooring are not only expensive to repair, but could be a sign that you need to have your foundation and subgrade checked, as these cracks are generally more a symptom than a cause of problems.

Overall, cracks that appear anywhere in your home should not be ignored, as they are often indications that more serious problems exist. If these problems are not resolved, your home could be destroyed. Contact a construction defect attorney immediately if you have concerns about cracks in your home.

Cracking in Stucco or Gypsum Board

Cracking of finishes such as stucco or gypsum board usually means that your home was not built with the proper materials, and this can lead to other serious problems in your home or condo. Builders have a duty to use materials that will prevent cracking of finishes such as stucco or gypsum board, as their professional status should make them aware of faulty materials before they are used.

Cracks in Windows

Cracks in windows may be nothing more than an errant baseball from a nearby game, but many times cracks in windows are the result of improper craftsmanship in regards to their installation or even problems with the frame of your home.

Excessive Wall Cracking

Excessive wall cracking is obvious to anyone who sees it, but what may not be obvious is the real problem behind excessive wall cracking. These cracks could be the result of faulty drywall, dry-rot or even foundational problems.

Cracked Finishes

Cracked finishes could either be a cause or a result of a serious problem with the construction of your home. If you notice any number of cracked finishes, you need to keep in mind that they could be due to improper materials or even serious construction defects as they relate to the frame of the building itself.

If any of the problems above surface after you move into your home, you need to do two things to mitigate the suffering that may follow. First, contact a contractor to examine the problem, as serious issues with the construction of your home could be present. Second, you need to contact a construction defect attorney immediately, as the longer you wait, the worse the problem could get and the more difficult it becomes to protect your rights.
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Doors and Window Defect Problems
Doors and windows could also demonstrate a construction defect with cracks in their frame or even moisture buildup in the glass. Both of these conditions can be symptoms of a bigger problem. Cracks in doors and windows’ frames can be due to soil movement, foundation issues, or poor building material, or construction deficiencies. Moisture that has entered the window glass can be a symptom of a water leak. A water issue can be a very tricky problem to handle. If not caught in time, water damage can be far-reaching. It can develop into dryrot which may not be evident at first. Moisture is a great breeding ground for mold and mildew. Taking care of an issue like mold or mildew can be as easy as using a household cleaner or as serious as needing to hire a professional cleaner.

Sliding Glass Doors

If there are construction defects like soil issues or construction negligence, one potential building issue would be that the sliding glass doors no longer close as they did before. Some soil issues can cause movement in the house causing almost a twist in the house’s foundation. Sliding glass doors, doors, and windows that used to close properly no longer close easily.

Garage Defects
Garages can also be impacted by construction defects. If there is a mechanical defect, the garage door may no longer work. If there is a soil issue that was not taken into consideration when the house was built, it could cause cracks in the garage floor or slab. Soil issues are not an easy fix like repairing the garage door opener. Garages can sometimes be the place to start when trying to investigate a construction defect.

Drainage/Sewage Systems Defects
Drainage/sewage systems can become an issue with poor workmanship or substandard products. If a contractor without the right skill set installs drainage/sewage systems improperly, it can result in some very damaging water issues. Inferior building materials or products can also cause a water issue. When you have water issues it seems like it doesn’t matter what the root of the issue is, instead your priority is figuring out how to fix it as quickly as possible. Making the repairs should be your priority. But later, when you are looking at the bill, you are going to want to know what caused the problem and who is responsible.

Where do you start? How do you determine what the cause is of your construction defect and who’s liable for the costs of repairs? You need to contact an attorney today to help you find the answers to all these questions.

Problems and defects with Walls
If you have construction defect issue likes soil movement, construction deficiencies, or low quality products used, you may see some symptoms in the exterior walls and interior walls. For example, walls may have cracks from the floor to the ceilings. Exterior walls and interior walls may have water damage. This could be due to poor workmanship on the roof, windows or doors. You may also see water damage from issues with cracks in the exterior wall that have allowed moisture to enter. In this case, you may find dryrot or mildew growing. Either issue is extremely difficult to repair. In general, water issues can be very detrimental since they can even cause structural failures.

