September 24th, 2017

Construction Defect Investigations

Investigate Construction DefectsThere has been much controversy within the construction industry with respect to "what is a construction defect?" Much of this controversy has proliferated because of the different viewpoints of the parties who are asking the question, and/or making the determination, e.g., builder, developer, contractor, subcontractor, material supplier, product manufacturer, homeowner, homeowners' association, etc. We have noted that construction defect claims within the last 7 years in the Northwest seem to involve moisture intrusion problems and more often than not, a siding product called EIFS (a type of synthetic stucco) is reported as being the culprit.

There is a big difference between a construction defect and a nuisance claim, such as a squeaking floor or conditions resulting from lack of maintenance or normal wear & tear. Construction defects could range from complex foundation and framing issues which threaten the structural integrity of buildings, to aesthetic issues such as improperly painted surfaces and deteriorating wood trim around windows, siding and doors. 

In our past experience we have noted that trial courts have recognized construction defects are tangible and can typically be grouped into the following four major categories:

  1. Design Deficiencies - Sometimes, design professionals, such as architects or engineers, design buildings and systems, which from a performance standpoint, do not always work as intended or specified.
  2. Material Deficiencies - The use of incorrect or poor grade building materials can cause significant problems, such as windows that leak or fail to perform and function adequately, improper or inadequate wrapping of a homes exterior (sheathing) prior to installation of siding, etc.
  3. Construction Deficiencies (Poor Quality or Substandard Workmanship) - Poor quality workmanship often manifests as water intrusion through some portion of the building structure. Cracks in foundations, floor slabs, walls, dry rotting of wood or other building materials, etc.
  4. Subsurface / Geotechnical Problems - Many parts of the country have a significant amount of expansive soil conditions. As a result of this type of terrain, there have been many problems when housing subdivisions and/or developments are built into hills or other sloping areas where it's difficult to provide a solid and/or stable foundation.

Property & casualty loss claim adjuster.No matter which party you are in relation to a construction defect claim: Homeowner, Attorney, Insurance Company or Contractor, our staff of experienced adjusters has the "know how" and experts available to fully investigate any construction defect claim. We acquire photographs, physical samples, claim documentation, copy of contractors job file, interviews etc. We can recommend construction defect experts for invasive testing and defect related analysis and reporting.

Our professionals thoroughly follow a claim from the date it is assigned to its settlement date. Reporting is professional and timely. As needed, we can assist and attend negotiations between parties, legal arbitration, mediations or eventual trial.

We investigate, evaluate, and settle all types of property and casualty claims. This includes personal and commercial auto liability, pip, um/uim, fidelity, general liability including cgl, ho, etc., garage liability, garage keepers legal liability, open lot dealers, inland marine, environmental, product liability, professional E&O, workers' compensation, and property lines including residential, commercial, industrial, church, farm, etc.

Northwest Investigations & Consulting has developed specialized casualty adjusters in our Geographic Region. The principal areas of expertise are:

  • General Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Product Recall
  • Employers’ Liability/Workmens’ Compensation

Our Property & Casualty Claims Management Services include:

Adjusters evaluate your loss
  • Continuous adjudication of any claim, from the initial investigation through settlement
  • Prompt, on-scene accident investigation 24-hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Dedicated technical and legal support in subrogation and recovery
  • Expert testimony and disposition support

Working closely with the concerned parties and legal counsel, our proactive approach to claims management is focused on investigating and resolving those claims that can be settled promptly and efficiently in accordance with the jurisdictional requirements of the loss location and policy.

Thereafter we are concerned with the timely and efficient collection and maintenance of evidence and fact so that more complex or contentious claims can be resolved on the best possible information.

Call now for your free initial consultation.

Northwest Investigations & Consulting, LLC


PO Box 90576
Portland, OR 97290-0576


503-710-4414
503-262-6800 - Fax
PSID #33947