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New York Construction Law Blog

Is that a construction defect or a miscommunication?

Posted by Karl Silverberg | Nov 14, 2023 | 0 Comments

Some construction defects are very clearly mistakes that were made by the construction crew or the result of deficiencies in the quality of the workmanship. For instance, a homeowner may claim that electrical systems were installed improperly so that they don't work, that plumbing systems are leaking, that there are structural issues because the house was framed incorrectly or something else of this nature. These are big-picture issues that cause fundamental problems with the property.

Finishing issues are one of the most common types of construction defects that people will claim. These are often relatively minor issues, but they have a major impact on how the home looks. Finishing issues could include using the wrong color of paint, using the wrong style of trim, using the wrong type of countertops or installing the wrong cabinets.

If the homeowner had a design in mind, but they're shocked to find out that their home doesn't look like the design. They claim that it's a construction defect. but is it?

Communication is important

For the owner of a construction company or a general contractor, this issue underscores why communication is so important. A simple miscommunication could lead to defect claims. Maybe the homeowner did not properly communicate that they had changed their mind about the paint color, for instance. They now want the company to assume the cost of re-painting the entire home, but the owner of the construction company claims that they just followed the homeowner's instructions.

One of the best things that any construction company can do is to use written contracts with as many details as possible. This way, they can easily look back to see what was agreed to at the time that the contract was signed. This doesn't eliminate all disputes, but it can be helpful for a contractor who is facing construction defect claims and who needs to defend their business. They must know what legal steps to take.

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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