Types of Construction Defects

Construction defects are some of the major causes of worries for most property owners. Austin, a fellow friend of mine mentions to me that with all his 30+years in the Houston appliance repair market, he has learned unfortunately, most construction defects take years or months to surface. A construction defect is an issue that affects the mechanical system, structural integrity or building components. Here are the major types of construction defects that you should know.

Design Defects

The design of a building is an important success factor. Typical design defects are caused by the failure of architects to come up with well-coordinated or accurate construction documents. It’s important to ensure that specifications or plans are carefully reviewed and eventually followed.

Mechanicals like electrical, HVAC and plumbing should be designed properly to avoid this issue. In most cases, project specifications require mechanical contractor to submit drawings to the architect for proper review and eventual approval. Shop drawings as well as submittals can cause defective construction if there are no quality control steps in place.

Material Defects

In some cases, material defects are the responsibility of the manufacturer. However, they are sometimes not noticed until they have been installed. For instance, a window can come with a seal leaking between the roof shingles and panes. Over time, this can delaminate. A concrete slab can also start to break, flake or split.

It’s important to test building materials before their installation. They should also undergo thorough testing and review by professional committees and testing laboratories. Nevertheless, material defects still occur.

Workmanship Defects

Workmanship refers to a skill level with which a project is completed or a product is produced. Workmanship defects occur when a contractor fails to adhere to the documents of a construction, industry standard practices, or installation instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Common workmanship defects include improper concrete finishing, soil compaction, lack or improper flashing, weatherproofing systems, stucco or EFIS systems.

It’s important that everybody involved in construction and design go an extra length to prevent these construction defects.