It can be intimidating dealing with the inspectors, when building your own home. We have all heard the horror stories of the inspector  coming out and making the contractor tear out several thousands of dollars worth of material.  As a owner builder, it can make your stomach turn.  Before we started building a house, I had had some experience dealing with inspectors in the remodeling of our last home.  I remember one time the inspector had came out to inspect our remodel.  He asked me a question and I responded by saying, “Yes, sir.”  He quickly let me know that brown nosing would not work.   With the new house, our first dealing with codes was when the footing was poured.   The inspector came out  to inspect the footing and was going to make the concrete guys add more concrete in certain areas.   Financially, it would of been in their best interest to side with the inspector.  However, the concrete guys felt that what the inspector wanted was not necessary nor required.  I was not there but the inspector finally relented and allowed the experts to finish the job.   For the most part, all of our inspections went smoothly.   I learned the best way to work with inspectors is to listen and respect what they have to say.  They might actually save you a money and problems down the road.   You will not get anywhere trying to  argue with them.

It appeared, that  the  only construction industry experience  that our  inspector  had,  was working as a inspector.   In contrast, the inspector we had in our last home remodel had been a contractor before becoming a inspector.   He took more of a common sense approach, whereas she had to get out the book in many cases.   Halfway through building our home, the inspector and I got into a disagreement over the septic system.   I listened to what she was telling us but what she was asking us to do, was not required.  Thankfully, I  was familiar with codes and our local requirements.   It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with   International  Residential codes and your local requirements, before embarking on building your own house.

You might check out Building Code Basics: Residential: Based on 2009 International Residential Code. I have not read the book personally but it’s a good idea to have book like this around or one similar.