The building inspector - a vital resource for our project

So far, I’ve covered five important steps in my home building project:

  • My wife and I selected a nice, forested 2.2 acre parcel of land in Old Saybrook, Connecticut on which to build.
  • We have selected and have been consulting with an architect firm, Point One Architects, who have been assisting us in developing the plans for our new eco-friendly home.
  • I’ve familiarized myself with some of the terms and vocabulary used in this type of project - I have a fair amount of experience building homes, but this type of project is special because I’ve set out to make this home as comfortable and eco-friendly as possible.
  • I have also met with Jennifer Parsons of the Connecticut Green Building Council, who explained to me some of the financial incentives available to eco-friendly homebuilders like myself.


There’s also another important step in the home building process that I haven’t mentioned yet - my interactions with the town in which I am building. I mentioned earlier that working with licensed professionals is, more than anything else, a series of conversations, and my conversations with the Old Saybrook building inspector are undoubtedly important to make my homebuilding project a success.

If you’ve ever built a home or participated in a homebuilding project, you’ll know that the building inspector is a vital resource, someone that you want to establish a good relationship with early on. Before I met with Old Saybrook Building Inspector Don Lucas, I thought about the questions I would ask him and prepared myself for our first conversation by visiting the town’s website, preparing my list of topics for our conversation, and most importantly familiarizing myself with the building codes.

Having a rudimentary understanding of my town's building codes helped me get off on the right foot with Don, and makes his job easier. The more knowledge I bring to the table, the less time he has to take explaining things to me, and the more work we can get done faster.

I’ve learned over the years that the town building inspector is your friend - they’ll always try to help as much as they can, whether they're giving you tips, identifying potential hazards, or saving you money by identifying problems before construction begins.

If you’ve worked with a building inspector, I’d like to know what your experience was like. Please share your experience with us and join the conversation!

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