Construction projects will always require inspections. They are necessary for the safety, consistency, and reliability of a project. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anxiety. At LandSouth, it’s our responsibility as the general contractor to make sure every project passes inspection at each key step – whether it’s the ground where the development will reside, the framing, or the electrical and plumbing, just to name a few. Every element is important. After all, someday people will call the projects we build “home”. Inspectors help us make this happen. So, let’s dive a little deeper into who the inspector or inspectors are and the responsibilities they hold. Time to meet your friendly neighborhood inspector.
Inspectors are key partners in the construction process. They are not there to intentionally slow down a project. They are fundamental to helping us deliver the highest quality developments, and they work with us from dirt all the way to completion. Inspectors are responsible for confirming that everything is up to code. Nothing can progress until the inspector gives the official thumbs up. So, what do they inspect? Here are a few examples:
- • Site work (soil testing and compaction)
- • Underground connections
- • Concrete Slabs
- • Framing
- • Electrical
- • Plumbing
- • HVAC
Who does the inspector represent? It can vary, but normally it is the local municipality– the city, the county, the local government. Developers and owners may hire them independently. Sometimes the local government employs inspectors directly, and sometimes they’re third-party contractors. Regardless, every inspector is committed to ensuring every development meets local build standards and requirements – as are the construction companies. Everyone must work together.
Projects have schedules and timelines. Inspectors have schedules and commitments. The real challenge is merging these schedules, timelines, and commitments so deadlines are met. One missed appointment, one delayed inspection, and especially one failed inspection can throw off all timelines.
Expectations and deliverables also come into play. Inspectors know what they are looking for. Plus, they may know specific issues that can occur in a local area. General contractors need to deliver and this insider information can prove incredibly useful. Inspectors should be viewed as a fountain of knowledge.
How can construction companies tap into all of this? Strong inspector relationships can lead to a smoother construction process that sticks to the timeline and delivers or exceeds developer expectations. How can a project team build these strong relationships with their inspectors? The keys are communication and relationship building.
Consistent, upfront, ongoing communication often leads to strong relationships. Solid relationships usually make communication easier and more likely to occur. Can you have a good working relationship with an inspector prior to the establishment of consistent, open communications? Can those relationships only develop over time through ongoing communications? Is it important to have strong relationships with inspectors? Think about the control and influencer of inspectors. The real question is: why wouldn’t you want a strong relationship with inspectors?
In our next article, we’ll set out to answer these questions and demonstrate the difference that seeing inspectors as partners, not adversaries, can make. We’ll include tips on how to communicate and share information from the beginning, and develop strong relationships.
As a general contractor, our goal is to deliver safe, solidly built, and beautiful developments. Inspectors are critical partners that help us bring those best-in-class developments to life. It’s time to build strong, beneficial relationships and learn how inspectors can make the building process smoother.
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 20,000 units including apartments, hotels, senior living, student and military housing, condominiums, townhomes, and mixed-use. For more information, call LandSouth Marketing Manager, Erica Zumstein, (904) 760-3182 or visit www.landsouth.com