According to the Insurance and Risk Management Institute, “a construction defect is a deficiency in the design or construction of a building or structure resulting from failure to design or construct in a reasonably workmanlike manner, or as per the buyer’s reasonable expectation.” The most dangerous construction defects often lead to physical injury or damage to other property.
However, some defects present no increased risk of injury or adjoining property. Once identified, these construction defects need to be corrected immediately to avoid project failure. It leads to delays and additional costs, so construction defects often lead to claims and litigation.
Most Common Types of Construction Defect Claims in Projects
Unlike construction delays, defects are mostly identified at the later stages of the project when they have already caused significant damage. Here are some common types of claims arising due to defects in construction projects.
The Common Law Standard of Care
According to the Common Law of Standard Care:
“The architects and other design professionals are under a duty to exercise ordinary, reasonable care, technical skill, and ability and diligence, as are ordinarily required of architects, in the course of their plans, inspections, and supervision during construction.”
According to the law, the architect needs to prepare plans and specifications with care and the highest professional standard. Most of the time, architects have construction claims because they don’t hold themselves accountable for their services. Therefore, they are subject to litigation because of damages caused by professional negligence.
In the case of malpractice, the owner or the contractor should get in touch with construction claims consultants UAE based experts and file a claim against such professionals. It is very hard to avoid because everyone establishes that the architect possesses a minimum standard of knowledge and ability to exercise skills and care.
These typical claims include failure in the design of the building, failure to meet state or local codes, failure to complete the project on time, performance issues like leaking roofs, drainage control, etc. The contracts need to be specific in terms of their wording; however, if the contracts are not specific, the courts apply a negligence standard on the claim. In such claims, the claimant needs to show that the architect failed to perform in accordance with professional standards.
Generally, the owners and the contractors cannot have warranty claims against the project engineer or the architect. One of the major reasons is that an architect’s work isn’t the type of strict liability claims. However, if the architect states in the contract that he will be liable if he fails to produce specific results as specified in the contract.
In such cases, the architect will be held accountable if he fails to produce specific results even though it conforms to the performance general standard. To recover the warranty, the plaintiff has to show that a warranty existed and the defendant has breached in specific ways.
There are two common types of breach of implied warranties as follows:
a) Implied Warranty of Habitability
A buyer or the owner is “entitled to relief based on the theory of implied warranty of habitability if he proves the house was not built in a workmanlike manner or that it was not suitable for habitation.” However, it requires proof of improper construction, design specifications, etc. which makes the property inhabitable.
b) Implied Warranty of Workmanlike Construction
Implied Warranty of Workmanlike Construction doesn’t always guarantee perfect construction because there is no general standard when it comes to construction workmanship. It depends upon the average skill of a workman and their intelligence.
State authorities have established that in construction projects, the architect’s work will be judged by a standard of skills shown by a licensed professional. This claim usually occurs because of negligence or malpractice in the design and architecture of the project. To file a design claim, the plaintiff needs to present a few things as evidence as follows:
- The explanation of duty on the part of the defendant, as mentioned in the contract.
- Detail about the breach of that said duty
- A causal connection between the breach and its effect on the project’s performance.
- The effect of breach on the project.
Similarly, the architect will also be liable to the owner of the project for any damages that he might have incurred due to the architect’s approval of the project drawings and specifications. So, suppose you are facing design defects in your project. In that case, contact construction claims consultants today and hold people that are accountable for delays and cost overruns in your project.
Supervision of Work-in-Place
If a contractor of the architect takes responsibility for site supervision and inspection, then he is responsible for the supervision of work in place. Most of the time, it is a contractual obligation for the engineer or the architect to offer the owner assurance that works done on the project is according to the scope and specifications. However, the architect or engineer can be diligent in his work inspection but is not obligated to identify all defects in the contractor’s work.
Therefore, the architect will not be held liable for construction defects in the project as long as these defects are not due to carelessness and negligence on the part of the architect/ engineer. Regardless, the architect or contractor’s failure to fulfill the contract terms and inspect the work can lead to claims by the owner of the project. Hence, the architect will be liable for the cost incurred in correcting the defect.
Handle Claims like a Pro!
These are some of the most common types of construction defect claims faced in the construction industry. They are defects in the design, manufacture, and structure of a project. Most people are aware of construction delays, but only some are aware of construction defects and their effect on project performance. However, defects are very problematic and dangerous; thus, they need to be resolved as quickly as possible. These defects can turn your project into a failure. So make sure to approach the responsible parties and get them fixed. If you plan to file a construction claim, consult professionals, and cover all the extra costs needed to improve the work done.