Contractors provide a valuable service to property owners. While most projects are completed without issues, there are times when contractors learn their clients weren’t happy with the work. In some cases, this leads to a construction defect claim, which is a serious matter.
As a contractor facing a client’s claim of construction defect, it is crucial to understand your options for defense. Here are some potential defenses that might be appropriate.
Compliance with building codes and standards
You may be able to demonstrate that the construction adhered to relevant building codes, regulations and industry standards. Evidence can include permits, inspections and certifications to show that the project met all necessary requirements.
You may be able to argue that the client’s own negligence contributed to the alleged defect. For example, if the client failed to perform proper maintenance or misused the structure, their actions may have played a role in the defect’s manifestation.
The contract between you and the client may include a waiver of consequential damages, agreed-upon limitations or a requirement for dispute resolution through mediation or arbitration.
If the construction defect was caused by a third party, such as a subcontractor or materials supplier, argue that they are responsible for the defect and should be held liable instead.
The value of expert testimony
It’s often helpful to bring in expert witnesses, such as engineers, architects or construction professionals, who can testify that the construction was sound, adhered to industry standards and did not exhibit any defects.
Each defense’s effectiveness will depend on the specific facts of the case and the applicable laws. Having experienced legal guidance is beneficial so you can learn about your options and set the strategy to address the issue.