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Construction defects in new condos more common than you think

The Florida condominium boom is showing no signs of slowing down. Brand new buildings are popping up in cities across the Gulf Coast and beyond, like orange blossoms blooming in the spring.

Some areas, including Sarasota, are attracting multimillionaires and billionaires with ultra high-end condo projects. But the promise of a sleek, luxurious condo community doesn't always become reality. What is often to blame? Construction defects.

Construction defects in new condos

When you're spending a lot of money, you expect a well-built, near-flawless condominium without the need for additional construction and repairs. Yet in a survey by the Community Associations Institute, 57.3% of respondents said they'd found a construction deficiency in a brand new condominium. That was the highest percentage among all types of construction projects. For comparison, 17.7% reported deficiencies discovered in a townhome, while 9.5% reported issues in a single-family home.

This could include construction issues and poor workmanship, architectural and design flaws, or even the use of poor materials - leading to problems later.

It can take a long time to uncover issues

The survey also asked communities about how long it took to discover a deficiency. Nearly half of respondents - 47% - said they found the problem only after the warranty period had expired. This underscores the importance of crafting a good contract upfront, potentially with the help of a lawyer, one that allows as much flexibility as possible to account for problems discovered down the line.

In addition, even if property owners discovered a construction defect within the warranty period, more than 60% of the time it took at least a year to recover damages. It regularly took much longer, and without a guarantee the problem would be fully covered. About 34% of respondents said the damages they recovered were not actually sufficient for the needed repairs.

It's your investment, your property and your money. The value of a condominium can take a significant hit due to problematic construction defects. It's important to know the rights available to you as part of your contract and under the law - including how you may be able to pursue compensation for damages.

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