Understanding Inspections

Understanding Inspections

During remodeling, a professional remodeler is responsible for managing a variety of inspections to ensure that the project meets agreed upon quality standards, is on schedule for completion when promised, and complies with applicable building codes. Inspections are even more demanding when the work involves extensive structural and mechanical work.

These periodic inspections may or may not include the homeowners. When clients are invited to attend, the remodeler will often use the inspection as an educational opportunity and encourage the homeowners to ask questions along the way. Professional remodelers understand the value of ongoing education as a key to effective communication and job satisfaction.

External Inspections. Building permits are required for just about every remodeling project that involves structural, electrical, plumbing, and other mechanical work. A permit is issued only after the local building department makes sure that the plans (or blueprints) meet the building codes for occupant health, safety, and in some cases, energy efficiency.

Inspections are “triggered” at certain points during the remodeling process, usually as a certain phase or type of work is completed. For instance, once the structural frame of a room addition or expansion is completed, the contractor will call the local building department to schedule an inspection of the work to that point before it is covered by insulation or drywall. At each required stage, the building inspector comes to the house and meets with the remodeler’s site superintendent or representative. Together, they walk through the project to confirm that the remodeled section of the home has been constructed according to the previously approved plans and that all work complies with the building codes.

Internal Inspections. In addition to the necessary, on-site inspections by the building department, professional remodelers often conduct inspections of their own during construction, based on standards and expectations they’ve established as a company and with their clients.

The most important of these internal inspections happens just before the project is completed. At that time, members of the remodeler’s staff — such as the project manager — tour the house to make sure systems and products (such as the new light fixtures or appliances) are working properly and that there are no missing or misaligned finishes (such as switchplates or cabinet fronts). That process leads to the creation of a construction punchlist. The Project Manager shares this list with the homeowner to ensure nothing is missed relative to the quality of construction. Items on the punch list must be satisfied before the homeowners formally agree that the project is completed and they are satisfied.  

Customer Walk-Throughs. In addition to the final client walk-through, an increasing number of remodelers also conduct regular walk-throughs with their clients during construction. These tours provide both parties with an opportunity to discuss the progress of the job in a very tangible way. As a result, the homeowners feel more connected to the remodeling process and more confident in their remodeler’s abilities.

It is important to a professional remodeling contractor that homeowners experience, rather than simply witness, the remodeling of their home as it is happening. Of course, most clients remain in their homes while the work is going on, but few have the opportunity to “inspect” the work beyond peeking past the visquine. Remodelers believe that conducting formal, in-progress walk-throughs better prepares clients to take care of their remodeled home, to be more comfortable communicating any concerns to the contractor, and to be satisfied with the pace of the work. Best of all, the homeowners will be more confident about the increased value of their remodeled home because they have seen the quality of the work and materials it contains.

Warm regards,
John Todd
John Todd
Elite Remodeling
Showroom & Design Center

2930 Preston Road, Suite 980
Frisco, Texas, 75252
(972) 334-9800 – phone
(972) 334-9890 – fax

c. 2008 All rights reserved.

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