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Prevention is key to defending a construction defect claim

| Sep 17, 2021 | Construction Litigation |

As a builder, there are specific things you can do to reduce the chances a customer files a construction defect claim against you. The same steps can help protect you if a claim does occur.

Taking time during the initial stages to ensure you fully understand your client’s vision is crucial. Not everyone has the language to put what they see in their head into words. Put the things you agree on in a written contract.

Being honest with the client is crucial

Tell the property owner if something they request will not work. If it will, but you do not know how to do it, help them find someone who can. It is better for the client to find out you cannot do something now than after they have paid you to do it.

Be ruthless about record keeping. If one of your employees purchases an item for the build and cannot find the receipt, send them back to the shop to get one. If you work late one day, note it down. If you take off early, note that down too. 

Create a strict schedule to check the work being done and stick to it. Walking around and noticing something is fine and may seem sufficient, but if the client queries your work, having a written record to show that when you checked on such a date can help you prove that a fault happened later and it was not your fault. Make sure you have a clear system to store records for several years.

Clients may not care whose fault a construction defect was. They usually just want a solution. While there may be a reason to go to litigation, sometimes having help to negotiate can be the best solution for all.


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