WHAT IS A CONSTRUCTION DEFECT?
Construction defects are construction practices that violate the building code, violate specific installation instructions or product approval, deviate from the approved plans, cut impermissible corners, and/or incorporate components that are prone to fail in their installation and/or use.
Construction defects can be the result of bad design, sloppy construction which fails to conform to either the approved plans and or the code, or failed products incorporated into the building. Often a failure to use proper corrosion resistant materials become the core of the defect claim.
COMMON CONSTRUCTION DEFECTS IN HAWAII
1. Water intrusion is a common result of construction defects, such as corrosion due to improper installation methods and inappropriate hardware, fittings, and connections.
2. Structural defects include failing to adequately design the building for the loads it will be subject to in service.
3. Critical fire life safety issues include the omission of a required sprinkler system, a poorly designed sprinkler system that fails to provide adequate coverage, a sprinkler system with inferior parts that are prone to corrosion, rendering the system inoperative, or improper fire rated insulation, drywall and seals.
4. Building code violations are the basis for causes of action like breach of contract, negligence, breach of warranty, and breach of implied warranty. Lawsuits using codes as benchmarks and code violations as a basis for liability typically arise if the contract requires conformity with the code, if the plans require conformity with the code (which they always do), or if there are deficiencies in the construction work or design.