There is construction in progress every day of every year in New York, New York. New skyscrapers and small offices are built to suit a wide range of businesses, each with their own needs. Of course, there are times when construction does not go according to plan, resulting in construction defects and corresponding construction litigation.
Construction defects can occur at any stage of the construction process, including when the construction project is being designed, planned, supervised, inspected or built. Deficiencies that arise at any of those stages are construction defects if they are indicative of a failure to do the construction in a “reasonably workmanlike manner” or if the structure built fails to meet the performance specifications that are reasonably expected by the buyer.
Examples of construction defects that are both high-cost and common include structural integrity issues, like when there is an unstable foundation or other problems with concrete, with carpentry or with masonry & division. Mechanical problems, electrical problems and expansive soils can all fall into the category of construction defects too, as can water intrusion, which can result in toxic mold, other forms of poor moisture and thermal protection, and problematic glass, windows, doors and finishes.
When construction defects are the subject of construction litigation, they are categorized as design deficiencies, material deficiencies, construction deficiencies, and subsurface deficiencies. Design deficiencies are those where the problems are in the design, and often mean that the design is not in compliance with applicable building codes. Material deficiencies refer to problems that source back to the materials used to build a structure, and are common when contractors cut corners and use cheap materials to lower their costs. Construction deficiencies are the result of poor work by builders during the construction process, and subsurface deficiencies are a result of not compensating for problems in the ground where the structure was built. It is important to address these construction defects early in the process and to properly document the issues so that liability can be properly apportioned among the various parties.