What are building inspectors looking for?
When you call to have building inspector come review work on your house, what is he or she actually looking for?
Sounds simple enough. Well, the Minnesota State Building Code is actually a compilation of a variety of codes, from the residential building to mechanical and fuel gas, electrical and elevator to flood proofing, storm shelter and prefabricated structures. The division is also responsible for inspection, reporting and compliance of regulations mandated by state and federal agencies, including the Minnesota departments of agriculture, health, pollution control, commerce and public safety; the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) primarily Alcohol, FEMA and U.S. Homeland Security. Add to this the city’s own ordinances, and our building inspectors have a lot of codes to know inside and out.
The head of the division is the “Designated Certified Building Official.” The building official must be certified and approved by the State of Minnesota. The city also has two building inspectors, who may also be certified as they work under the direction of the building official.
When our inspectors go on site, they inspect for code compliance. They do not inspect for quality, aesthetics or color coordination. Their job is to verify any work required by code meets the minimum requirements of the code. For example, an inspector looking at your water heater is checking for several things: venting is installed correctly, the temperature pressure relief valve is installed, the drain from the valve is within 12 inches of the floor, a quick-acting valve is present. etc.
The ultimate goal of building codes and our inspections team is public health and safety. Codes have been adopted to ensure that our structures are safe and consistent.
- Updated: 04/06/2018