Kamloops ThisWeek](https://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/author/staff1/) =July 28, 2017 British Colombia
Inspectors need code of‘common sense’
Editor:…*** ******So who pays ***
Unfortunately,most home owners undoubtedly face faults in proper construction to their homesnot disclosed at the time of purchase.
The fault I am addressingwas constructed by a shoddy contractor in blatant disregard to the B.C.Building Code and was surprisingly unchecked during construction by City ofKamloops building inspectors.
Thebuilder buried a wooden rim joist with concrete only protected by galvanizedsheet metal.
The sheet metal rusted andstarted to expose the OSB rim joist. This contravenes many codes — the biggestbeing common sense.How can a company build so many homes in Kamloops and pride themself as anelite designer/builder?
Herelies the dilemma, which party is responsible for the problem with this11-year-old house? (The new home warranty has expired.)
Istarted by contacting the City of Kamloops building department to hold themresponsible, since they must have noted this infraction during many visits/inspections.
Thecity surely exercises due diligence and professionalism, given the greatresponsibility of inspection.The manager of thedepartment said,
“The purpose of city inspections is forproviding limited and interim spot checking for reasons of health, safety andthe protection of persons and property.”
Thisis the building code in a nutshell.
Afterbeing stonewalled for six weeks, the manager and chief inspector granted a sitevisit to verify the issue. Themanager was scripted, ensuring no liability was evident, where the chiefinspector seemed more cordial (perhaps he had not become drunk on theself-serving Kool-Aid yet).
Procrastinationcontinued, so I involved one of our city councillors and, within two weeks, Ireceived my first formal reply.
Insummary, the two building department employees could not ascertain or determinewhether this was a violation of the building code and stated it was amaintenance issue.
Thatwas contrary to my perception as to what was discussed during the inspection.
It was becoming clear why there are so manyhomes in Kamloops with construction issues.
The department’s reputation preceded them, asusual.
Icorrected the building issue and sent pictures of the violation along withhighlighted articles of the building code that pertained to this issue to helpeducate the manager and chief inspector.
Miraculously, he agreed “the work did not meet the code.”
Duringall of my dealings with the manager of the City’s building department, Irealized his attempt at public relations was only exasperated by his truecalling that lies with writing fiction.
I implore you and the department to developsome integrity and come up with a statement to truly represent your positionand not waste other people’s time.
Perhapsyou may choose to use the following: “The building department for the City ofKamloops accepts no responsibility or liability, monetarily or professionally,
forinspections that may or may not have taken place — consequently allowing flakyand shoddy contractors to contravene the building code.
“Pleasecontinue to pay our exorbitant permit fees and we will continue to beself-serving revenue generating overpaid paper collectors.”
***RandyWalter ;;Kamloops… ***
Interesting post…as we know municipal building inspectors are not required to find each and every defect in the construction of a home, any more than a home inspector need find every defect.
Respectfully some conditions “should” be apparent, while others may be concealed or covered up by various means.
Did I ever tell you the one about the builder who had the rebar set on the side of the footing ready for placement, and low and behold after the footings were poured, the rebar seemed to be still left in the same place…on the side of the footing.
This is the role and responsibility of the builder and qualified site supervisor to “build to code”.
Actually Claude, the municipal building inspectors ARE expected to find EACH AND EVERY defect in the home that is visible to them at the time of inspection. Exactly the same as the Home Inspector.
The difference between the two is that the Home Inspector get a 2-3 hour slot to inspect an already completed project, where much has been hidden behind walls/furniture/other items deliberately placed to obscure view.
The Municipal Building Inspector get’s to see the plans up-front, the site during construction, the certificates of engineering and fire compliance and gets to discuss issues with the Builder. The downside is that they get maybe 15 minutes on site and on a sub-division of 50+ homes general only inspects a “representative” amount of sites.
The builder knows this and also knows the MBI schedule so can generally work around this if they need to hide anything.
That’s how things like this get missed.
Len - I can’t disagree, but several muni-building officials that I know, often complain about the limited amount of time to spend on site. Often stating that they are inundated with the number of calls on a particular given day and time to be completed.
I know in several instances where they indicated in a subdivision that only a percentage of home were inspected, built by the same builder. Example 1 out of 10 homes. To me that is part of the reason why it’s not often as complete or detailed as one may expect.
I have heard that number (1 in 10) as well. The inspector usually slowes down to 25 KM/h as he passes the other 9;-)
Not to mention the drive-by “inspections”.
In my Design-Build business days, it was not uncommon for a municipal building inspector to spend more time and in-depth review of the “new builder”. The established builders were generally given the glance over inspection.
On another note enforcement of “code” also varies according to the “minimum acceptance” level of the particular “municipality”. So even code enforcement was not the same from place to place.