Building inspector

What is a building inspector?

A building inspector is a government employee who reviews plans and visits construction sites to ensure all local and national building codes and regulations are being met. The building inspector, for example, will look at the wiring, HVAC system, foundation, roof, siding, garage, plumbing, and any electrical equipment. If the project does not meet the standards, the building inspector can shut it down.

Deeper definition

A building inspector may oversee the construction of any type of building or infrastructure, including homes, businesses, office buildings, highways, bridges, dams and sewer systems. In addition to inspecting building sites, a building inspector may have other responsibilities, including:

  • Inspecting a structure after it is damaged by fire or natural disaster.
  • Ensuring repairs to buildings and infrastructure are being performed correctly.
  • Making official notes about a new structure.
  • Assessing the condition of a home or business for occupancy.
  • Ensuring structures are not vulnerable to natural disaster.
  • Checking for sprinklers, fire exits, fire alarms and other fire-safety necessities.
  • Looking over plans and blueprints to ensure they meet local regulations, such as building height or environmental demands.
  • Communicating with the supervisor of a construction project to ensure necessary changes are met.
  • Visiting a construction site during each phase of building.

Some building inspectors specialize in certain areas, such as electricity or plumbing, or assessing the impact a structure will have on the environment.

Building inspectors typically work quickly to ensure they do not slow down progress on the construction of a building. If they find something wrong, they must first notify the supervisor of the building project. If the construction is not brought up to standards, the building inspector can stop the project completely.

Building inspector example

In many municipalities, if you want to add on to your home, you must invite a building inspector to the site to ensure you are in compliance with all local regulations. The inspector may visit on multiple occasions to check things like the floor and ceiling joists, the grade and spacing of roof timber, the thermal insulation of the room, fire safety, and staircases.

If you are thinking of adding on, improving, or doing construction on your home, find out whether you qualify for a home improvement loan.

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