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Building code consultants can be a great way to monitor your building project to make sure that the plans will comply with official regulations. The code consultant acts as a gatekeeper to redirect your crew and serve as a walking manual to the building guidelines in your area. Here is a guide to some of the benefits and challenges of hiring a building code consultant.
One of the biggest advantages of building code consultants is saving you time. The permitting process for new construction can be quite a long endeavor, and any corrections to your plans can set you back on your timeline. With a building code consultant in place, you can hopefully correct any problems in the plans before they go for approval. You'll also have a knowledgeable middle man in the process to stand behind your plans and clear up any ambiguities with the officials.
Another major benefit is that your consultant will have knowledge of all of the recent changes to building code in your area. Although any industry professional will have some working knowledge of the restrictions and guidelines, a dedicated consultant should be able to provide detailed knowledge where your crew falls short, cutting down on the planning and researching process.
Of course, the quality of the building compliance consulting job will depend on the skill level of your chosen consultant. There are a few things to look out for.
First of all, be sure that you choose someone you can trust to communicate effectively. The code compliance consultant may stand in for your architects and engineers when it comes to working with city officials, so you need to make sure that they can communicate effectively with your team. You wouldn't want to end up with them communicating the wrong plan. So, it's good to sit down with the key players in your team to make sure everyone will interact and communicate well.
The next thing to consider is whether the compliance consultant will actually save you money. Although there is an upfront cost, the goal of the consultant is to save you in the long term from having to redo portions of your construction, by catching issues before they become live structures. Look for examples of excellent past work and cost savings; you may want to get references and speak with actual recent clients.
In short, hiring building code consultants can do wonderful things for your building project, but it's important to choose the right person to deliver results.