Experts in snagging surveys
What is structural damage?
Structural damage is when the condition of a property has deteriorated beyond normal wear and tear.
Typically this is triggered by natural disasters. But planning errors, incorrect building techniques, wrong building materials or simply progressive ageing can also lead to structural damage.
What is a construction defect?
This term refers to an unfulfilled building contract. A construction defect exists if a contractually agreed target condition or a valid building regulation has not been met.
There are often differences of opinion about this because not everything can be regulated in construction. In case of doubt, the generally accepted rules of the “art of construction” valid in the respective region apply.
Disputes over structural defects and damage to a building
Disagreements almost always arise for the same reasons: the construction projects were not documented or defined incorrectly, annexes to the construction contract are missing, or contain errors (inventory, construction description, floor plans, construction schedule), or the final result was substandard – a botched job.
Abroad, you also have the language barrier. Do you fully understand everything that is written in your Spanish building contract/service specifications? Also, in Spain, anyone can open a trade business. Therefore, from insufficient to top craftsmanship, a broad spectrum of quality can be found, making the market both interesting and confusing.
If the case goes to court, you will need not only a lawyer but also an experienced building expert. They will document the defects and assess the damages incurred (value of the claim). For this reason, professional competence is just as important as detailed knowledge of the law and local building regulations.
That is why it’s important to have a competent loss assessor on your side.
An expert report will determine the causes of any structural damage, the extent of the material damage, who has to assume which liability and what the legal background of the causes is. On the day of the hearing, the experts of the parties involved will be asked about the details.
And the better the expert opinion and cooperation between lawyer and expert, the better the chances of success. In Spain, there are also no specialised civil courts for construction issues. It may well happen that you get a judge who is particularly well-versed in family law, for example. A convincing expert can therefore make a lot of difference. Conversely, shortcomings in the expert opinion will lose you credibility.
bühler & partners: Experts in building damage
25 years of expertise.
Building damage surveyor in Spain since 1996
At bühler & partners, we are primarily active in Andalusia and on the Costa del Sol and we’d love for you to commission us for your project. We also act as mediators in arbitrations concerning building contracts. Memberships to various professional associations certify our status as building experts.
As experts in building damage, we often have to deal with the following:
- Water damage (pool, roof, exterior walls in contact with the ground)
- Fire damage
- Mould damage, moisture in the brickwork
- General building defects
- General arbitration / mediation
- Construction contract law interpretation and adjudication, and execution of work
- Costs and accounting throughout the construction process
- Warranty issues in the event of construction defects
- Real estate law (seller’s duty to notify in case of defects)
- Approval of structures
- Architectural law