Have Code Books – Will Travel
Tomorrow I hit the road for a 4 hour drive to Colville Washington for an inspection. It’s the third longest commute I’ve had since I started my business but for some clients going the extra mile is worth it. The futhest was for a client I had already done two local inspections with – Kent was the seller on both – who was relocating out to the Port Angeles area and wanted me to inspect his new home when he was buying. Having a seller hire you after you've inspected two of his homes is a pretty high compliment. The other was for a niece in the Seattle area.
Colville is actually pretty close by those standards.
Tomorrow is a unique event because I’m not doing a home inspection. Instead, I get to break out the code books and check a new home for compliance with plans and codes. I haven’t done that in a while. The gentleman I’m working with is having a home built for his father and saw some things that disturbed him. During his home inspection, he asked about them.
I had answers.
Home inspection concerns itself with what is. We look for safety and health issues and take into account the fact that the house is (usually) used, hopefully gently used. A code compliance inspection (which requires different skills and insurance from a home inspection) is a radically different sort of process where we start checking things like manufacturer’s specifications for installation, allowable spans, nailing patterns, and a host of other really picky things.
Would it have been better if my client had me on site sooner and more often? Probably but I haven’t found anybody that is building their own home (or using a contractor) that is willing to pay the cost to have an inspector check things in progress. They expect the city or county inspector to do that.
Now if I ever have a home built, I’ve already told the builders (we have a couple I really like) to figure their costs, their fair profits - and then add 15 percent to the total.
Call it the annoyance factor; I’ll be inspecting every step of the way.