Construction Law

Design Defects Versus Workmanship Defects featured image

Design Defects Versus Workmanship Defects

A construction defect is a flaw in a building that poses a potential threat to anyone in or around the site. Construction defects are relatively uncommon, but they happen often enough to bring problems for construction companies and building owners. Dealing with a construction defect can involve legal processes, especially if that defect is not found until after construction is finished. In this editorial, a construction defect attorney in Brentwood, TN discusses the things you need to know when it comes to construction defects.

Related: 7 Common Types of Construction Defects to Be Aware Of

What Is a Construction Defect?

A construction defect is a problem found in a newly-finished building that needs to be addressed. Examples of construction defects include:

  • Foundation cracks
  • Drywall cracks
  • Stained walls
  • Leaks
  • Uneven floors
  • Electrical problems

When defects are found in new construction, it’s usually found by the property owner when assessing the property or using it for its intended purpose. These defects become apparent within a few months of the end of the construction project. The property owner can take legal action against the general contractor to have the building repaired or collect compensation for any loss of revenue or expenses.

It usually does not take long to discover construction defects after construction ends. These issues quickly result in visible problems and will take extensive work to fix. Some contractors offer warranty programs so that they can help the property owner get problems fixed without having to resort to legal action.

Design Defects

Construction defects come in two forms: design defects and workmanship defects. Design defects are flaws in the design of a building. Designs are usually checked extensively for problems before construction starts, but it’s possible to miss potential problems. If this happens, it can result in serious issues with how the building functions.

For example, every building must be able to handle water runoff. If there is a flaw in how that runoff is handled, the building may experience flooding issues. The designer may be held responsible for the costs of fixing this design flaw. 

Related: Poor Workmanship Leads to Construction Defects

Workmanship Defects

Workmanship defects are flaws in the building process. It can happen due to minor issues on jobsites, related to site conditions or a lack of skill in a particular area. For example, laying a slab for a house that is not level can be a workmanship defect that impacts the rest of the house. The contractor or subcontractor may be held responsible for the cost of correcting the problem. Workmanship defects are more common than design defects. Most of these defects can be fixed easily by undoing and redoing the work. However, there are defects that will require a significant amount of work and can impact the entire building. 

Dealing with construction defects is a lengthy process. You can minimize the impact of defects by hiring a lawyer to defend you. If you have questions about construction defects and legal defenses, contact a construction defect attorney in Brentwood, TN from Cotney Attorneys & Consultants.

If you would like to speak with a construction defect attorney in Brentwood, TN, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.