Construction Woes: The 5 Most Common Building Defects

It’s 2023, and you would think every new Victorian build would go exactly to plan. But when you combine a tight schedule with an over-extended supervisor it  should come as no surprise that there will be defects.

But this comes as little reassurance to the property owner, who wants nothing more than to see their dream home built, or for something amazing to be leased out to the right tenant.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and therefore it is important for property owners to have the best legal representation in their corner should their dream home turn into a nightmare.

Here are the five most common building defects to look out for as a homeowner:

1. Fabric cover

One of the first things the best construction lawyer will tell you to look out for is fabric cover. It is a building requirement that all fabric or steel work used for concrete structural integrity will be a certain distance from the surface or edge.

This standard was implemented to ensure that the risk of concrete cancer is mitigated. It often occurs that steel work is hard against boxing before being poured. When this occurs, it is imperative that the work completed is rectified to inhibit any further structural damage.

2. There is damaged or missing membrane

 The membrane placed under the slab must run the slab’s full extent and run up the sides. Although this isn’t the worst defect a property can experience, it does, in fact, increase the chances of moisture entering the slab which then can cause further slab deterioration.

3. Frame overhanging

The timber framing that supports the entire structure must be completely supported across the whole length of the structure. However, the frame may be unsupported as the slab has set issues.

4. The diagonal bracing is problematic

The frame may be incredibly flexible but this means climatic elements can also make it defective. There are numerous items found within the frame which are essential to making it durable.

Diagonal bracing is one such imperative aspect and it must be correctly installed, and this is especially in regard to its fixing angle, number of nails used and locational setting. If braces are being installed at the wrong angle it can cause all kinds of structural faults, so this is something that needs urgent rectification if found to be defective.

5. The nailing off phase was incomplete

Another thing that really shouldn’t happen but occasionally does is incomplete nailing off. There are numerous items that are essential to ensuring the structure’s longevity and this includes the proper installation of essential elements during the framing process.

This includes blocks, noggins, studs and plates, with all timber aspects requiring the right diameter, length and number to be used when installing this aspect.

If any of these aspects are incorrectly installed to the proper standards then the frame is at risk of not working in correct cohesion. There are literally thousands of connections that require thorough connection during this stage of building, so it is not something that should be overlooked as shoddy work in this period can lead to all kinds of future structural problems.

Contact a building lawyer if the builder is not cooperating

It is a builder’s obligation to fix any errors they made throughout the construction phase. Therefore, if they are not cooperating with your requests to rectify an issue, it is best to contact a building lawyer to ensure you get the best possible result from what can be a tiring hassle!

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