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My New Home Has Construction Defects

Miguel A. Brizuela, P.A. Nov. 16, 2023

During a construction project, contracts are often established between the general contractor, client, and other parties involved, outlining each party's obligations.  

The client expects the contractor to deliver a building that is safe, functional, and free of defects. In the event that there's a construction defect -- affecting the use or making the property unsafe -- you may be entitled to recover damages. 

At Miguel A. Brizuela, P.A., we're committed to offering compassionate representation and trusted guidance to clients in their construction defect claims. Our experienced Florida construction law attorneys can investigate construction defects, seek to identify the liable party, and help you recover the maximum available damages and legal remedies you're entitled to. We're proud to represent clients across Miami, Florida, and throughout Southern Florida, including Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. 

What Is a Construction Defect & What Causes Them?

A construction defect is a condition or fault in a building showing flaws, deficiencies, or errors during the construction process. According to Florida law – Florida Statutes Section 558.002 (5), a construction defect can be described as "a deficiency in, or arising out of, the design, specifications, surveying, planning, supervision, or observation of construction, or the construction repair, alteration, or remodeling of real property."  

Construction defects usually occur as a result of defective materials, building code violations, design failure, or the failure of the contractor to execute the construction project in accordance with the applicable professional standards. Unfortunately, a construction defect can make the property unreliable, substandard, or unsafe. 

Common Construction Defects

Some common types of construction defects are as follows: 

Defects in Design 

Design defects happen when the design professional fails to deliver accurate construction documents or adhere to professional standards. Common examples of design defects include: 

  • Flawed roof designs 

  • Poor drainage 

  • Inadequate structural support 

  • Landscaping issues 

  • Water intrusion 

  • Insufficient support 

  • Faulty foundation 

Defects in Material 

Material defects happen when professionals use damaged, defective, faulty, or unsuitable construction materials to carry out the construction project. Common examples of material defects include: 

  • Bent window frames 

  • Mold in areas such as woodwork 

  • Inferior products 

  • Dangerous gas or emissions from duct systems 

  • Toxins in the yard soil 

  • Faulty pipes leading to plumbing leaks 

Defects in Construction 

A typical construction defect happens when the building contractor fails to execute the construction project according to the construction documents. Common examples of construction defects include: 

  • Cracks in foundations 

  • Pest infiltration 

  • Water intrusion through the building structure, windows, doors, and roof openings. 

  • Mechanical and electrical issues 

  • Mold growth 

  • Improper plumbing work causing leaks 

  • Rotting wood 

  • Plumbing, insulation, and HVAC failures. 

If there is a construction defect in your new property or building, you should get in touch with an experienced construction law attorney right away. Your lawyer can investigate the construction defect, identify the liable parties, and help pursue your deserved relief. 

Florida Statute of Limitations for Construction Defects

The statute of limitations for construction defect claims in Florida is four (4) years. This means that the property owner must commence a legal action seeking damages for the construction defects within four years – unless the construction defect was concealed or hidden and wasn't discoverable upon customary and reasonable inspection.  

What to Do When Your New Home Has Construction Defects 

If your new home has a construction defect, you should take the following steps, where possible: 

  • Document the construction defects. 

  • Review the terms of the construction agreement. 

  • Hire a professional home inspector to review the building's structural safety and determine the codes that were violated. 

  • Notify the client or their insurance provider.  

  • Hire an attorney to help file your claim and handle all negotiations and discussions with the insurer or contractor on your behalf. 

However, since many professionals and entities are usually involved in a construction project, it is important that you identify the liable party and explore your possible options to recover damages. 

Who Is Liable for Construction Defects

In 2017, according to statistics from Courthouse News, nearly 1,000 construction defect suits were filed by claimants in Florida. Depending on the surrounding circumstances, a number of different parties or entities may be held responsible for construction defects, including: 

  • The contractor 

  • The general contractors 

  • The architect 

  • The builder or engineer 

  • Property owner. 

  • The subcontractors 

A trusted construction defect attorney can identify the liable party, help assert your rights, and pursue your available legal remedies. 

Available Damages

The following damages may be recovered through a construction defect claim in Florida: 

  • Compensation for loss of the use of the property. 

  • Costs to repair the defective conditions and subsequent damage 

  • Interests 

  • Expert fees 

  • The value of any other property damaged due to the construction defect. 

  • Reasonable attorneys' fees 

  • Litigation costs 

  • The amount of property depreciation due to the construction defect. 

  • Temporary housing costs. 

A knowledgeable lawyer can help file your construction defect claim and help you recover the financial justice and legal recourse you deserve. 

Your Rights Matter

Discovering that your new building is unsafe due to construction defects can be unsettling. Nevertheless, you're not alone. Over the years, our reliable team at Miguel A. Brizuela, P.A., have successfully recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdict for clients in their construction defect cases. With our extensive knowledge, we can fight vigorously for your rights, hold the liable party accountable, and help you recover the maximum available financial compensation. 

Contact us at Miguel A. Brizuela, P.A., today to schedule a simple case evaluation with seasoned construction litigation attorneys. Our trusted legal team can provide the reliable representation and personalized legal guidance you need in your construction defect claims. We proudly serve clients across Miami, Florida, and throughout Southern Florida, including Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.