The good news for residential builders in 2017 is that Forbes Magazine expects small but continued growth in new builds during the first half of the year. The bad news is that increases in residential construction are often followed by increases in construction defect lawsuits, and both homeowners and builders who previously only watched legal drama on television are finding themselves embroiled in construction litigation, whether in the mediation room or the courtroom.
FindLaw outlines four main categories and examples of each: design deficiencies, such as inadequate structural support; material deficiencies, such as deteriorating roofing shingles; construction deficiencies, such as foundation cracks; and subsurface deficiencies, such as foundation instability.
Further, defects are categorized as either patent or latent defects. A patent construction defect is one that is easily observed, such as leaking pipes or cracked walls. A latent construction defect, however, is one that could not have been reasonably discovered through inspection before the sale. Latent defects may not present themselves for several years, and when they do, construction litigation often becomes an exercise in finger pointing as homeowners allege shoddy building practices and home builders allege poor maintenance practices.
So what should homeowners and builders do to protect themselves? For homeowners, it is important to assert claims of a construction defect as soon as a problem is detected. Statutes of limitations differ from state to state, and homeowners must understand all applicable deadlines. For builders, it is important to understand what coverage is provided by the general liability insurance policies and what is excluded from coverage.
CompuScripts Court Reporters and Legal Videography is experienced in the area of construction litigation in South Carolina and across the United States. Our stenographers are knowledgeable in construction concepts and vocabulary and hold certificates of proficiency such as Registered Professional Reporter (RPR).
Additionally, our legal videographers can provide video surveys of property prior to a construction start or assist in the preparation of expert witnesses through special video capturing equipment and processes.
Whether you’re representing plaintiff or defendant, trust CompuScripts to help you address construction litigation support services.