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4 ways to hold a subcontractor liable for a construction defect

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2023 | Construction Contracts

Construction projects require an intricate balance of expertise, careful planning and meticulous execution. Despite the best efforts, construction defects can still occur, impacting both the project’s timeline and the developer’s reputation. When a subcontractor is liable for these defects, it is important for the property developer to manage the situation effectively.

Property developers in Texas face unique challenges due to the state’s diverse building codes and environmental considerations. It is helpful for property developers to know strategies they can adopt when dealing with a subcontractor responsible for a construction defect.

1. Document the defect and notify the subcontractor

The first step is identifying and documenting the defect thoroughly. Photographs, inspection reports and expert evaluations can serve as crucial evidence of the defect. Once documented, the developer should notify the subcontractor of the defect promptly. This notification should include a clear description of the defect and the expectations for rectification.

2. Seek rectification or replacement

In many instances, the subcontractor should rectify the defect without additional cost to the developer. However, if the subcontractor fails to fix the problem or if the defect is severe, the developer may need to hire a different subcontractor to complete the work. The developer could potentially recover the cost of this new work from the original subcontractor.

3. Use surety bonds

Many construction contracts require subcontractors to provide surety bonds. These bonds act as a form of insurance that guarantees the subcontractor will fulfill their contractual obligations. If a subcontractor is liable for a construction defect, the developer may make a claim on the bond to cover the costs of rectification.

4. Explore alternative dispute resolution

If a dispute arises over the construction defect, alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration could help. These methods are less adversarial than court proceedings and can help preserve business relationships while resolving the issue efficiently.

Dealing with a subcontractor liable for a construction defect requires a balanced approach. Following these steps can help ensure that the project gets back on track with minimal disruption and cost.