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A Pile of Hats

November 1, 2018

I see so many good people in the construction industry coming and going from Citizens Square every day. Many of which specialize in a trade such as fire protection and irrigation specialists, steel erectors, pool installers, and insulators. I speak to soil scientists who can look at a plug of dirt and tell you whether it is sufficient to build on or not. All of these tradespeople have their place.

As the ground breaks on my own home I see how many hats a residential contractor wears every day. Nothing is more exciting than working in the heat all day and coming home to make sure multiple subs are paid on time. Residential clients are emotionally invested, more so than commercial clients that don’t typically spend an evening binging on Pinterest over cabinet choices and come to you with their changes.

I was only half joking with Herb Delagrange at the Chili Cook-Off on whether or not there should be a law requiring 10 marriage counseling sessions whenever a new SFR is built.

For those reading this, you are likely an HBA member or affiliated some way with an HBA member. You have made a decision to become involved professionally with your peers to better our industry. You are networking with others who have mastered the act of wearing multiple hat types and hopefully benefitting from their knowledge and experience.

As your building commissioner and now an expectant new home client, my hat is off to all of you.

  • Look for some housekeeping announcements to be included with your license renewal this year. As we remodel our office, we have found many rules that stand today were never incorporated into the formal rules and regulations. I will be bringing these to the Board of Directors to reconfirm and be added to the manual.
  • With development coming at such rapid rates, some subdivisions are not clearly marked before lots are released. We are asking that lots are clearly marked for the inspectors. We don't care if it's a scrap of blue insulation spray painted and nailed to a stick, please mark your lots at the foundation stage. Last week it took about 3 hours to unravel an inspection the builder called in for on the wrong lot and the inspector could not determine the correct lot, so inspections were applied incorrectly.
  • The new Assistant Building Commissioner is George Smith and can be reached at 260-449-7613. George is a problem solver, doesn’t bite, and has had all his vaccinations, so don’t be afraid to call him.
  • We welcome Tim Hardiek as our new electrical inspector. He should be through our training and out solo next week.
  • We are exploring the possibility of having a satellite office at Maple Lane Metals in Grabill two times a month in 2019. We will make an announcement once we establish the feasibility of the outpost.

Sincerely,
John Caywood
Building Commissioner

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