I'm an engineer and building consultant. When I get a call from a lawyer about a construction problem, it's usually not a good situation for either the homeowner or the builder.

One recent case was no exception: The state building inspector had already noted several deficiencies that the builder had failed to correct by the time I arrived on site. While I wasn't too worried about the use of finger-jointed studs (the original cause of the homeowner's concern about the quality of the job), I noticed other problems — studs...

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