If you're a property owner and are looking to have a structure built on your property, you will need to have a building certifier inspect and approve the work throughout the entire process. If you've never had a building constructed before and have never worked with such a certifier, you may have some questions about their job and what it entails and what is required of you. Note a few of those questions here so you know what to expect and are sure to get your building constructed properly. Be sure to ask any additional questions of the local office that issues building permits, as they can give you added guidance when it comes to hiring a certifier or inspector.
Who engages the certifier?
The property owner is typically the one to engage the certifier, and they will usually sign a contract with that person; this is because the certifier will need to be paid throughout the process! A contractor themselves typically cannot engage the certifier on behalf of the property owner, as the property owner is entitled to see any notations about the work of the builder that may have caused the project to fail an inspection. Be sure you understand this so that you don't assume your builder or contractor will hire the certifier for you.
Are you obligated to use certain certifiers or inspectors?
A certifier or inspector needs to have a certain license, usually issued from your local state or other municipality; you can ask the office that issues building permits what type of license such a certifier is required to have for inspections needed for your building project. However, you are not obligated to use a certain certifier or inspector, such as one recommended by your builder; you can certainly ask your builder for a list of qualified and recommended inspectors, but the ultimate choice of certifiers, as long as he or she is licensed, is yours.
Are all inspectors or certifiers alike?
There are certifiers that have specialties, and you may want to hire them for your development for a variety of reasons; for example, some buildings may be required to have certain fire safety precautions in place, such as a production facility that includes smelting or other such fire risks. In some areas, a building may need to be built to withstand certain natural disasters, such as hurricanes or earthquakes. Specialty certifiers or inspectors may be needed to ensure your development is compliant with such laws and requirements.