In today’s world nearly every building project requires some type of building permit. Which means you will have to call or visit the local building department to obtain all the required information and forms to get a building permit. Good news is in actually getting a permit you are now at least a passive green builder. This will usually be your first introduction to the main building inspector and you can begin to glean information from them, and also to see how the office operates. Your Building Inspector
It’s here that you’ll also begin to learn that contrary to popular belief the building inspectors job is not to help the property owner ,the builder, or you. Their job is to enforce the state or local approved building standards ( Building Code) no matter how long it takes you or how much it will cost you. For many people especially do-it-yourselfers it will become clear that just pounding a few nails just won’t get it done will the building inspector. And your project won’t be done until they say so and sign the final inspection. I think you can get the point of my article is the importance of getting the inspector to sign off on your project and that no two building inspectors are the same.
Knowing that there are no college programs to train building inspectors you can be certain that every inspector has had some other job before becoming an inspector which means that most of their training came from a previous occupation. Depending what they did previously will give you clues about what they will be looking for, say they were a form guy they will scrutinize the concrete work or if they were a project manager they will be obsessed with the plans, maybe they were a salesman and they are seeking to make some sort of deal (ha ha something to ponder) . But whatever they are looking for it will matter if you want your permit finalized. This is where I think that there is a lot of psychology that goes on in the building industry today which will surely be better understood years from now. Today to there are many professional people who specialize only in getting building permits and they seem to understand this part of the process well and could well be worth the money.
Back to the inspectors , even though the building codes are very specific there are clauses that grant wide leeway to local building officials (Building Inspectors) as to their interpretation of the codes. As much as you would like to think that they could check every screw or nail they cannot. But they can always have somebody else checking it for them and you would never know. That’s why it’s important to know how the office is works and who’ checking what. Even though it is absolutely the responsibility of the builder in charge of the project to make certain that everything conforms to the building code sometimes not even someone who has been there every step of the way and watched every single nail , screw, fastener and connector applied can still miss something. And even if you are positive that you have built everything correctly and according to the codes the building inspector can still say it’s not right and has to be their way. What the building inspectors job originally was supposed be, was they were to check for what could have been missed. Nowadays the building inspectors have evolved into a corps of diversified entities that wield a huge amount of power over a small group of builders and property owners who just want to build and enjoy their castles.