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New York Construction Law Blog

Is it a construction defect just because the customer doesn’t like it?

Posted by Karl Silverberg | Oct 02, 2020 | 0 Comments

Construction is a difficult industry in that it's very hard to please everyone you work for. The person who hired you to do the job may seem less than thrilled with the results, but does that mean it's your fault? They may claim that there are defects and subpar craftsmanship, but is that actually the case?

This is difficult because simple aesthetic issues may constitute construction defects under the umbrella of workmanship defects. This just means that the building functions properly, but it doesn't look the way the client wants. This aesthetic appeal is important to the client and is still a defect, even if everything is up to code.

For instance, maybe the painting crew you hired was in a rush. They neglected to tape all of the trim. While the trim was still put up properly and works as intended, the white paint has splashes of red on it from the wall. The client naturally thinks it looks sloppy, and they have a point.

On the other hand, maybe the paint was put up perfectly, the tape was used properly, and the trim is clean and beautiful. The client just does not like the color of red that they chose for the walls. Now that they're actually seeing it on the wall instead of in the store, it doesn't match up with their vision for the space.

These are two very different situations, clearly, but that person may decide to sue you simply on the grounds that they're not pleased with the finished product. The key is to determine exactly why they are not pleased and if there was anything you could have done to avoid it. When there's a dispute, you also need to know your legal options.

About the Author

Karl Silverberg

Karl Silverberg Contact Me: (631) 778-6077 Email me Practice Areas: Construction Law Biography Prior to law school, Mr. Silverberg worked as a professional engineer, and has eight years of experience working as a structural engineer on public sector transportation projects. Mr. Silver...


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