Building Inspector (Episode 62)

Building Inspector (Episode 62)

September 12, 2019 0 By Kody Olson


When we go into buildings or use structures, we expect them to be strong, safe and solid. But who’s responsible
to make sure they are? Let’s meet the building inspector. Hi. I’m Brian. Hi. I’m Devon. Welcome to City Hall. Thanks for having me. No problem. I’m the building
inspector. Come on in. My name is Devon Bacon. I am a building inspector for the city of Dawson Creek. A building inspector ensures that every
small building and house is built according to the building code
for the safety and health of others. We inspect the concrete,
the reinforcing, the wood framing, whatever construction methods they are doing. I also do the plumbing inspections. The electrical and the gas inspection
is through the provincial government. They do their own inspections, so we don’t touch the electrical
or the gas installations, at all. Okay, so this is the main building
drain for the house. Yep. And it has to grade outside to the city sewer system. Okay, so I’m making sure that the— There’s positive drainage. Oh, beautiful. Okay. There you go, yep, and just check this one, right here. Okay, good. So, that’ll ensure that all
the waste goes out the building and it’s sloped out to the main sewers. And this is something you can
only check during the construction? Yes, because within a week
this will be a concrete floor and there’ll be no chance
of fixing it afterwards. Okay. So, this would be part of your regular day. Yes. I usually come into
the office first thing in the morning, catch up on the emails and the paperwork. Mm-hmm. Maybe do a few permitting
and then after that I’ll go out into the field and do some inspections
around town at the various building sites. Sure, sure. In order to become a building inspector, you take the six weeks training course. And then you have to take a test, and you have to make the 85% pass. Level one does single-family and duplex dwellings. They’re quite simple structures. Level two gets you into more
of the complex buildings, which is offices, uh, restaurants. For me to do that, I would have to dedicate probably at least six weeks to two months just on that review alone to become a level two. And then there’s a test that you have to do, and you have to pass within that 85%
range before they’ll let you move on. Level three, then even extends that even higher to even the more complex high-rise multi-family buildings. And then the registered
building official is like the, the highest level that you can receive. What’s the first thing you would look for? The first thing I look for is I go to where the sections of the building showed the foundation. Okay. You see here that the footing, you know, it shows the footing,
it shows the weeping tile. Here’s the wall to support the structure. Yeah. That’s where I start to make sure, you know, because you start from the ground up. A good foundation.

A good foundation. Absolutely. Once you get a good foundation,
then you can have a house to sit on it. I got into this job with my
25 years construction experience. I was looking for something along
the construction industry line as far as the home building inspector
or something like that. I applied for a job here as
a building inspector and got the job. Looking at blueprints like this, is this something that you’ve
always had with you building model cars
or what have you as a child, or is this something that you learned? This is something I learned because
once I got into the construction industry and then I started looking at this and then building it, you understand what all these lines and arrows and dimensions… what it all means. Simple math skills are kind of essential because you are working with numbers. Biggest thing for building is plumb, level and square. And if you can figure out simple geometry Ah, A squared, B squared equals C squared that gets you to build just about anything. Being able to communicate with
numerous different levels of people makes a big difference for a building inspector. Normally, we work 8 to 4:30 every day,
five days a week. Some overtime required
depending on how busy the season is. We have all the stat holidays off. After the first year you have two weeks holidays, plus we have sick days
and family days. This career could take me… Right now I’m a level one building inspector. I could take my schooling and be
level two and then level three and then, which then creates you
into a position to be an RBO, which is a Registered Building Official. I worked construction for 25 years prior to this and I didn’t work in Dawson Creek very much. You can enjoy your time. It’s quite, uh, quite rewarding, actually. I would strongly suggest that you
go work construction for, even if it’s a couple summers, that you work as a labourer on a construction site. Definitely experience in the field would be essential. Well, Devon, thanks so much
for showing me around. I’ll let you get back to work. All right. Thank you.
Have a good day. You, too. Once again, I’m Brian for Career Trek, reminding you that this career could be yours. See you next time.