Views From The Expert: How Minor Construction Defects Can Turn Into Major Structural Problems

Guest Post by: Theodore A. Wendland III, AIA
Sr. Forensic Architect – Expert Witness

 These condos were built in 1980, and investigated in 2003. The nominal water intrusion took 23 years to manifest itself in the form of a minor deck surface collapse which alerted the owner to investigate.

Needless to say it was well beyond the ten year statuette of limitations; this was not a restoration that was litigated. This was a 280 unit complex of high end condos, ranging in square footage from 3000 square feet to 6500 square feet.


The repair requirements included, re-framing the deck to current structural engineering codes, replacing guard railings, replacing waterproofing and flashing on the wear surface, replacing stucco and adding fresh air vents at the reconstructed underside of these decks. The decks varied in sizes, but this particular unit cost approximately $6000 to replace.

The overall restoration cost would have been approximately = 280 x $6000 = $1,680,000.


Mr. Wendland has processed his career in the pursuit of excellence and technical expertise integrated with construction management and problem solving. As a forensic architect-expert witness over the past 25 years, these skills have been invaluable in design detailing, and construction restoration building projects.
Theodore A. Wendland III, AIA
Sr. Forensic Architect – Expert Witness –
Disclaimer: JDi Data’s series of ‘Views from the Expert’ blogs provides information and expanded points of interest for our clients and partners.
These are personal blog posts.  The opinions expressed here are the authors’ and not those of JDi Data or any other person.