Shear Walls

Shear walls refer to the vertical limps that help with structural support of exterior walls, floors and the foundation. Shear walls are an important part of a house’s structure since it has many functions, including keeping the shape of the structure and protecting it from elements such as wind or earthquakes that can literally tear a house apart. If you have a construction defect that impacts the foundation, you do not want the shear walls to be affected, but it can happen. Foundation issues such as expansive soils can create a great deal of pressure that can easily shift a wall or crack a slab. Any damage evident on shear walls is a sure sign of a very serious construction defect.

Below Grade Walls

Below grade walls will be most affected by water issues or foundation issues. Due to the nature of below grade walls, insulation is very important. If the integrity of the insulation is injected with water or moisture, this could result in a whole host of problems. Dryrot, mildew and mold are all potential construction defects you may encounter with below grade walls.

Retaining Walls

If you have a soil or foundation issue causing cracks in exterior pavement or structures, you may also see cracks in retaining walls. When the ground shifts because of improper soil preparation or improper construction strategies, it causes cracks everywhere.

If you are seeing cracks in exterior walls, interior walls, shear walls, below grade walls, and/or retaining walls, you probably have some kinds of construction defect. You need to contact an attorney with experience in construction defect law. Contact an attorney today before your problems worsen.

Fireplace, Ceilings Problems
A construction defect can be so severe that it causes cracks all over your house. The source of the construction defect will dictate what areas of the house will be most affected. Ceilings and fireplaces may show signs of a construction defect rooted from soil issues or water issues, but are not limited to just these two construction defects.

Expansive soil is a major cause of construction defect. Although we have the technology to determine if the land being built on contains expansive soil, builders and/or developers cut corners by disregarding this fact at times. It is necessary to choose a construction plan that will take the soil type into consideration. If a builder does not use these techniques and the soil gets wet, you will see some serious symptoms of a construction defect. A fireplace can become separated from the wall with the enormous pressure that wet expansive soil can produce. A fireplace can incur many cracks all over during this soil movement as well.

Ceilings are also damaged during a soil movement like when expansive soils swell when wet. When dry, expansive soil shrinks. This means that, depending on the weather, expansive soil can have a twisting effect. Ceilings can also be affected from the top down. For example, water damage from a leaky roof can be a big problem for ceilings. Mold and mildew can grow in ceilings if there is enough moisture present. Mold issues can be devastating. Ceilings that have moisture seeping in can be infected with dryrot which can eventually destroy the ceiling. This can be a very dangerous situation.

You need to evaluate what the construction defect is, its location, and how far it has progressed. Your first priority should be trying to repair any defect found. If you start to implement your repair plan, you need to keep all documentation you get from any contractors and keep your own detailed notes. Take pictures if you can. Although right now your focus is on getting your ceilings or your fireplace repaired, later you will want to decide who is ultimately responsible for the construction defects and who should incur the repair costs. Any documentation you have will be very helpful to an attorney that will help you with your case. You need to contact an attorney to help you make the right decisions moving forward.

Problems and defects with Floors
Soil issues can be a real problem for a home buyer. They are a common problem that has a tendency to mostly affect the foundation, i.e., floors, slabs and hardwood floors, but can very easily affect the rest of the house.

Your first step is to try to locate all areas of your house that are showing symptoms of a construction defect. This would include floors, slabs and the hardwood in your home. Always inspect the exterior walls and exterior structures. Document the symptoms you find with detailed notes and pictures. Take measurements of the cracks as well. Measuring the major cracks will help determine the severity of the issues since you can track any changes in the size of the cracks.

Besides cracks in your floors, slabs or hardwood, you may also discover water damage. Water issues can stem from a number of construction defects. They could include construction negligence, improper soil analysis, poor building materials or inferior workmanship. When the builder or developer chooses land to develop, it is important to conduct a proper survey of the land as well as a proper soil analysis. The findings obtained from this due diligence allow the builder and developer to determine what is the best construction strategy based on the type of subsurface discovered.

Unfortunately, the wrong construction strategy is sometimes used because of negligence or improper soil analysis. The builder could have chosen substandard building materials, e.g. roof shingles or dry wall materials. Contractors and subcontractors that worked on your home may not have been qualified to do so. These errors can results in leaks, drainage issues, sewage issues, moisture entrance and so on, all of which can lead to ongoing, very damaging water issues.

