Gilbert Building Inspector Exceeds Expectations
I sometimes write about people failing to meet the standard of care. It may be a builder that performed in a unworkmanlike manner, how building inspectors fly through a home and miss many defects or how a home inspector failed to identify issues. Today is different, today I want to praise someone for taking pride in their work and doing the job right.
I am frequently retained by home buyers to perform construction phase inspections. The builders all walk the home as well as the subcontractors and the municipal building inspectors looking for defects. However, I have yet to inspect a home where I did not find several issues that needed to be corrected even after all of the other inspections are complete. I recognize that we are all human and we all make mistakes, but if we are tasked with the job of finding others mistakes and looking out for the well being of the workers and end users of a building, I believe that is exactly what we should do.
Today I looked at an Ashton Woods home that is under construction. I must first say that while I perform expert witness work on a regular basis, I have never had a case against Ashton Woods. I have made several trips to this property and found that the work performed on this home is generally better than others I have inspected. Today is the first time I met the superintendent and the first time he became aware that I was performing random inspections on this property. This leads me to believe that this superintendent actually takes some pride in his work and has the knowledge to back it up. I pointed out a few issues and he addressed them appropriately. I am frequently asked who the best builder is and my normal response is; “Most of the builders use the same subcontractors so their quality is the same, the difference is who your superintendent is”. What I am about to say should not be construed as an insult to Aston Woods, in fact after seeing their work I would feel more comfortable recommending them than many other production home builders.
While we were at the site the Town of Gilbert building inspector arrived. I have been in the construction industry for years and have seen more inspections than I care to recall. Some inspectors will perform a framing inspection in a few minutes others will take a little longer. Some inspectors pay attention to the details on the plans, however I have seen as a rule, many just walk through and look for common construction practices. I had never met this inspector before and he introduced himself as Erik Zavala. He took the plans and went to work. He was at the site for well over an hour and he paid attention to the details. He was through, he found several issues that need to be corrected however he was also polite and professional. If more municipal inspectors performed their duties the way Erik did, it would no longer be a question of who is the best builder or superintendent, but who was the building inspector on this project. After seeing him work I would feel more comfortable purchasing a home in Gilbert than most other jurisdictions.
For the record, I have not always felt this way about The Town of Gilbert. I have fought with their permitting process a few times. I have had good inspectors and some that were not so good. I have seen building inspectors assigned over 30 inspections in a day. Yes I said 30, that means in an 8 hour day they need to perform one inspection every 16 minutes and that doesn’t include drive time or time to do the paperwork. That was not the case today. It has been 10 years since I have seen an inspector that paid this much attention to detail.
I commend The Town of Gilbert for having a person like this perform building inspections. The people of Gilbert can sleep better knowing a person of Erik’s caliber is inspecting their homes.
I know this is not my typical post, however I feel if you are going to criticize people for not doing their job, you must also compliment those that meet or exceed your expectations. Today Erik and therefore the Town of Gilbert did just that.