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Three types of construction defects exist. There are workmanship, materials and design ones. These may lead to a structural problem or damage property, potentially injure someone and cause them some financial loss.

As the contractor, you must exercise a certain “standard of care” when carrying out your contractual obligations to a client. You should adhere to designs and the agreed-to terms of your contract to avoid exposing yourself to legal liability.

Industry protocols may dictate that you should visit a worksite to familiarize yourself with the local conditions before taking on a building project. It may also call for you to gather together all architects, engineers and subcontractors to coordinate your efforts before initiating any on-the-ground work. There may be specific workmanship standards that anyone working on the project must meet before you can add them to the project. You reduce your risk of a construction defect occurring by taking these steps.

Contractors often hear how addressing construction defects can be costly to do. Not only do you have to invest time in having an architect or engineer redesign the defective component, but you may have to source new building materials and cover the cost of the labor for the rebuild. You may be on the hook for paying for any loss of business a commercial client suffered due to the defect. A homeowner may also sue you for damages if the value of their house declined due to the flaw.

You can minimize your chances of a customer suing you by instituting a quality control protocol. You can also keep your expenses low by being clear in your contract about how all parties are responsible for their work product and having insurance to cover potential issues. If your client does call a defect to your attention, then you’ll want to perform a walk-through to identify problems and then quickly addressing them.

One of the worst parts of the construction business is when you spend time planning to select the right materials and the right people for the job only to have someone, or something let you down. An attorney can help defend your California company’s reputation and bottom line when one of your Santa Ana clients is unhappy with your work, and they seem intent on bringing you down.

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