As a self-employed construction professional or the owner of a construction company, you do your best to complete new construction, remodeling and expansion projects on time and on budget. Of course, anyone with experience in construction recognizes that there are infinite variables, and something almost always goes wrong.
A worker calls in sick on the first day and then never shows up for the job. A supplier can no longer obtain the specific kind of luxury tile that the client requested specifically for their kitchen backsplash. You have to constantly adjust your plans and communicate, or you risk issues derailing a project and damaging your reputation.
Construction defect claims can eat into your profits from a project and also hurt your reputation. What are some of the top customer complaints that lead to construction defect claims?
1. Mold development
Florida has a very wet climate, and it doesn’t take much for mold to start developing in a home. People may overreact after discovering mold, especially black mold, and will seek financial compensation to pay for remediation services.
The property owner may try to hold your company accountable for the natural development of mold at a property that occurred not due to your workers’ failures but because of inadequate dehumidification or property maintenance.
2. Cracked drywall or hard-to-close doors
In new construction, the walls should remain in good condition for years. Doors and windows should open and close smoothly. Doors that stick and walls that crack are often warning signs of foundation settling and improper construction.
Homeowners may bring a claim against your company if their home soon shows signs of foundation issues, which can be very expensive to address.
3. Deviations from the client’s instructions
Not all construction defect claims relate to something technically wrong with the property. Sometimes the issue is simply that the property does not align with someone’s expectations. When contracts include terms for specific materials or finishing touches, clients may initiate a claim when the final product does not reflect what they paid for and negotiated in their contract.
Proactive communication with clients and clear standards for the finished product in your contracts and go a long way toward protecting your business from the possibility of an expensive construction defects claim. Protecting your construction company often involves creating appropriate contracts, responding quickly to complaints and familiarizing yourself with applicable laws.