An Inside look at the Inspection Process
By Corey McCloskey, Site Supervisor
We live in a time and place where information is readily available, usually on the internet. If you’re reading this blog, you know exactly what I mean. Gone are the days where “things” are a mystery: Shark Week shows things about Great White Sharks we haven’t had a clue about for generations, How It’s Made illustrates the manufacturing process of just about anything you can imagine, and there is a YouTube video for EVERYTHING.
The other thing you hear constantly today is around quality control. Home inspectors, 10,000 point vehicle inspections, calorie counts on menus...we expect to know the facts, and we expect the companies we pay to provide goods and services to be thorough and competent, while remaining relatively cheap and quick. Sounds kind of daunting, doesn’t it? At Cedarglen, we know first-hand how time consuming and expensive unnecessary service work can be, and the additional stress of building a home can bring upon you, the homeowner. Our inspection processes are designed to minimize these stresses for you.
You are probably asking yourself “what is this guy going on about, and what does it have to do with my home?” I am illustrating the fact that you, our valued homeowner, are smart, and you have a glut of resources at your disposal to educate yourself on the construction process of your home. For many people, the art of construction is shrouded in mystery, and can be a daunting process, especially if you haven’t built a home in the past, and knowledge is power. I’m here to empower you and educate you on the difference between our inspection process and the industries inspection process.
There are inspections you will find industry wide, and are the “catch all” checkpoints of your build. Frame checks ensure framing and carpentry details are correct and plumbing, HVAC, and electrical rough-in components are ok. The City of Calgary inspects the work at this stage as well, ensuring your home meets Alberta Building Code. Pre-occupancy inspections are the spit and polish prior to your walk through, and, again, is the “catch all” prior to handing over the keys, and letting you loose on your warranty period. There’s another City of Calgary inspection in there as well. Sounds fairly thorough, but there are a myriad of small details that can slip through the cracks, and your city inspector doesn’t care about them in the slightest. We at Cedarglen decided to try and do things differently.
You’ll still hear your site supervisor talk about your frame check or your pre-occ date, but there are so many points in the build where proactive measures can be taken to avoid unnecessary delays or service over the course of the build. All of our inspections include a scope of work, where we are ensuring a complete and accurate product for the specific trades involved and are all documented online with our OnTrack system. It starts when your home is a hole in the ground, where cribbing, pre-backfill, and subfloor inspections are completed. Your home is only as good as the foundation it sits on, after all. From there, we check the work of the framer immediately upon completion (because nobody wants to come back to fix stuff a month or two down the road), and we also inspect your building envelope, siding or stucco, and your mechanical and electrical rough-ins. At this point, the city does their inspection. That’s SEVEN inspections prior to city inspection!
Now, your home is into insulation, and we have confirmed your possession date. There is no room for error, and trade delays can end up as service. It would stand to reason that further inspection checkpoints would help ensure a smooth build, so we pick up where we left off with our insulation inspection. While all of our inspections are valuable, this one is my personal favorite, as we are inspecting the inside of your building envelope by decompressing your home by completing a ‘blower door test’ and using a smoke pen to identify any leaks from the interior of your home to the exterior. This inspection is invaluable in preventing service relating to hoar frost and condensation, and it is imperative that this inspection is completed prior to drywall, as many of the causes of these issues become hidden, and difficult to assess. Speaking of drywall, there’s an inspection for that as well. You will also find your site supervisor inspecting your cabinets, your paint, your tile, and your lighting selections. While ensuring your home turns out the way you have envisioned, these inspections also give our trades the opportunity to complete service or repairs prior to possession, which saves them time coordinating service appointments and the wasted money that goes with it. By pre-occ, we can spend more time on the details, and less time stressing about completing repairs or service before your Home Orientation. Your supervisor is happy, our trades are happy, and most of all, you are happy with your new home!
Inspection checkpoints have been a progressive step in ensuring a timely, quality product delivered to you, and we are constantly looking for other areas to refine. Your home is crafted entirely by the dedicated and skilled hands of the men and women employed by our trades, coordinated under the watchful eyes of your site supervisors. We’re human beings, and we all make mistakes, but the key to the success of this initiative is working together to minimize those details that slip through the cracks. We appreciate receiving feedback regarding your home over the course of construction as well. Often times, we simply haven’t reached our scheduled inspection on your home, but it is nice knowing there is another set of eyes ensuring things are just so. Those eyes are yours, and you are a part of the process also. We at Cedarglen are always happy to hear from our customers whether it’s to hear about the great job that we are doing or if an item needs some attention.
Together, we’re building beautiful, quality homes, and I’m so proud of the part I play in the process. Hopefully when you have your friends and family over to show off your place, that pride resonates through you as well!