Many challenges can crop up when working on a construction project. Among these challenges, errors are the last thing that contractors or project owners want to face. Yet, they are not uncommon as you navigate the process.
Design errors or mistakes are one such issue that can result in serious construction disputes and delays. It is important to determine who is liable when it comes to defects and design errors.
So, who is responsible for design errors?
Many might assume the architect – or the person who created the project design – is responsible for design errors. That is not necessarily true.
Architects might indeed be responsible for an error or omission in certain cases. However, liability may also fall to:
- The project owner
- The contractor or subcontractors
- Engineers or other third parties involved
Responsibility might span across more than one party as well. Determining the origin of the error will help determine liability. The project owner is often the one funding the project overall, but who pays to fix the error will depend on the details of the project. Regardless, generally the contractor must highlight the changes required to repair the error in a change order request.
But you must consider the factors of the situation
As it is with the majority of construction issues, the answer to who is responsible often depends on various factors, including, but not limited to:
- The details of the contract
- The process of the project
- The source of the error
The terms of liability are different for all of the parties involved in a project – and they often change depending on the details of the project as well. In these cases, it is often critical to seek legal guidance before moving forward to mitigate the impact on the project and avoid an escalating dispute.