Construction defects can cost homeowners thousands of dollars to fix, lower the market value of the home, and even make the home unfit to live in. Generally, construction defects can be classified into four categories such as design defects, material defects, workmanship defects and site defects.
- Design defects refer to deficiencies in designing the home, usually by an architect or engineer
- Material defects refer to problems with the type of materials used.
- Workmanship defects refer to the quality of the work of the contractors and subcontractors in the actual construction of the home.
- Site defects refer to problems with the land the home was built on.
Prior to completing the sale, homebuyers should conduct thorough inspections of the home and the land it is built on. Construction defect litigation can be very complex. It may not be easy at the beginning of the case to pinpoint the responsible party, if the builder used contractors and subcontractors to construct the home. In a construction defect case, any parties named as defendants may seek to join other parties to the case as co-defendants. Construction defect cases can become class actions in cases where the defects complained of affect an entire division of condominiums or housing development.
Homeowners seeking recovery for construction defects may assert more than one claim against the defendants such as:
- Breach of express warranty;
- Breach of implied warranty;
- Negligent construction; and
- Fraudulent concealment of a known defect.