The supply shortage is forcing contractors to seek out alternatives to get the job done, but if they aren’t careful, those substitutions could become costly mistakes.

In this Legal Insights, WC Publisher Jill Bloom and Trent Cotney, partner at Adams and Reese, discuss how certain substandard products used in place of approved materials are leading to an increase in defect claims in the construction industry.

“It’s just important to know what product you’re buying and stick to the products you know,” Cotney said. “Make sure that whatever product you use has got the required standards and has met the qualifications in order to be used for your project.”

Cotney gives examples of the common product types to avoid and where they can be found. He warns that, as much as contractors want to meet deadlines, taking a delay is better than facing a lawsuit.

The conversation also dives into the new independent contractor rulemaking from the Department of Labor that will likely make classifying subcontractors as independent contractors more difficult. The current final rule was issued by the previous administration, but was delayed and then withdrawn by the department in May 2021.

“Subcontract work is almost a necessity in certain markets because you can’t find enough skilled labor to do work,” said Cotney.

Watch the full video here, or visit our podcast page to download the audio version.