In Common Construction Defects, expert witness Pete Fowler describes how substandard construction during Southern California’s 1980s building boom has created a construction defect litigation “industry.” As a construction expert witness, Fowler commonly sees problems with diaphragms and shear walls. He writes:
Failure to follow the nailing requirements for shear walls and diaphragms is a common defect. Many builders temporarily set the plywood in place with a few hand-driven nails, then return later to finish the nailing with a gun. Unfortunately, we sometimes find that the second step in the process has been forgotten and the finish materials are installed over inadequately attached plywood. Another typical mistake is the substitution of box nails or sinkers for the specified common nails, or use of a smaller size nail.
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