That's the way it's supposed to work... in theory.  The reality is that many 
FSDOs simply don't have the manpower to do amateur built inspections.  I have 
seen guys get held up for a year waiting on FSDO to do an inspection because 
they wouldn't cough up the $500+ travel expenses to pay a DAR.  It varies 
widely from region to region and from time to time. DARs are contractors and 
charge what they think is reasonable for their services.  Some are $200.  Some 
are $1000.  Some do good inspections.  Some will drive up in their motorhome 
with the boat on behind, sign the paperwork on the way by while heading for the 
lake and charge you travel time for it on top of their fees.  It's a real crap 
shoot.  However, it is a much better system than what we had prior to the rule 
changes in 1980.

-Jeff Scott
Los Alamos, NM

Why do you even need a DAR during the build?  3 visits, for what?  The FSDO in 
your city will come out for free if you can ahead and get on their schedule for 
a final inspection, which is all that is required (unless the rules have 
RonSt. Louis, MO

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