Families, friends, colleagues – these relationships require time and effort, and part of that effort is communication. Successfully planning a family celebration, a trip with friends, or a work initiative starts with open communication and respectful relationships. Working effectively with people involves sharing information and getting their input on key topics and issues. Nowhere is this truer than the relationship between construction companies and inspectors. Nothing shows this better than a true story.
Let’s paint the scene. LandSouth is ready to kick off an exciting new development, one with several challenges and opportunities. Our project manager is setting the timeline and putting everything in place. He has identified and hired the key subcontractors and the project team is ready to roll. Looking at the plan, the project manager has identified all areas that will require inspections, and success will depend upon timely inspections and, more importantly, passing those inspections.
Our superintendent has been down this road before and knows what it takes to build a mutually beneficial relationship with inspectors. Working together, they can deliver a safe, desirable place people can call home. It’s part of every job and the superintendent must know the steps to get started. LandSouth takes the following path to optimize their relationships with inspectors, benefitting everyone involved.
First step, find out who the inspector is. Is it one person or several? Are they working for the local government or hired by the developer? What projects have they inspected? Knowing these details will help a project manager establish the relationship from the beginning.
Next, give the inspector a call. Reach out personally and talk with them. Inspectors are professionals with knowledge and experience they are usually willing to share. Treat them like a partner. The relationship shouldn’t be adversarial. Inspectors want projects to go smoothly. Try to get a read on their attitude and approach to their job. Are they positive and optimistic, willing to share ideas and insight? The more the superintendent knows about the inspector, the better they can prepare and achieve a positive working relationship. Enjoy a simple conversation, providing them basic information about the project to make their job a little easier.
Invite them to the site at the start of the project. Chances are the inspector is from the area. They likely know potential pitfalls or issues that arise with local building projects. Walk the site with them. Find out their schedule and schedule inspections in advance. Inspections play a critical part in a builder’s timeline. Share the project timeline and find out the times it would be convenient and useful for the inspector to visit. Coordinating inspections to best fit both the schedules of the builder and the inspectors will help everyone and probably lead to a stronger working relationship.
Communication shouldn’t stop after the initial calls and visits. Keep the communications going. Our superintendent understands how important it is to keep the inspector in the loop, sending regular updates and communications. Welcome them to make visits to the site when their time allows. Find out what they are looking for. Transparency helps them know that the construction company isn’t trying to hide things or take shortcuts. These regular touchpoints strengthen the relationship and make it easier to address issues that may arise. Instead of the construction company rushing to fix something, the inspector can offer their advice of best ways to proceed.
There are numerous benefits of strong relationships with inspectors, like:
- Opportunities to learn. Inspectors are often eager to share their experience. Treat them like the experts they are and welcome the chance to learn from them. It will pay dividends on current and future jobs.
- Inspectors act as a sounding a board for questions. If a challenge arises, the inspector is now a friendly expert the superintendent can contact.
- Flexibility with the schedule. The unexpected can, and likely will, happen with every project. This can cause delays or additional work. A good working relationship with an inspector could mean a few extra days to address an issue before the inspection. An inspector who is a trusted partner is much more willing to adapt their schedule.
- Working together towards common goals. Construction companies and inspectors ultimately want to deliver the same thing – well-built, safe developments that people can proudly call home. Teamwork and communications help make that happen.
Back to our original superintendent, who took the time and developed a strong working relationship with their new inspector, built on trust and honest, open communications. There were challenges with the project but also the chance to deliver something amazing. Partnering with the inspector and utilizing their expertise, LandSouth Construction delivered something extraordinary. A strong relationship with the inspectors was a significant reason for the success of JTB Apartments. Learn more about this groundbreaking development.
ABOUT LANDSOUTH CONSTRUCTION…BUILDING IDEAS
LandSouth Construction, the Southeast’s premier general contractor, specializing in multifamily, senior living, and mixed-use development, was named one of Engineering News Record’s Top 400. Since 1998, LandSouth has transformed ideas into best–in–class communities. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. LandSouth has completed more than 25,000 multifamily units. For more information, call LandSouth’s Marketing Coordinator, Kaley Robinson, (904) 760-3188, or visit www.landsouth.com