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What is a construction defect and how are they caused?

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2019 | Construction Litigation |

No one wants to find out, just a few years after their home’s construction, that the roof leaks or their electrical system needs some big overhauls. However, if that happens to you, or you have foundation issues or water intrusion problems in a newer home, your home could have a construction defect.

Most often, construction defects aren’t reported right away. Sometimes, homeowners don’t discover them until 10 years after a home’s construction. However, in Georgia homeowners only have eight years after a home’s construction or a major renovation project to file a lawsuit for a construction defect.

Construction defects occur because of three main issues: a design defect, a material defect or poor workmanship.

Design defects

Design defects occur because of a faulty design, not from a lack of maintenance or general wear or tear. They can include everything from foundation and framing problems to electrical design flaws. If a homeowner finds a design defect that is now leading to other issues in the home, the homeowner can sue either the contractor or design firm that was responsible for the faulty design.

Material defects

Another area where construction defects pop up is because of material defects. A manufacturer may discover a material’s defect issues after installation. Perhaps, the adhesive used to bond vinyl flooring isn’t as effective as advertised and starts breaking down within a year. In this case, a homeowner can sue the material’s manufacturer for the amount needed to rectify the construction defect.


When a contractor improperly installs windows or doesn’t apply weatherproofing materials correctly, that construction defect is because of poor workmanship. In this case, a homeowner can hold a contractor or subcontractor liable for damages caused by a poor workmanship defect.

If you find a construction defect in your home, consult an attorney with experience handling construction litigation. This area of law covers everything from breach of contracts to building defects, defective installations and quality of workmanship problems.