Construction defect claims are a common risk that architects, engineers and contractors face with every project they take on. A construction defect claim occurs when a building system or component fails and is often the result of improper installation, design or material selection.
Not only are these claims incredibly costly to correct and defend, they can also damage your reputation and negatively impact future opportunities. To protect your firm from a construction defect claim and manage your overall risk, consider doing the following:
- Keep up with current building codes and standards.
- Follow manufacturer guidelines for every product you use. Be sure to examine warranties and understand the limitations of the materials you use in construction projects.
- Pre-qualify the subcontractors you hire. Above all, ensure that the individuals and organizations you choose to partner with have the proper credentials, experience and skills to deliver a quality finished product.
- Seek legal counsel to ensure that all of your contracts are airtight and protect you against errors committed by outside parties.
- Document the construction process. This will ensure that you have a solid record of materials and practices used during a project, which will come in handy in the event of a claim.
- Implement a quality assurance/quality control program (QA/QC). QA/QC programs provide a set of standards that ensure a project is built correctly or performs as designed.
In general, the best way to avoid a construction defect claim is through quality construction. Be sure to work only with architects, engineers and contractors who have good reputations and track records. In addition, plan and perform work in the correct sequence and with proper supervision.
Keeping in mind the above tips will ensure that your projects run smoothly and are completed to a high standard of quality.