Some construction defects pose a real threat to property owners. They often come with obvious signs.
A roof leaks, causing dangerous rot in the home's beams. A foundation cracks, making the house settle unevenly. Electrical wiring is not properly done in boxes, leading to an electrical fire.
A lot of serious defects will not pass inspection. But what about minor issues? These complications may not put you in danger, but they certainly catch your eye when you walk through the new property.
These are known as passive defects. Even though your new home or business may pass inspection, and even though it does not put you at risk, that does not mean it is up to your standards. These defects can lead to conflicts and disagreements when you and the contractor do not see eye-to-eye.
Many times, these passive defects just come back to poor workmanship. You expected the company to do a professional job and provide professional results, and it looks like whoever built the space was on his or her first day on the job.
The crown molding wasn't cut properly, so all of the joints do not match. The chair rails are sagging, and putting a level on them makes the issue even more obvious. You wanted eight recessed lights in the kitchen, but you only got four; workers forgot the other four. The bathtub was not properly set in mortar in the bathroom, so workers had to cut the tile at an angle to match.
Just walking through, you can see that the craftsmanship isn't up to your standards. You paid a premium for this building, but it looks like you could have done a better job yourself.
The builder may argue that passive defects do not pose a real problem. There's no harm in having fewer lights in the kitchen or having bathroom tiles that are not perfectly level.
That may be true physically, but it's not true financially. You can absolutely suffer harm. You feel like it's a second-rate building when you walk through it. Anyone else is going to feel the same way. That's going to make it massively harder to sell. Your resale value takes an immediate hit. You haven't even moved in and you're already losing money.
It you fix the issues out of your own pocket, that is more money lost. You must pay to do the job twice. If you do not fix them, they can have a negative impact on the functionality of the house and your enjoyment in living there.
No matter what way you turn, these passive defects are a problem, and you need to know all of the options you have.