When you think about the relationship between a building inspector and a contractor, what comes to mind? Do you think about Tom and Jerry, Batman and the Joker, or maybe the Hatfields and McCoys? I believe that image is changing. The days of contractors enacting “fight or flight” when the inspector arrives onsite is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Most contractors no longer want to argue, but would rather debate.
This change has taken a long time and has come with a lot of frustration and aggravation for both contractors and inspectors. Progress has been more noticeable in the last few years mainly due to the emphasis given to training and education.
Today, when you walk into a contractor’s office, you will most likely see a code book. Twenty years ago, that was less common. Most contractors are proud of the fact that they own a code book and are very knowledgeable of its contents.
The fact that BOAT, the International Code Council (ICC), Bluebonnet ICC, North Texas ICC, and other organizations promote education and safety, encourages contractors to be involved and up-to-date with changing codes. It also encourages positive inspector and contractor relationships.
I am not really sure why this transition has taken this long because contractors and inspectors share the goals of safety and completing projects as efficiently as possible to satisfy their clients. I feel like this trend will continue if we all continue to work hard toward our common goals.
Michael Beard, CBO, CFM, Chief Building Inspector, City of Harker Heights
BOAT Director at Large