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What Does a Plans Examiner Do?

A plans examiner will review building plans to ensure legal codes have been met.
Examiners check to be sure plans follow local codes.
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  • Written By: Ryan Russell
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2014
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The job of the plans examiner is to review construction plans to make sure that proper legal codes are followed. This individual is responsible for ensuring that new construction meets the criteria laid out by public safety and health standards. He or she checks to make sure that proper building permits have been obtained by developers. The plans examiner has intimate knowledge of local building ordinances and works to make sure that they are enforced.

The plans examiner meets with both members of the public and people who are working on construction projects in order to relay information on building policies and procedures. This individual explains the requirements of building design and the appropriate installation of utilities. He or she receives the initial construction plans from property developers and performs a review. He or she remains on call to field inquiries about obtaining permits and proper adherence to the requirements of local building codes.

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If new additions are to be added to existing property, the plans examiner reviews the new blueprint to make sure that the additions are in compliance with local and federal construction ordinances. This individual submits comments on the proposed the plans to each developer. The plans examiner reviews recently filed construction plans and manages a database of all plans filed within his or her jurisdiction. He or she reviews the location of the plans and the unique specifications. This individual then notifies the appropriate government agencies that are required to give final approval.

The plans examiner also receives incoming permit applications and reviews them for proper completion, requesting revisions if necessary. He or she determines the appropriate fees owed by applicants. If the building plans show proper accordance with legal codes, then a building permit usually will be given. He or she often provides a new developer with data on existing buildings, along with previously issued comments, so that the new applicant knows what is required.

The job description of the plans examiner requires assessing data and completing reports on the building patterns of neighboring jurisdictions. These serve as benchmarks with which his or her jurisdiction can stay in accordance. On some occasions, this individual will make trips to building sites for a close examination. He or she will record any pertinent observations on these trips and provide comments.

This individual must have a great skill for reading design maps and diagrams for buildings. In some cases, a building plans examiner might have to use design equipment to perform on-site measurements in order to verify accuracy. He or she also must have the ability to communicate effectively with all of the individuals involved in a large construction project. Establishing healthy working relationships is essential for success in this job.

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