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Florida's construction boom plagued by construction defects

Construction is booming across Florida. However, construct defect litigation has been on the rise in recent years, and it's predicted to continue that trend in 2019.

While a construction boom is good news for much of the state, driving unemployment even lower and wages higher for many Florida workers, the increase in construction defects has been a notable downside. In 2008, there were only 31 construction defect lawsuits filed in the entire state. But by 2017, that number had ballooned to nearly 1,000.

While many in the construction industry acknowledge that a shortage of skilled workers is an important part of the dramatic increase in construction defect claims, there are other factors at work as well. Efforts to cut costs and increase profits often result in rushed jobs - and shoddy workmanship. Unscrupulous builders sometimes cut corners just to make a buck. And the quality of the materials themselves may be an issue, particularly when there's an imbalance in supply and demand.

Of course, sometimes contractors, developers and subcontractors bite off more than they can chew, agreeing to take on projects that they have little realistic hope of completing on time without hiring cheap, unskilled labor and resorting to subpar materials. In many cases, contractors are also unwilling to slow down their schedules to allow for proper training of novice workers.

The bottom line is that many construction defects are the result of firms overextending themselves in a rush to cash in while the industry is healthy and growing. Customers, owners and associations should use caution when proceeding with construction or repair projects.

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