Yeah Reilly I've seen a few drive-by inspections myself, but I have to say the quality of inspectors I've dealt with in the city Seattle is pretty high and most seem to be quite reasonable and competent people. I can't say that about some of the outlying areas. There are a few inspectors in Bellevue that are notorious power-freaks. I guess, like in anything, personalities can make a huge difference. Also most of the jobs I'm on rely on special inspectors for the bulk of inspections so the city isn't involved too much in the hands-on inspection process.
Bruce, don't the exceptions prove the rule? I've met far more dickhead inspectors than decent sorts.
And I want to know why 'the people' pay for that crap. Seems to me the insurance industry
should foot the bill.
Dickheads exist in all walks of life and being one is not a prerequisite to having any particular job. I've been on the project I'm on now for over two years and I've had a great relationship with the building inspectors and the special inspectors. The building envelope "consultants" and inspectors though seem like a superfluous new layer of nonsense. Maybe it's just the curmudgeon in me, but those guys really do seem to be winging it. None of those envelope inspectors seemed to be on the same page and it was difficult to ascertain what they wanted. I honestly believe they didn't know.
I think the inspectors role doesn't have to be adversarial. A good one realizes you are under scheduling pressures and will help facilitate your project in order to get it done properly. An inspector can still do his job while working with you. He's a public employee-you pay his salary. I'm not saying you've got to be buddies or anything. I'm just saying that I've dealt with enough screaming as#@&%es in this business(including myself )over the years that I've come to realize that a job can get done just fine without all of that.
Most of it is about liability...The engineer gets sued if things go wrong so they over-engineer..The inspector insures that the bozos with the hammer and cigarettes assemble the components properly to protect the building department from homeowner lawsuits...There's an excess of monkeys and a shortage of bowling balls...