Day in a Division: Building Inspection

By Nick Porter

April 9, 2021

There are a plethora of thankless jobs out in the world, and in local government, but one to rival them all might be that of a building inspector. The building inspection/permit division of Spanish Fork includes a chief building official, three building inspectors, and two secretaries. As a group, the division issued 1207 building permits and 9818 inspections in 2020 - an average of 40 inspections per day!

During my time with our inspector, Brody, I had a chance to do a handful of inspections and see first hand the time and care that each one takes and what kinds of things inspectors look for. 

Each inspection is different and is done at a different time during the construction process.  But all inspections are done in accordance with the International Building Code - a complication of minimum safety standards - and applicable city and state codes. 

Simply put, inspectors doublecheck construction work to make sure it meets the basic safety standard and is constructed in the way it was engineered. Fire code is a big part of what inspectors look at and make sure the building meets the fire safety standards. 
For example, there is  requirement to enclose this area around the flue in order to slow a fire from advancing between floors.

In order to do this,  our inspectors review plans and ensure the building is being constructed in accordance with the plans from footings and foundation, to trusses, and insulation to plumbing and electrical. 

I was amazed by the education, time, and training required for each inspection and to even become a certified inspector. Plus, building codes are always changing, so our inspectors are always learning.IMG_4395

Inspectors can get a bad rap because they enforce standards that are sometimes overlooked and a project could end up delayed. Nevertheless, I’d rather have a home that took some extra time to build right than one that skipped some standards to get it to me sooner. 

So, if you deal with one of our inspectors during a project, thank them for enforcing safety standards that will protect you and your investment now and in the future. 

This protection is also why the City requires building permits for most projects done at home. A permit is required for a fence, a shed, or to replace a water heater or A/C unit. Most of these smaller permits are free and are done as a public service. As part of the building permit process, you’ll have an inspection and a chance to interact with one of our inspectors to learn and make sure everything is done properly. It’s much easier to do it the right way rather than have to pay costly repairs to come into compliance with the building and City codes.

So, when in doubt, get a building permit. And if you have questions about the building codes, permit, or inspection types, check out our inspections website

About Day in a Division

Hey Spanish Fork, I'm Nick, the Public Information Officer (PIO) for the City. I love local government! There are so many different aspects that make up a City, and I want to share as much as I can with you about it. 

So, now and then I'm going to jump in with both feet to different divisions within the City, documenting things along the way. Be sure to follow me and other City happenings @spanishforkcity on Instagram, Facebook (and even Twitter and LinkedIn).

If you have questions about how things work or something you'd like to learn about, let me know with a DM or email
Building Inspection truck