Men working on construction site

Types of Construction Defects in California

William B. Hanley Nov. 2, 2020

As a business or homeowner, you take great pride in your property. When you notice a defect in the way your home or office was built — or worked on after being completed — you want the responsible party held accountable. A skilled construction defects attorney can help you do so.

From faulty foundations to plumbing leaks and everything in between, William B. Hanley, Attorney at Law, can guide you through the litigation process and lead you toward the outcome you deserve. For exceptional legal guidance throughout Southern California, contact William B. Hanley, Attorney at Law today.

Common Construction Defects in California

Buying a new home or business property typically requires looking for construction defects via a detailed inspection of the quality and former upkeep of the building. A construction defect refers to any flaw in the: 

  • Performing or furnishing of the design,

  • Planning, 

  • Supervision, 

  • Inspection, 

  • Construction, or 

  • Observation of construction to any new home or building. 

Either there was a failure to construct the building in a reasonably efficient manner, or the building fails to perform in the way it was reasonably intended by the buyer.

In cases of construction lawsuits, courts typically designate four categories of defects:

Design Deficiencies

Engineers and architects, whose job it is to properly design structures, do not always complete their work properly. Design flaws often relate to structures built outside of their specified codes. For example, a poorly designed roof can lead to water intrusion and leaks, poor drainage, or insufficient structural support. 

Construction Deficiencies

Poor craftsmanship can cause serious construction defects over time. For instance, if your home’s plumbing was not properly installed, you may face devastating water damage, which can also lead to mold in woodworking areas. Faulty construction can also lead to cracked walls, dry rotted wood, electrical malfunctions, or pest infestations.

Material Deficiencies

If your home or office was constructed with faulty materials—even properly installed ones—you could face astronomical repair costs or health risks. An ill-manufactured furnace, for example, can lead to a gas leak, endangering those inside the building.

Subsurface Deficiencies

In California, many structures are built on hills or other places that make creating stable foundations tricky. A well-constructed foundation is critical to the structural soundness of your property. If the subsurface is not properly landscaped, compacted, or equipped for adequate drainage, you will likely encounter issues such as a settling foundation or a structural shift. These issues can lead to more dangerous problems like landslides.

Who Is Responsible for Construction Defects?

Determining who is accountable for a construction defect can be half the battle. Many people’s first instinct is to blame the builder, but that is not always correct. The developer, general contractor, or a subcontractor or manufacturer could also be responsible. An attorney experienced in construction defect law can help you establish who is at fault in your case. 

Proving Liability in California Construction Defect Cases

Most construction defect cases are based on contracts between:

  • The property owner and developer 

  • The property owner and the contractor or subcontractors

  • The contractor and their suppliers, architects, and engineers

  • You and anyone involved in building your property

These contracts outline each party’s obligations in regard to the planning, design, and construction of your property. William B. Hanley, Attorney at Law can help you prove who is liable for the defects you’ve encountered.

It’s important to note, however, that before you pursue legal action regarding a defect in your home’s construction, you must first contact your home builder. According to California Civil Code, §§896 – 945.5, also known as the Right to Repair Act, homebuilders are given the opportunity to repair your home prior to a legal action being filed.

Once the fault is determined, you can begin the process of filing a lawsuit. Construction defect lawsuits can involve:

  • Negligence

  • Breach of contract

  • Breach of warranty

  • Strict liability

  • Fraud

  • Negligent misrepresentation

Property owners typically file construction defect lawsuits in order to fix the situation and/or receive compensation for the damage done.

Why Hire William B. Hanley, Attorney at Law?

For over 40 years, William B. Hanley has been representing both individuals and businesses in their construction defect lawsuits. He works closely with each of his clients, and he thrives in the courtroom. He is prepared to fight for you and guide you toward the resolution you deserve. If you need a knowledgeable construction defects attorney in Newport Beach, California, or in the surrounding areas of Orange County, Los Angeles County, and San Diego County, contact William B. Hanley, Attorney at Law today to schedule a consultation.