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2 main categories for construction defects

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Construction Law |

There are many specific examples of construction defects that could result in a dispute. Some are based on aesthetics, such as when a construction company installs the wrong cabinets or the wrong flooring. Others are based on safety, such as when there are structural concerns or fire hazards in the house. Other defects are functional issues, like electrical or plumbing systems that don’t work.

But you can take almost all construction defects and fit them into two general categories: Latent defects and patent defects. How are these different and how would it affect a case?

Is the defect hidden or visible?

The big question is whether or not the defect is visible and can be identified immediately or if it is hidden and it is something that may only come to light in the future.

If the defect is immediately visible, that’s known as a patent defect. These are often found right away, such as a homeowner who tries to turn on the water and finds that it doesn’t work. A home inspector should also find these types of defects while doing a more careful inspection than the homeowner themselves.

But there can also be hidden defects, which are known as latent defects. These can make defect claims a lot more complicated because they may not be apparent for months or even years. By the time the property owner discovers the defect, there could be many questions about what actually caused the issue and whether or not it was there from the very beginning.

The legal process

Either way, a construction defect dispute can be quite complex for all involved. It’s important to carefully consider all potential legal options at this time.