Remote Virtual Inspections…A Welcome Innovation in an Increasingly Virtual World

The inspection process has changed dramatically since the early 2000’s.  Back then, all inspections were called in by phone either into an IVR system or a voicemail recording.  Inspectors would transcribe the requests into a paper schedule.

Online requests were the next iteration for inspections through a variety of software options.  Next, came the mobile app process which allowed real time results and notifications for the first time.

Now, as a result of the pandemic, Remote Virtual Inspections (“RVI”) have come to the forefront of the construction industry and will change the way inspections are done.  Virtual inspections will enable all stakeholders including contractors, homeowners and jurisdictions to benefit from the efficiency and social distancing the virtual platform allows.  As with other industries and organizations, many are realizing that working remotely to accomplish objectives is a more efficient and better way of doing business.

Virtual inspections are a near immediate solution to inspection documentation.  We are now in a position to provide a better solution for all stakeholders, and the change is welcome.

Onsite inspections have become risky during the pandemic for both homeowners and inspectors.  Jurisdictions have been scrambling to find solutions and have landed on virtual inspections using a variety of platforms.  What we have found is that RVIs can increase productivity without sacrificing quality.

More complicated inspections requiring specific expertise such as large foundations, structural framing, and more complex specialty systems and attachments, will still have to happen on site.  But, the vast majority of inspections such as over the counter permits (M,E,P’s), bathroom and kitchen remodel, pools, re-roofs, decks, small additions, etc… can all happen remotely.

The mobile app has been a great resource for the jurisdictions to use depending on the software they have for their permitting process.  The functionality of cameras, videos, and dictation have come a long way.  Unlike other applications, the Inspected platform provides a standardized framework for capturing relevant information in an all encompassing, easy to use interface.  Video, photos, notes, inspection resulting, automatic notifications to the permittee, auto-generated reports, an email capability are all part of the process for a complete remote virtual inspection.

Building Officials and jurisdictions will appreciate the increase in productivity and decrease in vehicle and fuel expenses.  Inspectors will enjoy easy access to scheduling, workflow, and the ability to eliminate vehicle commutes.

The pandemic will have a lasting impact on the way many industries do business.  Our world has become more virtual and will continue to do so.  Over time, the efficiencies gained through virtual processes will demand a universal shift in industries including construction wherever possible.