Issues Prevalent in Prefabricated Houses
Many homeowners, including regular readers of this blog, know that newly constructed houses can nevertheless contain defects. However, even a new trend of homebuilding – prefabricated houses – which claims to be a more efficient means to construct a house, can still contain defects. When construction defects are detected, retaining the services of an experienced Florida defective construction attorney is central to ensuring that any cost associated with repairing construction defects is reimbursed from the responsible party. Prefabricated housing is the new trend in new house construction, because it substantially cuts down on construction waste, and, by allowing for the construction of the various aspects of a house at a remote location in a controlled environment, is intended to be more efficient. However, construction defects do nevertheless occur, and if they were made as a result of preventable error, those responsible can be held liable for the costs associated with those defects.
Prefabricated houses are dwellings made of a manufacturing process, off-site and in advance, in which separate pieces of the house are typically shipped, section-by-section, to the job site where they can be easily assembled. Although there is a distinction, prefabricated houses are typically grouped with modular and mobile houses. As a result, legally, in Florida, prefabricated houses are regulated under Florida’s Motor Vehicle Statute.
Construction defects typically comprise any deficiency in the execution or furnishing of the design, planning, supervision, inspection, construction or observation of the construction of any new structure, or an improvement to an existing structure. Construction defects occur in situations in which there is a failure to construct the building in a reasonably workmanlike manner, and, as a result, the edifice fails to perform as reasonably intended by the buyer. Prefabricated houses do, unfortunately, suffer from some of the same types of defects as traditionally constructed houses. Some of the most common construction defects include:
- Issues of structural integrity, such as concrete, masonry and division, carpentry, unstable foundations, etc.;
- Soil expansion;
- Mechanical and/or electrical matters;
- Water intrusion (which can potentially result in toxic mold);
- Thermal and moisture protection;
- Doors, windows, and glass sealing issues; and
Most defects in prefabricated houses, beyond those listed above, arise from the work involved in preparing the site, as well as the installation and setup of the house on the building site. Once the house is built on-site, there is some degree of settling. If the designer and/or contractor have not planned properly, the settling of the house may cause cracks. With regard to the construction of the prefabricated house itself, the failure to ensure that all connections are plumb, not only of the electrical and water connections, but also of the structural meeting points, between the various sections of the house, are potential defects for which the responsible party can be held liable. It is expected that the prefabricated house, when completely constructed, will act according to any traditionally constructed house, and the failure to do so may necessitate a conversation with a construction defects attorney.
Seek Legal Advice
Although a new trend in housing, prefabricated houses nevertheless can suffer from the same issues as the more traditional construction route. If you have noticed a defect in your fabricated house, and are curious about whether someone can be held responsible for the defects, contact an experienced construction law attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. have experience in many aspects of construction law, including claims against prefabricated buildings. Contact our Jupiter office today.