Building Codes Set the Performance Threshold for Construction Disputes
For every construction job, there is something called a “performance threshold” that sets the limits and standards for acceptability. And where a performance does not meet this threshold, the stage is set for contention.
Within the construction field, commercial building codes are the guidelines that define acceptable, or threshold, standards. The International Residential Code (IRC) is widely recognized as the authoritative standard and source of information for residential building methods. It is updated and published every three years and readily available to both professionals and consumers.
In Virginia, “The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) contains the building regulations that must be complied with when constructing a new building, structure or an addition to an existing building. They must also be used when maintaining or repairing an existing building or renovating or changing the use of a building or structure.” (Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.) Other codes, like the National Electric Code (NEC) are also used to set standards.
Fault Must Be Proven
When a homeowner believes there is fault on the part of the contractor they hired, they must prove an error in order to win their case. Likewise, a contractor must prove that their work, materials, or method of construction are of acceptable standards in order to avoid liability.
Either party can hire an independent inspector, like Först Consulting Group to build their case; however, the same expert cannot be used by both sides in a dispute.
When we’re called in, our Först inspector refers to the code books as a guideline to determine the standards of work, using its definitions in our visual inspection and the thorough reports we provide. These comprehensive reports, citing code violations, are then used in a court of law or by attorneys or mediators as expert proof as to any errors in construction. They can also be used to prove that standards are indeed acceptable, as a defense for the contractor.
If errors are found, Först generates a deficiencies report, which is provided to the hiring party (homeowner, attorney or insurance company) and the county officials in which the residence is located. It contains a complete listing of findings, along with supporting photographs and corroborating proof, along with estimated costs to repair or remediate.
Let Först Consulting Group Assist With Your Construction Dispute
You shouldn’t go it alone when there is a construction dispute. You will need an expert on your side to assist you in preparing your case, providing proof, and testifying on your behalf before a courtroom, if needed. Your home is too important an asset.
If you suspect a construction error, or need defense or litigation support, contact Först Consulting Group.