Blog - Mandatory Inspections: Engineer or Council inspector?

During the construction process, you will need to nominate either your local council inspector or a private engineering consultant to undertake ongoing site inspections.

Purpose of inspections
The purpose of inspections is to ensure that the engineered plans are accurately followed by your builder.

Often, your builder can construct something in a variety of ways - all which can be acceptable.
This can be because builders prefer different methods to other builders, or the availability of the material required is only available in some areas.

Council inspector Vs. Professional engineers
While opting for a council inspector costs considerably less, they are not usually qualified engineers. Even if a council inspector is qualified as an engineer, they generally cannot sign off on construction work that has even slightly differed to the plans, as it is not their design.

Written permission is then usually required from the original design engineer to allow the council inspector to sign it off. This can lead to idle construction workers while permission is obtained to change the original design to correlate to what is on site. The time wasted can then end up costing you more than contracting the original design engineer to undertake inspections. 

The benefit of contracting a consulting engineer is they will know the way the building is constructed and have an overall picture about how the building should perform. They are also more likely to adapt and sign off on minor variations they know won’t change the structural intent. You as their client will also be able to have more of a say as to when structural inspections will occur.

Overall, the benefits of contracting a professional engineer outweigh the seemingly cost advantages of a council inspector.

Anything to say?

We’d love to hear your experiences and opinion of building projects: simply submit your comments below.

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