As an Atlanta, Georgia construction defect litigation lawyer, I place most construction defects into four (4) legally distinct groups:
Design Defects: These defects occur when a design professional, such as an architect or engineer, creates a building design, which is not within acceptable industry standards. A simple illustration of design defect is the creation of a building with a roof that results in poor drainage, inadequate structural support, or allows water penetration.
Material Defects: These occur when substandard building materials are used and/or cause damage to the building. An illustration of the use of substandard building materials would be leaking windows even though they have been properly installed (Note: Here, the window materials must be defective).
Construction Deficiencies: These usually arise from poor craftsmanship or workmanship that is not performed in a professional workmanlike manner, which is acceptable in the industry. An illustration is cracks in foundations or walls, rotting wood, electrical problems, and plumbing leaks.
Subsurface Deficiencies: These usually arise when houses are built on hills and areas were providing a stable foundation is difficult or where the builder fails to secure a suitable foundation. An illustration of this would be structural movement or shifting, building without proper grading or below grade.
If you believe your construction defects or significant problems, you should have it inspected immediately by an experienced architect or engineer. The type of inspection you should have largely depends on the type of problems you are experiencing. Hiring an experienced Georgia construction lawyer is a critical step in protecting your rights as a homeowner and assisting you in finding the right architect or engineer. Not every architect or engineer is in the business of inspecting and evaluating defective work.