Builders Disputes

The number of construction defect cases has surged in recent years because homes were recently constructed in record numbers to meet the high demand for housing. Construction defects usually include any deficiency in the performing or furnishing of the design, planning, supervision, inspection, construction or observation of construction to any new home or building, where there is a failure to construct the building in a reasonably workmanlike manner and/or the structure fails to perform in the manner that is reasonably intended by the buyer.

Some of the most common and high-cost construction defects include structural integrity such as foundation and framing, expansive soils, mechanical and electrical systems, water intrusion sometimes resulting in toxic mold, thermal and moisture protection, doors and windows, and finishes. Generally, courts categorize construction defects in one of four categories: design deficiencies, material deficiencies, construction deficiencies or subsurface deficiencies.

Design Deficiencies

Design professionals, such as architects or engineers, design buildings and systems that do not always work as specified, which can result in a defect. Typical design deficiencies relate to building outside of the specified code. Roofs are an example of a typical design defect that result in water penetration, intrusion, poor drainage, or inadequate structural support. An experienced construction defect attorney can help determine if design deficiencies were responsible for damages.

Material Deficiencies

The use of inferior building materials can cause significant problems, such as windows that leak or fail to perform and function adequately, even when properly installed. Window leaks can result from many things including, rough framing not being flush with outside at openings, improperly flashed windows, improperly applied building paper, window frame racked during storage/moving, lack of sheet metal drip edge above window header, etc. Common manufacturer problems with building materials can include deteriorating flashing, building paper, waterproofing membranes, asphalt roofing shingles, particle board, inferior drywall and other wall products used in wet and/or damp areas, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. An experienced construction defect attorney can tell you if material deficiencies were the cause of a defect.

Construction Deficiencies

Poor quality workmanship can result in a long list of defects. A typical example is water infiltration through some portion of the building structure, which may create an environment for the growth of mold. Other problems include cracks in foundations or walls, dry rotting of wood, electrical and mechanical problems, plumbing leaks or pest infestation. An experienced construction defect attorney should have the resources and knowledge to determine if a defect was a result of construction deficiencies or something else.

Subsurface Deficiencies

Many houses are built on hills or other areas where it is difficult to provide a stable foundation. A lack of a solid foundation may result in cracked foundations or floor slabs and other damage to the building. If subsurface conditions are not properly compacted and prepared for adequate drainage, it is likely the property will experience problems such as subsidence, the structure moving or shifting, flooding and in some cases more severe problems such as land/mudslides. Seeking the advice of a construction defect attorney can help you determine if a defect was the result of subsurface deficiencies or not.

Limits on Potential Claims

Statutes of limitations specify the time period within which a cause of action can be brought. These statutes are complex and it is critical that you seek the advice of an experienced construction defect lawyer. In most instances, the time limits begin to run when the defect is discovered, or should have been discovered by a reasonable person. If the defect is patent, or apparent based on reasonable inspection, the action against a defendant must begin within the time period specified by either Kansas or Missouri state law.

If you are facing legal matters arising from a construction defect, contact us today.