Litigation in the Technology and Construction Court

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Defects claims

General nature of a defects claim

6.1 Conceptually, defects claims are very wide-ranging indeed. To the layman, a ‘defect’ will usually comprise some physical deficiency in the completed works, such as a leaking roof, or ill-fitting floorboards. Conversely, there may be nothing physically wrong with a structure, yet it is still ‘defective’ – for example, a building which is watertight yet has been finished in the wrong render (contrary to an agreed specification), or a door which has been painted in the wrong colour (against an employer’s instructions). Some buildings may exhibit signs of physical ‘defects’ which are not in fact attributable to any underlying breach, the classic example being shrinkage cracks in a large concrete slab, which generally speaking are unavoidable.

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