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What leads to a construction defect in Arizona?

A construction defect is an imperfection in a homeowner's property that reduces the value of the property. Construction defects encompass a wide variety of faults and may include a failure to properly design, plan, inspect or construct a structure. Arizona property owners who find themselves involved in a construction dispute over such imperfections may wish to have a better understanding of what a construction defect entails.

There are typically four types of construction defects: deficiencies of design, material, construction or subsurface deficiencies. A design deficiency may arise when a building designer, such as an architect or engineer, fails to follow legal code requirements for building. Often, roofing issues arise as a design defect. This type of construction defect may lead to water seepage into a structure or inadequate drainage on a property.

A material deficiency arises when poor building materials are used and subsequently do not perform adequately. Window leaks are a common and visible sign of a material deficiency if the windows do not function properly.

When construction workers fail to complete their jobs with proper care, construction deficiencies may arise. Poor foundation work, leaks in the plumbing system or electrical problems all are construction defects that could arise due to failure of construction workers to complete their tasks properly.

Finally, subsurface deficiencies can arise if a structure is built without a solid foundation. In hilly areas, particularly, the subsurface of the building site must be compacted before a foundation is built. If it is not, the foundation may crack or other damage to the building may occur, such as the building shifting.

One or many of these deficiencies may arise as a homeowner or commercial developer proceeds with the construction of a structure. It may be possible to recover damages for a construction defect. If a person anticipates that he or she may wish to enter into construction litigation due to a construction defect, he or she should contact an attorney to guide him or her through the process.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Construction Defects," accessed April 10, 2015

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