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Video: Field Issuance Remodel Program (FIR)

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The FIR Program started as a pilot project five years ago with one inspector. It now has three full time inspectors and has enjoyed tremendous growth and support from its members. Participating in the program means that contractors rarely have to go downtown to obtain permits because the FIR inspector is present on-site before a project begins to review and approve plans, troubleshoot issues and conduct inspections. This helps to eliminate some of the remodeling surprises early on, allows customers to start work more quickly and provides a single-point-of-contact to the contractor.

The FIR Program owes its popularity in part to a guiding philosophy of providing unparalleled customer service. The continued demand for the FIR Program’s services has allowed the bureau to expand the program to include nearly 80 contractors and provide increased focus on contractors specializing in sustainable building.

For more information about the FIR Program, please contact Karl Harn (503) 823-7349, Dave Tebeau (503) 823-6802 or David Rolfe (503) 823-7784.

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1 Comment


Amalia Conrad

March 31, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Our current experience with this program would give it 0- marks.
It is designed to favor contractors rather than owners.
We are currently having a dispute (about billing and performance) with our contractor, who has suspended work because of it, and "thanks" to his participation in FIR we have realized, all too late, that we practically have no authority over our house, and over the renovations that have been extra-costly so far.
The inspector even refused to meet with us because all the power is in the hands of the contractor, and it is the contractor who must ask the inspector for a meeting. The owners, despite paying all the bills, are not allowed to meet with the inspector!
We asked our contractor to cancel the permit but in the meantime we are absolutely powerless to proceed with the renovations.
The whole experience has been a nightmare.
I am now deeply suspicious of this FIR program and of how these contractors are chosen for participation in this privileged track.
Furthermore, participation in the program costs the contractors money, and they obviously must pass this cost on to the owners, something which was not made clear to us in the billing -- nor was the system itself explained clearly to us by the contractor.
My advice to home owners is: do not be fooled in thinking that by choosing a FIR contractor you will be saving time (certainly not money). It may well be the opposite!

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