Understanding Who is Responsible
As long as there has been construction there have been allegations of construction defects. In today’s complex construction environment it is essential to have a knowledge of construction practices that may lead to defective construction and understand what is required to minimize construction risk and defects. Identifying construction defects and who is responsible for them requires extensive analytical skills combined with years of experience and attention to detail.
Many courts have recognized two primary categories of defects for which damages are recoverable:
1. defects in design, workmanship and materials
2. soil problems (including improper compaction, inadequategrading, inadequate drainage, expansive soil, landslide,earth settlement problems)
Defective building construction not only contributes to the final cost of the product, but will also impact on the cost of maintenance, which can be substantial. Conditions under which building construction takes place are often far from ideal with speedy delivery being a driving force. It is imperative to put proper inspection mechanisms in place so that defective construction can be avoided. It is ARCOR-Inc.’s mission to conduct Construction Risk Profiling™ as early as possible in the design and construction process so that areas vulnerable to the potential for construction defects can be identified and more easily prevented or remediated.
Projects designed by professional designers such as Architects and Engineers, do not always turn out as intended or specified. Although the aesthetic goals may have been achieved, the final product may produce unforseen defects. Leaking rooves are most common due to the design complexity of roof systems, whether the roof be flat or pitched, may be vulnerable to leaks. Improper specifications of building materials, poor drainage design or the inadequacy of structural members, can result in problems that include water penetration and intrusion, cracks and deterioration of roof components.
Substandard building materials that have been manufactured according to inferior standards can affect the functioning and longevity of a building. Poor quality materials can be responsible for some significant construction defect problems, leaking windows being amongst the most common. Poor workmanship will also contribute to these problems if materials are not applied correctly such as improperly flashed windows.
Poor quality workmanship can be responsible for will typically present in the form of water infiltration which will have far reaching consequences for a building. Problems encountered can range fro cracks in the foundation, dry rotting of wood, to electrical and mechanical problems.
Geotechnical, Subterranial Problems
Expansive soil conditions that are typically found in California, can create significant problems if structures are built on sloping areas, sometimes close to the ocean as well as built into hills. Under these conditions it is difficult to build solid and stable foundations. If contractors fail to compact the soil and prepare it for reasonable drainage, the inevitable will occur with subsidence taking place (vertical and horizontal settlement) and expansion (movement), particularly when conditions are rainy. Wet conditions will typically lead to cracked slabs or foundations and often can result in buildings being uninhabitable or uninsurable.
Most Common Construction Defects
- Design & Plan Deficiencies
- Site Work
- Doors & Windows
- Water Damage/Fungus/DryRot
- Thermal & MoistureProtection
- Lath & Plaster
- Rough Framing
- Sheet Metal Flashing
What ARCOR Inc. Can Do For You
Our years of design and construction experience place us in the unique situation of being able to identify defects and analyze them from the perspective of the Architect as well as the Contractor. Some defects are glaringly obvious while others require an in depth understanding of construction techniques and sequencing, in order to unravel the mechanisms of failure in a building and determine who is responsible.