A building inspection is performed by a person who is employed by either a city, township or county and is usually certified in one or more disciplines, either as a residential or commercial building inspector, a plumbing, electrical or mechanical inspector or other specialty to inspect structures at different stages of completion. Most building inspectors employed by governments are certified by the State or the International Code Council (ICC). These inspections are done to assure compliance with whatever building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical or specialty codes, such as swimming pool codes, that are being enforced by the jurisdiction in which they work. There are many categories and levels of ICC certified inspectors.
The term building inspector is sometimes used for persons who inspect houses to assure compliance with the plans and to check workmanship as well as code compliance, or a home inspector consulted in conjunction with a house sale. These building inspectors are private contractors and are not connected with any governmental department or agency.
Consulting engineers often carry out structural building inspections for strata properties where there are structural elements of the building found to be unsafe. Whether it is the balconies, balustrades or cracking due to settlement in the walls, consulting engineers provide building inspections of the property and make the appropriate assessment and provide dilapidation reports followed by proposals for remedial action.
Building inspectors are often contacted by strata managers or body corporate with storm water design issues, structural design proposals or civil design modifications. In addition, individuals are often required by councils to carry out dilapidation reports and building inspections of adjoining properties and associated council properties before and after construction, to establish that no damage has occurred due to the work carried out.
Additional functions of a Building Inspector often include the evaluation of existing structures which have been subjected to physical damage from earthquakes, wind events, floods and fire, as well as investigations involving non-permitted construction. Engineers can also become building inspectors and can perform more in depth inspections which can also be used as an appraisal for lenders and banks.