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Building Envelope Repairs: Complete Removal & Replacement vs. Perimeter & Penetration

August 25, 2020

In a litigated construction defect setting, expert witnesses may recommend repairs to certain building envelope configurations at all locations where they may exist (e.g. all trim at window heads on a project). If such recommendations are made, some retained cost experts often only provide one cost estimate to completely remove and replace the entire system without considering reasonable and cost-effective means and methods for selective repairs.

There are instances when removing and replacing the entire cladding system or moisture management system is necessary to accomplish recommended repairs, and other instances where complete replacement of a building envelope system is the more-economical decision. However, selective repairs can frequently correct many of the most commonly cited construction defects.

Example: Horizontal Trim

For instance, isolated conditions of trim and siding near windows and doors can commonly be repaired with simple, sensible demolition in select areas.

In the example below, the conditions at-issue involved a) clearance of the trim to the flashing and b) the slope of the flashing. Both of these issues affect the drainage path of incidental moisture that inevitably enters the system. The recommended construction defect repair can be accomplished without removing any of the surrounding siding.

Exemplar Selective Repair at Horizontal Trim Flashing

Example: Vertical Trim

Even in conjunction with other repairs, selective repairs are often more cost-effective and less intrusive than complete replacement.

The animation below shows another commonly cited construction defect: missing backer rod and sealant where the window butts against trim. As shown again, the missing backer rod can be incorporated by replacing the existing trim while leaving a sufficient gap; backer rod and sealant can then be installed as usual.

Exemplar Selective Repair at Vertical Trim Joint

These simple and cost-effective methods correct what may otherwise be an expensive repair scope while saving on the cost and time of repair and preventing unnecessary waste of otherwise perfectly good siding. These simple principles can similarly be applied to other commonly cited defects to mitigate damages.

How Can VERTEX Help?

When evaluating reasonable repair scopes and providing expert opinions regarding the cost to repair the same in litigated construction matters, VERTEX considers various construction means and methods to provide defendable itemized estimates that represent reasonable and fair market value. VERTEX can also testify and prepare illustrative demonstratives like the above when beneficial for reference in a litigated or educational setting.

To learn more about VERTEX’s Forensic Cost Engineering services or to speak with an Engineering Expert, call 888.298.5162 or submit an inquiry.

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