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Preventing & Dealing with Construction Defects An Expensive Do-Over!

Many people dream of a place to call their own, and thanks to a rebounding housing market and a birth of new developments under construction, shiny new condominiums await. However, despite the appeal of a new condo development—such as wireless Internet, top-of-the-line appliances, ultramodern fixtures and finishes—often times unforeseen problems arise. These can be leaks, drafts, mechanical problems or even electrical issues.

John E. Shaffer, an associate attorney with the law firm of Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks in Braintree, Massachusetts, whose practice focuses on construction law, contracts and environmental law, represents numerous community associations where he has seen a lot of common area problems develop in new developments: issues with roofs, walls, windows and water infiltration.

“I do see a focus more on what’s inside the unit (the bells and whistles), and the more common areas aren’t getting the scrutiny from potential owners,” he says. “I wouldn’t say it’s rampant and it’s not that people are cutting corners, but less attention is being placed on how things are constructed.”

Ultimately, Shaffer says, the developer is responsible. There are mainly reputable developers throughout New England, but when a developer is not reputable, there are usually both physical as well as fiscal problems.

Henry A. Goodman, a partner with the law firm of Goodman, Shapiro & Lombardi, LLC in Dedham, Massachusetts, says sometimes even reputable developers may have created physical problems due to design defects or less than sterling subcontractors.

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