After inspecting your floors, slabs or hardwood and other areas of your house, your next step is to decide on a repair plan. Again, any contractors you contact and/or communication you have with the builder and/or developer should be documented. You should also contact an attorney today to help you take the best step forward towards obtaining a resolution with these construction defect issues.

Plumbing and Shower Problems
If you have begun to see what you suspect are construction defects in your house, condominium or townhouse, it is important that you understand what your options are. Some construction defects can start out as manageable but turn into very damaging issues. Construction defects associated with plumbing or showers are examples of such damaging construction defect issues.

Water issues are significant building deficiencies that cannot go too long without being repaired. Unfortunately, depending on the origin of your water issue, you may not be aware of any issue until it has reached a dangerous level. Water could have seeped in through your roof and produced an environment behind your shower perfect for mold or mildew to grow. It may not be until you start to experience some allergic reaction such as breathing problems or skin rashes that you realize that you may have a mold issue in your showers. It is usually then that you break your shower wall to discover that you have mold. Mold can sometimes be cleaned up simply by using a household cleaner, and other times it can require a professional to come in to remove it in its entirety. On the surface this will take care of the mold, but not the root cause of how it got there in the first place. Are there leaks in the roof? Are your showers made from bad building material? Do you have substandard insulation in your walls? Did the builder not use a contractor that was qualified?

Water issues can be a devastating experience since it can also impact your plumbing system or even stem from your plumbing. A leak or faulty plumbing can result in flooding rather quickly. As with other water issues, plumbing problems can be caused by contractor negligence or a bad product choice. Builders have a choice to make with contractors and/or subcontractors. Using the right contractor can help prevent some of the most common construction defects like those that are found with the plumbing. Conversely, hiring a contractor who does not know what they are doing just to cut costs can result in the situation you are facing – leaks, trapped moisture, or even mold.

What should your first step be? You need to find the source of your water issue. Again, this could have been going on for a long time, so do not take any more time to repair the issue. Not to mention, your aim is to keep your house safe and clean. It is your responsibility to fix the issue once you have discovered it. Some homeowners think they can let their repairs go until they complete any legal steps they have started. This is not a good practice. Once you have begun your repairs, make sure you document everything. This includes taking pictures and keeping all work statements and contracts. The initial discovery of a construction defect with your plumbing and/or showers is a good time to contact an attorney. Even if you are further along in the process, it is still a good idea to contact a construction defect lawyer, as he or she will make sure that your rights are protected.

Decks and Balconies, Crawlspaces
Construction defects can be hard to discover and repair. Each person you talk with will tell you something different in regards to what the construction defect is and how you should deal with it. One thing to understand is that construction defects do not only occur within your house. They can also impact exterior structures such as decks and balconies. They can also reach your crawlspaces. Areas like these are sometimes missed.

A common construction defect is improper soil analysis. A builder needs to survey the land upon which he is developing. There are different types of soil issues like expansive soil or collapsing soil that need to be discovered. If these types of soil issues are found before breaking ground, the builder can then construct with the soil type in mind. Water issues are also another common construction defect issue. These issues can include leaking roofs, moisture getting into walls and/or drainage issues.

Either of these common construction defects will have a direct impact on the obvious areas of your home, i.e. dry wall, showers, stucco, and so on. But these issues will also cause damage outside your house, i.e. to your decks and balconies, and above/below your house, i.e. your crawlspaces.

Crawlspaces can be above or below your house. These areas allow workers to have access to plumbing, electrical systems and other wiring systems. A homeowner will rarely visit this area and therefore, when a construction defect occurs here, the homeowner does not usually know. Water can seep into the walls of crawlspaces and moisture can linger here. Both of these scenarios will allow mold or mildew to grow. Cleaning up mold and mildew can be easy and done with a household cleaner. Other times mold can spread so much that you may need to contact a professional to clean up the mold in its entirety. The soil issues can cause cracks in the walls of the crawlspaces.

Water issues and soil issues impact decks and balconies in similar ways. You will see mildew grow if water seeps into the wood and/or dryrot problems. Soil issues cause ground movement that can shift decks making them unleveled, warped or cracked. Balconies will also become cracked or unleveled.

Construction defects with decks, balconies, and crawlspaces can be costly to repair. If you suspect you have these construction defects document what you are seeing and take pictures. Do not hesitate – contact an attorney to determine what your best next step would be.

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