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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Building Inspector Memories by Ron S. North is a collection of 104 real-life stories or commentaries as experienced by actual building inspectors working in British Columbia, Canada. North worked as an inspector, chief inspector, or manager for thirty-four years. He developed this collection from his own experiences, and those of other inspectors, to share some of the situations and challenges that inspectors face. While the stories would certainly engage the interest of building and fire code enforcers and readers from the construction industry, anyone can be entertained by, or learn from, many of them. Some stories are funny, some touching, some explanatory, some make you wonder at what people do, at some you just shake your head, and some might make you say “whoa!” A few illustrations are included and “Quirky Quickies” are interspersed among the stories. All provide a glimpse into the building inspector’s world and offer an appreciation of what the men and women in this career field face on the job.
In Building Inspector Memories, North has collected a wide variety of vignettes and commentaries. The narrative is written in an understandable, flowing style. Some readers unfamiliar with construction and inspection practices and procedures or the nuances of the professional (and sometimes unprofessional) relationships between owners, architects, engineers, builders, and code enforcers may not fully appreciate every story. However, there are many stories to which any homeowner or commercial building owner could easily relate. I especially enjoyed the insertion of humor as well as succinct words of advice, such as “Better to have a good builder than a good building inspector” and “Do not assume that something that may be obvious to you will automatically be obvious to someone else.”