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Labor shortage plays part in rise in Florida construction defect claims

Those who pay attention to news about the national construction industry and the industry here in Florida know that despite the so-called boom in the building business, it is also an industry plagued with an ongoing labor shortage. Developers, general contractors and subcontractors are in many cases unwilling to slow down the pace and take fewer jobs, reluctant to pass up enormous profits available during healthy economic cycles.

But the shortages are linked by many in the industry to the surge in construction defect claims. A recent article on the subject stated that there were just 31 construction defect claims here in Florida back in 2008. A decade later, the figure was at nearly 1,000.

The figures should serve as a wake-up call to contractors and developers in our state. They need to find not only more workers, but more importantly, they need to find more suitable men and women who can be trained in the industry and develop much-needed skills that are key to improving quality.

Of course, there are also other factors driving the number of construction defect claims ever higher, including issues with substandard materials and rushed plans in which flaws are either not noticed or are simply dismissed as unimportant.

Many inside the industry acknowledge the rising defect claims and point to reluctance among some builders to invest the time and money needed to properly train and educate new employees. The lack of skills among workers is especially evident in defects such as crumbling foundations and shifting soils, improperly installed windows and flashing, improperly installed thermal protection and the wide variety of defects that allow water intrusion and the onset of toxic mold.

If your condominium association is confronting construction defects, contact a law firm experienced in protecting condo owners and their investments.

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