Garrard building inspector wants more time for certification

August 22, 2003|PHIL PENDLETON

LANCASTER - Ray Prater was supposed to start his new part-time job as building inspector of Garrard County a week ago, but then he found out that he didn't have all of the certification he needs for the position.

"I am not a certified residential inspector," Prater told the Fiscal Court Aug. 12, four days before he was supposed to start inspecting buildings for the county. He said he is certified to inspect homes, but not residences.

"They are two separate things," he said. "I didn't know there was a difference at the time, but I do know now. I want to bring this thing to light. I didn't try to misinform anyone."

Ken Meredith, deputy commissioner in the Kentucky Department of Housing, Building and Construction, said often home inspectors are certified by an organization or an association. He said the state certifies, through a training and testing procedure, people to inspect one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses.


He said an inspector can be certified on several different levels. For example, a Level One certification is for one- and two-family dwellings. Levels extend to eventually include commercial building inspections. Meredith said it can take several months for a person to receive certification, depending on the person's schedule.

Prater said when a house is "home" inspected, it is done by sight, as much as the eye can see. But he said a "residential" inspection it is from the foundation up.

Boyle County Building Inspector Jim Adams said there is no state license for inspecting "homes." "Anybody can be a home inspector. You can be a home inspector," he said.

But Adams said a state-certified building inspector will have completed a battery of tests and 12 hours of continuing education.

Prater told the court he should be able to receive his proper credentials in about two to three months. "I want to serve the people," he said. "I've seen houses built in this county way under spec. I'm living in one."

Magistrate Walter "Tiddle" Hester suggested the court wait on Prater to get his certification. Magistrate Joe Leavell asked if the state could grant Prater a hardship certification. "Why don't we call Frankfort and get an emergency license, because we're breaching the law right now?" Leavell asked.

Boyle and Lincoln counties have inspectors, Prater said, and suggested Garrard try to use theirs on a temporary basis until he is certified.

Adams said Prater came to him asking for help inspecting homes until he gets his certification. "I told him I would help him, but I would have to charge him by the hour," he said. Prater told the court that would amount to $25 an hour.

Magistrates agreed to extend Prater's employment past Aug. 15 and discuss the issue further at the September Fiscal Court meeting.

Central Kentucky News Articles