NAHB Looks at Structural Liability Claims

Originally published by: NAHBApril 9, 2012

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We wanted to alert our readers to a newly published article by NAHB that provides  advice to builders on the causes of, and ways to avoid, structural liability claims. The article, "Lessons Learned From 10,000 Structural Claims," was developed from a presentation that was given to the NAHB Building Product Issues Committee last September by its author, Walt Keaveny, MS, PE, PG. Keaveny notes that 25% of all U.S. homes will experience some structural distress over their lifetime, and that 5% will experience major structural difficulties. Some 80% of structural claims are caused by movement of the foundation that is due to movement of underlying soils.

The remaining 20% are caused by framing-related deficiencies. While many small builders may not have had the unpleasant experience of having to deal with a structural claim, it's important to not underestimate this potential liability. Keaveny does an outstanding job of outlining exactly what a builder's real structural liabilities are and what can be done to manage them, explaining when geotechnical investigation might be necessary and the importance of building to essential code standards that are specific to the home site. Read more about this important subject here (note: requires NAHB member login).

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