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As legal counsel for many general contractors, Heekin Litigation Group feels it is important for anyone involved with, or in the construction industry to understand some basic terms and their meanings regarding construction defects and the practice of construction law. Construction defect claims can be filed at anytime a property owner believes they have a legitimate claim even years after the project has been completed. General contractors are extremely susceptible to defect allegations that can not only be costly to defend but also can damage an impeccable reputation for excellent work. For this and many other legal considerations, Heekin Litigation Group has represented many General Contractors in multifaceted suits involving multiple parties involved in all facets of the construction industry.

What Constitutes a Construction Defect?

Technically a construction defect is a building imperfection due to improper installation, substandard materials use, faulty design or other building issues that can lead to a building components failure. Improper maintenance or lack of general upkeep that leads to a component failure is not a construction defect and claims such as these are often filed, defended and dismissed.

Different types of Construction Defects

Planning Phase

All building projects start with a planning and design phase of a program that can involve an individual or a collaborative team working together to reach a particular result. Building projects can be simple or complicated depending upon the building requirements needed to achieve the desired results. Contractors are at the mercy of designers and architects and should review all of the building specifications, including materials and necessary resources to complete the project before ground breaking begins. These quality steps can mitigate designs flaws and mistakes that will lead to construction defects and possible claims. In many modern projects it is not always known if a construction defect will occur due to a poor design or individual design flaw which could require a building redesign. General Contractors need to be very careful when excepting commissions, attempting to build in non-traditional ways, with non-traditional building components.

Building Materials

Commercial materials are usually warranted by manufacturers but suppliers and contractors need to inspect all materials shipped to a project and ensure all materials are in proper condition, free from defect for installation. Contractors should also be aware of the material specifications as requested by designers and architects and verify the materials are exactly the same products requested. Storage and proper handling are essential to ensure product degradation does not occur.

Workmanship Defects

General contractors are aware of manufacturer’s specification and installation instructions and should follow correct construction procedures to ensure material and installation standards are preformed correctly and without mistakes. Poor workmanship is usually due to a lack of quality control oversite. Proper training of all who perform building tasks is essential in preventing workmanship defects. The smallest installation defect can have ramifications reverberating throughout a construction project and even the minutest defect can linger for years. These defects can result in water leakage, drywall and concrete cracking, cooling and heating issues and even foundation problems. Early detection and remediation are essential in preventing costly defect claims and legal expenses. Most construction projects have many hands involved at different building stages making inspection and oversite by qualified individuals paramount to a successful, construction defect-free project. This will allow your company to avoid legal entanglements, but if representation is needed Heekin Litigation Group has expert and knowledgeable attorneys ready at a moment’s notice.

Quality Control Initiatives

Quality control oversite really falls on the shoulders of the contractor, architect, project manager, material-supplier, sub-contractor or any individual or company involved in the hierarchy of the construction project. Each individual construction partner needs to take responsibility for a quality control plan that accounts for the work performed by their employees, is at the highest grade of quality and defect-free. This includes all levels of the project: from design and planning to material supplier and workmanship contributed to the project. Every effort must be brought to bear to mitigate any factors that could potentially lead to a construction defect and the inevitable legal entanglements.

Why Choose Heekin Litigation Group?

Construction Law and Litigation Attorneys Heekin Litigation Group is a highly skilled and experienced business law firm committed to protecting its clients engaged in construction or claimants caught up in the aftermath of a defect present in their building or dwelling. Contractors in Florida do have what is referred to as a “right to repair” law that offers protection to make good any defects associated with the discovery of a construction defect, but that will not ensure their obligation to make right, what when wrong is over. Many contractors are caught completely by surprise that a construction defect has been uncovered and legal representation is needed to remediate the situation. In the event your firm has been notified as a plaintiff in a construction defect lawsuit, you will need the most capable minds available. Heekin Litigation Group has the knowledge and resources to protect your financial interests and achieve a durable solution to your legal problems. Give us a call today for a free analysis of your legal issues at 904-355-7000. Visit our website at for a complete list of our qualifications and legal services.


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