Inspector Education Improves CM's Market Value

Originally published by the following source: SBC MagazineApril 9, 2018

by Kevin Kutschenreuter

“In my opinion, we at the chapter level and with support from national, we need to be doing more education for our building officials and our inspectors,” says Dave Green, SBCA Carolinas chapter president.

On April 4, Dave presented to building inspectors from the City of Greer, South Carolina on the component installation process and what to look for when inspecting component framed buildings.

The meeting came about after Greer building official Ruthie Helms contacted SBCA seeking education for the city’s building inspectors. In addition to presenting to the inspectors himself, Dave assembled a presentation team that included Kurt Schwab of Weyerhauser and Mike McIntosh of MiTek. Dave says, “The presentation was all about what inspectors ought to look for at the jobsite related to truss delivery…how to read the truss drawings, how to read the placement plans, what to look for as far as bearing conditions, multiple plies,…hanger sizes – just installation in general.”

The meeting was a fruitful one. Dave recounts, “We had a lot of really good questions…the response in the room felt very good.” An email sent after the event from Ruthie Helms confirmed Dave’s impression, saying, “The presentation was excellent and greatly appreciated by all. This training was greatly needed for inspectors.”

Regarding building inspectors, Dave says, “They’re very knowledgeable about the code, but what they’re not real knowledgeable about is how trusses are used related to the code. They are more familiar with the prescriptive code as it relates to conventional framing practices, but when you start introducing things like trusses and engineered wood and LVL, they’re not nearly as familiar with those engineered products as they could be.”

Thus, Dave hopes to see more SBCA training provided to inspectors. “Downstream it helps us a lot because [inspectors are] more familiar with the product that they’re charged with inspecting…the more education they can get, the better.”

If PowerPoint presentations make your palms sweat, don’t worry!  One of the most effective ways to facilitate the kinds of discussion Dave had with the Greer building officials is to host a plant tour for the inspectors in your market.  Invite them in, show them what you do and how you do it, and they can even earn CEUs from it.  For ideas on how to host a plant tour, check out this recent SBCA webinar.