Construction projects can take months of planning to get off the ground and require significant investments of time and money to start. In the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, a developer may have to work through a number of real property legal issues related to contracts, zoning, permitting, and others just to earn the right to build. Once they do, they may be eager to sell units in their construction project to willing buyers.
However, prospective and actual buyers of a new construction development may be turned off and angered by their purchases if they discover that the units they have bought suffer from construction defects. A construction defect is an issue that has come up during the construction process that does not demonstrate workmanlike quality in building. Construction defects can range from minor to major, as will be discussed in this post.
#1 Defects related to building surfaces
A building must be constructed on solid ground, and when it is not its entire frame may be compromised by unstable soil. The failure of a builder to ensure that a construction project is build on a strong and solid surface may demonstrate a deficiency in the building process and a costly construction defect.
#2 Defects related to materials
Just as the ground on which a project is constructed can be faulty, so too can the materials used to build a project suffer from weaknesses. Some materials may not be strong enough to support new building structures, and others may contain dangerous chemicals. Windows that leak, faulty roof shingles, and other materials can cause major issues in a building project.
#3 Defects related to design
Even before a project is underway it can suffer from defects in its design. A poorly designed construction project may be aesthetically pleasing but it may not fare well in reality. If a new building to does not meet the building codes of the region where it is erected, that alone may be enough that its design and production suffer from construction defects.
#4 Defects related to workmanship
When a builder has a well-designed structure that is built on solid ground and uses adequate materials, it may seem like their project could not suffer from construction defects. This would be a wrong assumption, though, as even when everything is acceptable defects can still find their way into a building project. Work that is rushed or negligent can result in uneven floors, dangerous wiring for electricity, leaking plumbing, and other issues.
#5 Defects related to water
Water is a necessary part of life for humans, but it can be a destructive force in a building project. When water makes its way into a building, it can weaken the foundation and frame of the structure at its core. Water can also introduce another threat into a building: mold. Mold can cause illnesses in some people and can weaken the parts of a construction project that it impacts.
This post is not provided as legal advice. The information contained herein is only information that readers may use for general purposes. Guidance concerning a construction project and defects may be sought from a local real property attorney.