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Since the early 1990s, the Southern California building industry has been engulfed in a bitter fight. Spawned by substandard construction during the region's 1980s building boom, construction defect litigation has become a fullfledged "industry," with many architects, engineers, and former building contractors now working full time at construction defect consulting. Attorneys, acting as advocates for homeowners, hire these experts in the effort to prove that shoddy workmanship is causing new homes to rapidly deteriorate. Meanwhile, the home building industry, put on the defensive, is claiming that the real problem is unscrupulous attorneys who are feeding off the media coverage and exploiting the legal system. The reality is probably somewhere in between. Regardless, residential construction in Southern California has never Common Construction Defects by