There are two types of measurements of interest; namely, as-built and design.
As-built measurements are the most critical for subrogation. Regardless of the type of damage, it is critical that measurements be taken before demolition and reconstruction.
-fire damage involving a fireplace allegedly defectively designed or constructed. Measurements are needed of the entire area, since the subrogation investigation will be analyzing the origin and cause of the fire. Once the fireplace is demolished and rebuilt, those measurements are no longer possible.
-water damage involving a water filtration system. Tale measurements of the under-sink cabinet, location of all parts of the system, and lines under the sink. It is also a good idea to test the water pressure to the property with the filter system still in place.
-construction defect involving leaking windows. Take measurements of the wall in which the window is located, as well as measurements of exemplar windows.
Design drawings and measurements are available from the manufacturer and/or builder. Since these are not under your control, they can be obtained later.
Should you take “as built” measurements on all cases? There is a cost associated with the “as-built” measurements. However, if you take measurements on those cases in which you anticipate subrogation, the increase in subro recoveries should more than offset the costs. This will be true even if some of the cases in which you take measurements end up in no subro recovery.
The reason for both sets of measurements is that the product/building may have been built differently than it was designed. This may be the key to your subrogation recovery.
1. Hire the appropriate expert/contractor to take measurements of the scene as early as possible, and prior to demolition,
2. Instruct the expert to discuss with you and/or your subrogation counsel what “interested parties” to give notice to, for inspection of the scene before evidence is removed, and
3. Instruct the expert to retain evidence.