3 reasons clients may pursue construction defect claims after a project

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2023 | Construction Law

Making the winning bid on a sizable construction project usually means revenue for a company. However, the profitability of a project will inevitably decrease if there is a conflict with the client. Particularly if a client takes a contentious matter to court, the construction company that did the work may end up losing its profits or worse.

The cost of defending against a construction defect claim will eat into the profits from a project, and any successful claim against a business will likely cost even more. Worse, it could damage the organization’s reputation and therefore the likelihood of people hiring the company in the future. As a result, those managing construction companies will very likely want to protect against the following defect claims whenever possible.

Substandard work

If someone hires a company to drywall a space, they will expect a professional finished product, not walls with visible seams and texture from the mud where the sheets of drywall meet. Uneven tiling, paint spatter and countless other work quality issues might lead to a client claim demanding either compensation or specific performance where the company must redo the work.

Material substitutions

Clients are often very specific about the type of flooring or countertops that they want in their homes or commercial properties. The company performing the work will need to clarify specific material requests and abide by them as much as possible. Some substitutions are inevitable due to supply chain issues or other challenges. Companies that need to replace a requested material with a different material will typically need to communicate that to the client in writing and may need to negotiate with them about how to move forward with the project.

Significant project delays

Particularly when a client hires a company for work on a commercial property, delays in construction can cost a lot of money for the client. The business may need to remain closed for as long as it takes to finish the project, which could mean that every additional day of delay cost the business thousands of dollars. The same might be true if the company has to acquire alternative spaces to use while the project is still underway. Even residential homeowners who cannot currently inhabit a property could have grounds to pursue a claim against a company when a construction delay causes significant expenses and is a clear deviation from the promises made in the initial estimate or project contract.

Ultimately, including clauses in construction project contracts that give businesses more flexibility and communicating proactively with clients can help construction firms reduce the likelihood of a costly construction defect lawsuit down the road.