Can I avoid real estate litigation with inspections?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2022 | Real estate litigation |

When you buy a residential or commercial building, you have it inspected, right? It is just a standard part of purchasing pre-existing real estate in Ohio because you do not want to overpay or buy a dilapidated property. However, some do not have the same mindset for new construction projects, especially those that they completely hand off to a general contractor or other construction manager.

The importance of independent inspections

Regardless of the perceived quality of new construction, or the reputation of your builder or general contractor, inspections should be scheduled throughout the build, from the very beginning (the drafting and design stage). These inspections should also be done by independent third parties and not affiliated with anyone involved in the construction process. In rural areas, this could become challenging. But, it is worth the effort to find someone without a conflict of interest that could give you bad reports.

What if I am the general contractor?

Even if you are a construction expert and function as your own general contractor, you should still have independent inspections done. Why? Because you are there every day, which means you may miss things you would not miss if you were not there all the time. Plus, have a neutral pair of eyes can give you confidence that everything is up-to-code before government inspections to avoid costly work stoppages.

What are common construction defects?

There can be defects beginning at design and worksite preparation, like a defective architectural design. Construction defects can occur because your GC is not appropriately supervising their workers or contractors. Or, they are not planning the stages of construction, which causes delays or rushed, low-quality work.

Design and subsurface deficiencies

At the beginning of the process, you have the designs created by architects and engineers. These should be inspected prior to use. This will ensure that you have the appropriate drainage, structural support, etc. Similarly, before work begins, there will be subsurface preparations done to ensure your foundation has the appropriate supports, in addition to needed drain grading and flood mitigation. This requires inspections as well.

Material and workmanship deficiencies

Once the designs are done and the land prepared, go over your expected building materials. If needed, have your inspector or an expert help select the materials. If not possible, make sure the materials are inspected prior to usage. Then, periodically, the worksite should be inspected prior to allowing additional draws. If done correctly, these inspections can help avoid real estate litigation later.