Dangers of Construction Defects on the Jobsite


By John Lack,

In a previous article, I wrote about the three categories of construction defects. I touched on design defects, material defects, and workmanship. I also shared that all parties involved in the design and construction of a project must go to the necessary lengths to prevent construction defects.

The reason I decided to follow up with another article on construction defects is because of a recent lunch I had with the construction attorney I retained for several years when I was a general contractor. As we were catching up on the last few years, he shared with me that he has seen an uptick in construction defects in his office and believes that a wave of construction defects may be coming within a few years.

This is primarily due to two factors. First, many contractors are extremely busy with tight schedules, and the demand for project startups and project completions is greater than ever. Companies and employees can sometimes feel the pressure of having to get a project completed and get to the next job. Second, with the shortage of skilled workers, many workers are coming into the construction industry for the first time and lack experience. It is the combination of these two factors that makes me believe it may be true.

Developing and implementing a quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) program with strict documentation throughout the course of the project can help combat this problem. This is a set of standards set forth by the company that can ensure a project is built correctly and performs as designed. Supported by management to be effective, the complexity of your QA/QC program should be dictated by the complexity of the project.

Assigning key responsibilities to qualified leadership is the foundation of a successful program. Such areas of oversight would include providing adequate training, verifying construction drawings and specifications, selecting materials, managing subcontractors, scheduling, workmanship, inspection, warranties, and retention of documents. This can help with checks and balances to ensure employees and subcontractors have the experience and skill set necessary to deliver the final product.

It is always important to seek legal counsel from an attorney who specializes in construction law to make sure all your contracts are protecting you against errors committed by outside parties.   

This article was written by Acuity Insurance’s Construction Specialist, John Lack. For more construction business tips visit: http://acuity.com/contractor-focus.

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