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Construction Defects: Who is Responsible?

The main reason we advise clients to consult with a competent construction lawyer before undertaking a large-scale build is that there are just so many opportunities for things to go awry.

Chief among these is the construction defect, and the reason for this is that large-scale projects are enormously complex, and it only takes one worker using incorrect installation techniques to create a defect that can impact the final product.

When defects in construction are finally uncovered, there really is no telling how far down the rabbit hole they will run. Furthermore, because construction is so complicated, and because it often involves so many different, independent trades, figuring out who is responsible for a given defect can be very difficult.

First, your general contractor is often responsible for the final outcome of your project; the contractor selected and has a duty to supervise, all of the subcontractors hired to perform work on a project. The liability “runs uphill” in this regard.

One of the more difficult determinations will be in understanding which subcontractor is responsible for a given defect. For example, understanding whether a framing, siding, roofing, or window installation subcontractor is responsible for defects in the house wrap is complicated, and it requires comprehension of the building sequence, how the various trades interact, the exact nature of the house wrap defect, and proper installation techniques.

Designers may also play a role. Architects and engineers generally lay the blueprints upon which general contractors build. Understanding the standards of conduct for these design professionals becomes key. If the design is defective, this could even potentially absolve the general contractor and the subcontractors from their own liability.

Sorting out these and many other painstaking details is the chief work of the construction attorneys here at Asheville Legal. If you’re dealing with a large construction project, and you have concerns that construction defects may be afoot, please call us as soon as possible to learn the correct steps to protect your legal rights.

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