Construction Defect Attorney

It’s hard to drive through Long Island without seeing some sort of construction going on. Every construction project is complex. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of building codes that must be met, and all sorts of technology are used to make sure standards are met. Even so, errors can occur, and defects can be introduced even before construction is completed.

A construction defect exists when a building doesn’t meet building codes or terms of the contract. This could include improper framing, a faulty foundation, and other issues. Construction defects can occur in new buildings or could be discovered in older homes and commercial spaces as well.

At TonaLaw, we understand how defects can impact your commercial or residential building. We are also familiar with the laws that allow you to take legal action so you can get defects corrected without having to pay for costly repairs. Give us a call today at 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Long Island construction defect attorney.
Construction Defect Long Island

Common Types of Construction Defects

Construction defects are often separated into two categories: obvious and latent. If there is going to be a construction defect, you want them to be obvious. That way, they can be addressed before construction ends with minimal costs. Examples of obvious defects are using the wrong-sized beams or the incorrect type of concrete for the foundation.

Unfortunately, most construction defects are latent. That means they are present at the time of construction but aren’t discovered until later, sometimes years after. For example, the concrete used for the foundation may not have been laid properly and could crack a few years down the road. Or you could be dealing with progressive latent defects in construction, such as steel beams that may have looked correct, but may not have been galvanized properly — and end up rusting out years down the road. 

It’s also important to note the difference between a defect and the manifestation of the defect. The manifestation of the defect is the appearance of the structure that shows a defect is there. For example, a driveway cracking may be the manifestation of a defect in the foundation of a house. Both the manifestation and the defect itself usually have to be addressed.

Defects that our Long Island construction litigation lawyers often see include:

  • Components that don’t work as intended: These defects may include windows that aren’t as wind-resistant as they were supposed to be or concrete that isn’t as strong as it should be. Electrical or other systems that don’t work properly can also fall into this category.
  • Deviations from blueprints: Blueprints and other plans or specifications are prepared by the architect, engineers, surveyors, and other professionals. If there is a deviation from these plans, even down to the type of materials used, it could lead to an obvious or, more likely, latent defect.
  • Building code violations: When plans are being drawn up for new construction, building codes are one of the top priorities. All buildings, whether new or old, must meet standards set forth by New York law. If building codes are violated, it could lead to legal and other troubles down the road.
  • Premature deterioration of components or construction: Elements of a building are supposed to last for a certain amount of time. For instance, a residential roof with asphalt shingles may be rated to last 20 years. But if these elements deteriorate well before they are supposed to, it can be considered a construction defect.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Construction Defects?

There are a few different parties that can be held liable for obvious and latent defects in construction. At TonaLaw, our Long Island construction attorneys have the knowledge and experience to identify the at-fault party and hold them accountable. One or all of these parties could potentially be liable for construction defects:

The Contractor

The contractor and their subcontractors are responsible for constructing buildings properly, as well as performing maintenance and repairs on buildings when they are hired to do so. They must also set the plan for how construction will be performed, and buying the proper equipment and materials needed for the project.

If contractors do not perform their duties in accordance with the specifications and plans laid out in blueprints and other documents in a “workmanlike manner,” they can be held liable for construction defects. In addition, if a contractor knows the plans are defective and doesn’t bring the matter to the architect or owner, they can be held liable for defects.

The Designers

Designers include architects and engineers who craft blueprints and other plans for the construction. They may be involved in the process from start to finish, or they could simply prepare plans for contractors and other parties to execute. 

No matter how involved the designers are in the process, if they don’t exercise reasonable judgment and care in their work, they may be held liable for construction defects. For example, an architect or engineer who creates a house plan that doesn’t take into account the possibility of water overflowing from a bathtub on a second floor can be held liable if the bathroom floor begins to rot or otherwise becomes damaged.

The Owner

Though construction is done by contractors and other parties, building owners can also be held liable for construction defects. For example, an owner who fails to maintain their property or inaccurately reports the condition of the property before construction begins may be responsible for any construction defects.

For homeowners and commercial building owners, that may mean being responsible for repairing any defects that appear in their property. It may also mean being responsible for injuries that occur because of the defect, such as a roof caving in or a crack in a driveway causing someone to trip and fall

The Manufacturer

Finally, the manufacturer of materials used in the construction process can be held liable if those materials fail. For instance, water sealants that don’t actually stop water leakage can cause a latent defect. Or, a boiler that isn’t constructed correctly can suddenly burst or explode.

When product defects cause the issues in construction, the manufacturer can be held liable for any construction defects that result. If those defects only cause economic loss, they can be responsible for fixing the problem and providing adequate compensation. However, if injuries occur, the manufacturer can be held liable for those injuries.

Work with a Long Island Construction Attorney Today

If you own a building that has obvious or latent defects in construction, and the designer, owner, contractor or manufacturer refuses to take responsibility, you have legal options. At TonaLaw, our experienced construction lawyers have over 30 years of combined experience holding these parties accountable.

Give us a call today at 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Long Island construction defect attorney.

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Amber PalermoAmber Palermo
17:50 23 Dec 22
The professionalism and expertise of the TonaLaw team is unmatched. I’ve worked with Juliet and she was incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and I could tell that she cared about helping me. If you’re looking for a legal team that helps with you any problem, big or small, TonaLaw is a team you can trust.
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The TonaLaw team is full of wonderful and hardworking people. I have personally worked with Juliet and she is excellent. You can tell she truly cares about the work she is doing. Highly recommend.
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15:42 16 Dec 22
I can not be thankful enough for the amazing experience Tonalaw has given me from the very beginning. If you are looking for a lawyer who truly cares about your case then TonaLaw is for you. The amount of time and dedication they put in a case really shows how above and beyond they go. Not to mention how sweet everyone is really makes it a pleasure to work with TonaLaw.
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I am extremely satisfied and happy to have chosen Tonal Law . The whole experience was flawless And I had absolutely no issues throughout the entire process. Everyone was so helpful and on time with everything, answered any questions I had, and we’re always easily available if I had any concerns. I basically did not have to lift a finger or do absolutely anything at all but answer a few questions. I put my full trust into Tona Law and I’m happy I did so. Would for sure recommend to any of my family and friends.
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21:14 05 Dec 22
Tona Law was an absolute pleasure to work with. As a local ART and Custom Framing resource, we helped to enhance their new offices, with beautiful and sophisticated, well curated artwork. Tom and his team were closely involved in all of the selections, and the environment is warm and friendly, as a result. Everyone at Tona Law, is considerate and professional.
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From start to finish I was informed every step of the way of the status and updates of my case… the time and steps taken to resolve my case in the best possible outcome was just one of the many great things Tonalaw provided. Personal care and commitment is top notch. Thank you !!
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15:27 08 Apr 22
Over the last few years Tona Law has guided me through the process with clear communication throughout. They are truly a client advocate and will do everything in the best interest of the client. Cannot thank them enough for all their work done for me.
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19:49 26 Mar 22
Tom Tona and his team are fantastic. They do a great job for their clients. Can't recommend them highly enough.
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They responded right away and were very professional. Brittany Reyes was very helpful. Thank you for your help
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Would highly recommend if anyone is seeking any legal advice!