Construction Law guide to defects provisions in construction contracts (2017) 28 10 Cons.Law 14 [Archived]
Construction Law guide to defects provisions in construction contracts (2017) 28 10 Cons.Law 14 [Archived]

The following Construction guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Construction Law guide to defects provisions in construction contracts (2017) 28 10 Cons.Law 14 [Archived]
  • Patent v latent defects
  • Remedies for defects—patent defects
  • Remedies for defects—latent defects
  • Treatment of defects under JCT contracts
  • Treatment of defects under NEC contracts
  • Treatment of defects in EPC contracts

ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained.

This article appears as originally published in Construction Law on 1 December 2017 and is not maintained.

Sarah Nunnery-Jones of DLA Piper continues our Construction Law Guides series with a look at defects provisions in the main contract forms.

Anyone working within the construction industry cannot fail to appreciate that defects are an (inevitable) part of any construction project. It is therefore of particular importance that the contracts governing the works include effective provisions for dealing with any defects that arise following completion.

This month's guide will discuss the types of defect that may occur following completion of a construction contract, consider the relevance of creating a distinction between certain types of defects and look at how commonly used industry standard form contracts provide for defects to be rectified.

Patent v latent defects

A defect has been defined as anything which renders the completed project unfit for the use for which it was intended, when used in a reasonable way and with reasonable care.

Construction law creates a distinction between two different types of defects, these being patent defects and latent defects.

So, what is the difference between a patent defect and a latent defect and why is it important?

A patent defect is one that is detectable either at completion of the works or