You can not escape building codes. Municipalities adopt minimum construction standards that are designed to protect homeowners from disciplinary construction techniques and to ensure structural integrity. It can seem sometimes as if the local building authority is out to get you through the inspection procedure. Inspections typically adhere to each phase of construction. Part of your job might pass inspection, while the inspector can flag other areas for correction.
Anytime you build a new structure or change an existing structure, you have to receive a building permit from the local housing authority. Besides paying a fee, you have to submit a set of plans. If the building authority finds that the programs comply with local building codes, then you get your permit. In addition to the permit, you will obtain an inspection schedule that specifies what phases of this job should pass inspection before you can proceed.
What the Inspector Looks For
After completing a phase of construction, you have to call for a review. It is almost always a good idea to be present on the work site when the inspector arrives. If the inspector doesn’t possess a copy of the building plans you filed, he’ll request a copy from you. As he walks through the project, he compares the program’s engineered specs to what you’ve assembled so far. If any part of your job does not meet the engineer’s criteria, the building inspector will give you a “fix list” before he leaves.
When Part of this Inspection Does Not Pass
Before you can continue, you need to correct the things on the fix list. For instance, if the inspector is checking foundation forms before giving you the green light to pour concrete, then he’ll measure the dimensions inside the forms to ensure that the walls will be thick enough. He also will check the quantity of steel reinforcement you’ve added, as well as the base’s projected elevation. In case you haven’t met building codes for any of these problems, the inspector will notice that on the fix list.
After complying with the inspector’s requests, you have to call and schedule an alternate inspection. You might not get exactly the identical vaccine twice in a row, and you need to present your fix list. The inspector will analyze your corrections. If the project now meets code, he’ll sign off on the review, which will permit you to proceed with construction. If something is still somewhat off or when the second inspector discovers something that the first inspector overlooked, you could obtain another fix list.
The best way to minimize construction delays because of failed inspections is to meticulously “build to the programs.” For instance, if the engineer specifies hurricane clips on framing links, do not leave them off, and do not use more than what’s known for. Never move to the next stage prior to the inspector passes that the previous stage. You could be fined, or the building jurisdiction could make you tear out part of this project and redo it.