A leaky window whose weatherproofing failed. A balcony that slopes toward a house and causes water damage. An improperly nailed shear wall. They're just a few examples of construction defects that can wreak havoc on projects and finances, and builders have a new book to help avoid and deal with defects.
Robert S. Mann's "Defect-Free Buildings: A Construction Manual for Quality Control and Conflict Resolution" defines physical and legal defects, tells builders how to prevent them and trains builders on what to do when disaster strikes.
Mann's approach is that of a lawyer; he has 27 years experience representing owners and builders in construction disputes.
The book, which sells for $79.95, outlines two project deficiencies builds should note: those that affect a building's performance and those that affect the appearance of the structure. Either defect can lead to lawsuits. Mann defines a defect in legal terms as a building code violation, a violation of a community's standard of care or a violation of manufacturer's recommendation. The most common defects, according to the book, occur in the following places: soils and foundations; civil engineering and site drainage; framing; plumbing; waterproofing and building envelope; drywall installation; and exterior plaster systems. In addition to offering builders a primer on when and why construction defect lawsuits happen, the chapters offer guidelines, protocols and checklist to help tackle problems.