A building inspector is someone who is employed either by a county, town, or city and is qualified in one or several disciplines entitling them to render an expert opinion about whether a building is in compliance with building code regulations. They are also responsible for investigating complaints involving a building, usually regarding structural defects. In most states, building inspectors must meet the educational requirements to practice as an inspector, pass written examinations and take state boards and examinations. Building inspectors are employed in residential, industrial, and government construction projects.
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A building inspector’s primary job is to thoroughly inspect and ensure compliance with laws regulating the design and construction of buildings, and inspecting systems and equipment to assure safety and efficiency of those buildings. They inspect for defects and deterioration and identify and correct deficiencies. To ensure the safekeeping of vital records, they are responsible for inspecting and maintaining copies of records, equipment, documents, and archives. Their inspection of fire escapes, doors, windows, septic tanks, water supplies, ceilings, walls, cabinets, closets, utility lines, ceilings, floors, equipment, and furniture are essential for the safekeeping of the public. New construction and alterations of existing buildings are also inspected.
An on-site building inspector is a specialized kind of building inspector who is not an employee of any of the above-mentioned licensed entities but works directly for a construction company on the construction site. These individuals are required to perform independent inspections in addition to their duties on the construction site. However, they are normally given limited access to the site to perform their inspections. The inspector’s primary responsibility is to ensure compliance with applicable codes, and the organization of the project when it comes to materials used, construction methods, and equipment used. This person is required to have a thorough knowledge of the various techniques used to construct a building and has to be familiar with various building plans.