There is often strong tension between real estate developers and government inspectors and that can be due to any number of reasons.
For instance, maybe the building inspectors are behind and can’t get to a construction project as fast as a developer might want, or perhaps there’s a disagreement between a builder and an inspector over the proper interpretation of the building code. While these types of problems have been around probably since the first inspector went out to a construction site in ancient Egypt, the NC General Assembly will in 2019 debate a possible solution to the long-running issue.
State Rep. Jon Hardister said this week that, after numerous discussions with developers and others involved in the construction and inspection process, he believes North Carolina is ready for a significant change in the way building inspections are conducted across the state.
“A new proposal will allow real estate developers to hire a third-party inspector to inspect their work,” Hardister said of a bill he intends to bring forward – one he believes could go over well with state legislators.
Hardister said the change makes a lot of sense to him. He said it would be a one-two punch that would both help take pressure off of local overworked government inspectors and at the same time address many of the common complaints developers and builders make repeatedly under the current law.
According to Hardister, due to the nature of the economy and of financial considerations surrounding construction, contractors and developers often want to move fast on projects, but they can hit a brick wall if government inspectors can’t get to their houses or buildings in a timely manner.
“It can really slow a project down,” Hardister said.
Hardister added that that’s particularly true at times like the present when construction is really picking up and, in many cases, government offices haven’t adjusted to the increased need. That can result in backlogs that cost contractors and developers time and therefore money.
“When the market heats up, it can really put a demand on those inspectors,” Hardister said.
He added that the quality of inspections would be maintained under the new plan with training and licensing requirements for the third-party inspectors who would be allowed to take the place of government building inspectors.
“They would be certified and legitimate,” Hardister said of any inspector who could legally give the OK to a building project.
According to Hardister, the proposal under consideration would require that developers pay the cost of bringing in a third-party inspector to do the job, but he added that many developers would gladly pay for the service to keep their projects on schedule.
Hardister said he believes the proposed change would benefit those on both sides of the equation and will gain support in 2019 given the need to encourage development.