Construction Contract Dispute and Claim Handbook Division 2, Existing Conditions
It’s amazing how much can remain hidden behind walls, inside crawl spaces, and below grade. These are just some of the unknowns encountered when approaching a project that has Existing Conditions that need to be reconciled before construction can follow. It’s especially important to address Existing Conditions in the scope of work, or otherwise in the contract documents, premobilization, or before they become a bone of contention.
On a good day, a prospective owner knows enough to retain an inspector(s) in order to conduct a detailed inspection and prepare a comprehensive report of known defects in the presale, or rather, that a passable inspection is a condition of the sale. Such inspectors must be licensed for private homes, but not so otherwise, e.g. commercial buildings. Even so, a license in no way guarantees or indemnifies the owner against oversights.