Skip to content
south florida building inspector explained

The ultimate guide to hiring a Building Inspector in South Florida

When considering hiring a Building Inspector in South Florida there are many things to consider. Whether you are a property manager, building owner, association manager, real estate investor, or an estate manager these tips will help you understand what a building inspector is and the different types of inspectors you can hire in South Florida. 

Whether it’s a residential building or a commercial building, making sure you hire the right inspector is a crucial decision. When you hire a building inspector you are trusting them to ensure the property is structurally sound, safe, and meets all necessary codes and regulations. In South Florida, where factors like weather and construction standards can vary, finding the right building inspector is crucial. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of hiring a building inspector in South Florida, ensuring you make an informed decision that protects your investment.

Understand the Role of a Building Inspector

Before we dive into the hiring process, it’s crucial to understand what exactly a building inspector does. A building inspector can evaluate the structural integrity, safety features, and adherence to local building codes and regulations of a property. They inspect various elements, including the foundation, electrical systems, plumbing, roofing, and more, to identify any issues or potential problems. Some inspectors such as Engineer Building Inspectors are required if you need signed and sealed plans. You can hire an inspector to look at a small crack in a column or use them to complete a Building Safety Inspection program for your entire building. 

What are the different types of Building Inspectors in SOuth Florida?

Not all building inspectors are qualified to conduct every type of inspection. When looking to hire a Building Inspector it is important to understand the different qualities and qualifications they may bring to the table. If you do a quick Google search for “Building Inspector”, you will find hundreads of companies in South Florida that can inspect a building but not all of them can carry out specialized inspections like Building recertifications. 

BASIC BUILDING INSPECTORS

Most of the companies you will see online offering Building Inspections will have a Building Inspection certification. This is an exam given by the Florida Building Code Administrators And Inspectors Board which is a part of the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation

To take this exam you must meet certain qualifications:

  • A total of four (4) years of experience in construction or a related field, building code inspection, or plan review in your desired certification category as per 468.609(2)(c)(1), F.S.
  • A combination of postsecondary education in the field of construction with hands-on experience amounting to three (3) years, with at least one (1) year of that experience in construction, building code inspection, or plan review, as per 468.609(2)(c)(2), F.S.
  • A combination of technical education in the field of construction or a related area and practical experience of three (3) years, of which at least one (1) year involves construction, building code inspection, or plan review as per 468.609(2)(c)(3), F.S.
As you can see to become a simple Building Inspector you do have to have a good amount of experience and Education in Construction. Some South Florida Inspectors have been in business for over 20 years and have extensive experience in the field. Many Inspectors were previously General Contractors or have been in the industry for a long time and have a deep understanding of the inspection process. Now let’s move on to another type of inspector.

Engineer BUILDING INSPECTORS

Another type of Building Inspector is an engineer. To become a Professional Engineer you are required to complete a four-year degree in engineering as well as take two rigorous state exams, one for the FE license and one for the PE license. After all, engineers are the ones who calculate dimensions, material compositions, and strengths, and design many of the things we see and use every day.

Besides the four years of college, the most difficult part of becoming a professional engineer in Florida is the state exams given by the Florida Board of Professional Engineers. There are two Engineering Exams you are required to pass. Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam and the Principles & Practice of Engineering (PE) exam, include information on registering for them and what you can expect.

Once you pass the two exams you can become a professional engineer. Once you have the license you are held to a professional standard of conduct by the Florida Board of Engineers. Just like the Florida Bar regulates lawyers in Florida the FBPE regulates Engineers. As you can see an Engineer who is also a Building Inspector has much more knowledge and has to complete more extensive training than a basic building inspector.

 To add to that, an Engineer or Architect are the only ones who can complete more complicated inspections like the new Florida Building Safety Inspection program. Other structural inspections like a threshold inspection also require signed and sealed plans by a professional engineer.

Which Building Inspector is right for me?

If your Building Inspection, Building repair, Structural repair, or Concrete repair requires signed and sealed plans the answer is simple. You need a professional engineer to be your building inspector. They possess a formal education and understand the complexities of how Buildings are put together and where they can become structurally compromised.  

Final thoughtS on South Florida Building Inspectors

We went over the roles of Building Inspectors, the types of Building Inspectors, and the education required to become a South Florida Building Inspector. Depending on the type of Building inspection you need, is how you will determine the kind of Building Inspector you should choose. One thing is certain before choosing a building inspector you should do your research and make sure the inspector has the qualifications to complete your building inspection.