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Professional remodelers are responsible for managing a variety of inspections to ensure that the project meets agreed upon quality standards, is on schedule for completion when promised and complies with building codes. Inspections are even more demanding when the work involves extensive structural and mechanical work.
These periodic inspections may or may not include the homeowners. When clients are invited to attend, the remodeler will often use the inspection as an educational opportunity and encourage the homeowners to ask questions along the way. Professional remodelers understand the value of ongoing education as a key to effective communication and job satisfaction.
Inspections. Building permits are required for just about every remodeling project that involves structural, electrical, plumbing, and other mechanical work. A permit is issued only after the local building department makes sure that the blueprints meet the building codes for occupant health, safety, and in some cases, energy efficiency.
Inspections are “triggered” at certain points during the remodeling process, usually as a certain phase or type of work is completed. For instance, once the structural frame of a room addition or expansion is completed, the contractor will call the local building department to schedule an inspection. At each required stage, the building inspector comes to the house and meets with the remodeler’s site superintendent. Together, they walk through the project to confirm that the remodeled section of the home has been constructed according to the previously approved plans and that all work complies with the building codes.
At this point the inspector can “sign off” on the work. Each inspection adds another signature to the Building Permit, allowing the work to continue. When the project is finished, the inspector’s final approval prompts a Certificate of Occupancy, allowing the homeowners to occupy the new section of their house.
Internal Inspections. In addition to the necessary, on-site inspections by the building department, professional remodelers often conduct inspections of their own during construction. These inspections insure that company standards and customer expectations are met.
The most important of these internal inspections happens just before the project is completed. At that time, members of the remodeler’s staff — such as the project manager or superintendent and key subcontractors — tour the house to make sure systems and products are working properly and that there are no missing or misaligned finishes. That process leads to the creation of a to-do list, often called a punch list. Satisfying the punch list is the last step prior to occupying the new or remodeled space.
Customer Walk-Throughs. In addition to the final client walk-through, an increasing number of remodelers also schedule periodic walk-throughs with their clients during construction. These tours provide both parties with an opportunity to discuss the progress of the job in a very tangible way.
It is important to us, as professional remodeling contractors, that homeowners experience, rather than simply witness, the remodeling of their home as it is happening. We believe that conducting formal, in-progress walk-throughs better prepares clients to take care of their remodeled home and to be more comfortable communicating any concerns to the contractor. As a result, homeowners feel more connected to the remodeling process and more confident in their remodeler’s abilities.
Todd Allen Miller, AIA
QMA Design+Build, LLC
5000 Boardwalk, Suite 2
Ventnor, NJ 08406
NJ New Home Builder License #037561
NJ Home Improvement Contractor #13VH01107300
(609) 822-4949 – phone
(609) 822-4429 – fax
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