How to Make Friends with your Inspector
Why being on good terms with inspectors is good for your renovation
The job of a city inspector is to ensure that your contractor is building everything according to the building code, and doing so safely.
An inspector will examine the renovation drawings and verify that your contractor is building exactly what has been planned without cutting any corners or taking any shortcuts. An inspector is trained to follow the letter of the law, so circumventing any part of the code will not only prevent you from getting ahead, it will put you behind.
So, how do you stay behind the line, give inspectors what they’re are looking for, and stay on good terms? Focus Construction has these tips:
- Do not deviate from your official plans.
- If there happens to be a change to your renovation, register it with the city and get the drawings updated and stamped
- Be logical.
- An inspector adheres strictly to the code, but there is always some wiggle room for interpretation. As long as you or your contractor can explain why it was done that way and how it still follows the law, then the inspector will normally accept it.
- Be civil and friendly
- Understand that inspectors have a difficult job, and sometimes hear their fair share of grief from aggressive workers and building owners.
- Treat the inspector with respect and have some coffee, donuts or other snacks available. It will go over well with them and anyone else working on site.
- Pay attention and take notes
- Upon inspection, bring a notepad and write down all of the inspector’s concerns so that they know that you are paying attention, and care about what they’re telling you.
- Once you have the report from the inspector, address all of their concerns as soon as you can. Provide them with photos, letters from the engineer, or whatever else they requested in order to get their approval.
But what happens if an inspector does not agree with you or is being difficult?
Unfortunately, this happens from time to time. Should it happen to you, it is very important to have a friendly engineer in your rolodex to call when this issue arises.
Keep in mind that part of the liability on a renovation is put on the building inspector, so they always want to make sure that upgrades, additions or other renovations are built properly.
To avoid this problem, provide the inspector with a stamped letter from the engineer. This passes the liability to the engineer, which usually results in the inspector backing off.
If you follow these simple steps, there’s no need to worry when the inspector comes calling to your home to review your renovation!
Are you still deciding on your renovation? Reach out to Focus Construction for a free, Covid-friendly, 30-minute consultation!