Las Vegas boosts building inspectors to better cover weekends

Building inspections in Las Vegas could get easier, and in some cases cheaper, under new procedures announced Wednesday.

The biggest change is the addition of two building safety inspectors who will work Saturday and Sunday shifts, visiting homes and businesses in the city to approve everything from new water heaters to gas line repairs.

Previously, home and business owners could request weekend inspections but would be responsible for paying the inspectors' overtime, which could cost $250 or more, Building and Safety Department Director Chris Knight said.

By adding two inspectors, at a combined cost of about $200,000 annually, including benefits, the department can stagger inspectors' shifts without having to pass overtime costs to customers, Knight said.

The idea, according to Councilman Steve Ross, who joined Mayor Carolyn Goodman for the announcement, is to reduce the chances someone with an unexpected home or business repair will be stuck skipping work or closing shop until an inspector arrives.

"It never fails - it is Friday night when the water heater takes a dump," Ross said.

Before the new hires, the city had 15 inspectors on duty Tuesday through Thursday, and seven or eight on Mondays and Fridays, Knight said. And while the cost of inspections typically is covered in the building permit, people who wanted weekend service had to pay overtime, he said.

Two new inspectors will help reduce backlogs that occur Mondays and Fridays and will work regular weekend shifts for common inspections such as water heaters, water softeners, patios, pools and gas line repairs.

Knight said one of the inspectors is already on board and contributed to inspections in 26 locations this past weekend.

Inspections hours are now 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, excluding holidays. For workday inspections, call 702-229-4677; for weekends call 702-229-4076.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at or 702-383-0285.