Sometimes a defect in construction is easily spotted and easily fixed. Other times, hidden flaws in a building’s construction only become evident after a period of time.

Either way, as a builder, you can end up in litigation. To avoid those kinds of issues, it helps to understand what kinds of construction defects there are — and what you can do to prevent them.

What kinds of construction defects are there?

The main kinds of constructions defects include:

  • Design defects. Errors during the planning or drafting stage of a building’s design, for example, can lead to these problems.
  • Material defects. Inferior construction materials give inferior results, and poor-quality materials can quickly fall apart.
  • Workmanship defects. Sometimes a subcontractor fails to live up to expectations or workers simply do a shoddy job.

What can you do to prevent construction defects?

General contractors have a big job, and that includes taking steps to make sure that none of the above problems happen. You can better guard against these issues (and insulate yourself from unnecessary liability) by:

  • Regularly visiting the building site to familiarize yourself with everything that’s relevant to the build and keep track of the progress
  • Step up your efforts to coordinate subcontractors, specialists and workers as the building develops
  • Carefully review contract documents and change orders to make sure that the designs are followed
  • Hire subcontractors and workers you trust — not just those who work for the lowest dollar

As a general contractor, you ultimately have the most responsibility to your client. That doesn’t mean, however, that others may not be liable for construction defects that come to light. If you’re being accused of doing bad work, find out how an attorney can help.