Any time you apply for a building permit for a new house or remodel, you must submit a set of plans to your city municipality for approval. The plans are stamped with the plans examiner's official stamp once they're approved. Then, as work progresses, the building inspector conducts inspections at required intervals to ensure that…
Any time you apply for a building permit for a new house or remodel, you must submit a set of plans to your city municipality for approval. The plans are stamped with the plans examiner's official stamp once they're approved. Then, as work progresses, the building inspector conducts inspections at required intervals to ensure that the construction matches those approved plans and all the new work conforms to the International Residential Code .
The inspections generally occur at the construction process intervals listed below. To ensure passing, do your own pre-inspection before the building inspector arrives to do his. Check off the items under each inspection – these are the areas generally of greatest concern to the inspector.
Footings or foundation: (before the concrete is poured)
Do the forms have the appropriate depth, width, and thickness required for the foundation system in the plans? Is the rebar properly placed and connected? Is the bottom surface for the feet level? Are the required anchor bolts laid out and ready to be placed in the concrete? Does the distance from the feet to any ascending or descending slope satisfy with setback requirements? Is the foundation height at least 12 inches plus 2 percent above the elevation of the gutter?
Are the piping materials identified by the manufacturer as third-party tested? Are the plumbing vents at least one-half the diameter of the drain pipe diameter? Are there enough pipe supports? Is DWV pipe installed in a trench backfilled with earth, sand or gravel, but not rock? Has the system been checked for leaks at the joints?
Is the soil properly compacted? Is there a 4-inch base of sand, crushed stone, or gravel on top of the compacted soil? Is there 3-1 / 2 inches from the top of your forms to the baseline? Check by running a taut string line across the top of the forms to make sure you have the required depth at all locations. Is any piping that extends above your concrete protected with sheathing or wrapping? Does the vapor barrier overlap 6 inches at the joints?
Framing inspection: (This is where a lot of corrections are typically noted – and fixing a framing mistake is not easy or cheap.)
Are your wood studies identified by a code-approved grade stamp? Are your shear wallholddowns anchored and nailed per the manufacturer's specs? Is your shear wall nailed correctly? Are support columns and posts installed per the plans and anchored to the foundations and beams? Are your studies on center? Are your anchor bolts spaced correctly? Is the fireblocking installed correctly in each wood frame, including covered spaces, interconnections, and in openings for vents, ducts, cables, and wires?
Floor and roof framing inspection: (This is another common area for code violations.)
Have you used the grade of lumber specified in the plans? If the species, grade, or size of a wood member is different from what the plans show, the strength will not match that approved in the plans. Is blocking installed at all points of support to keep joists from rotating? Do joists from opposite sides of a span lap over a beam? Is that lap at least 3 inches and are the joints nailed by at least three 10d nails? Are any holes or notches cut into any engineered-wood products, such as glulam, laminated veneer lumber or I-joists? Are roof trusses braced per the fabricator's instructions?
Floor and roof decking inspection:
Are your sheathing panels stamped with the correct grade for the span you're covering? Are the end joints in your subflooring over supports? Are the joints staggered on your roof sheathing? Without staggering the joints of the roof sheathing, the loads can not transfer across the roof diaphragm. Are all structural panels connected to framing using the code-required nail size?
Intermediate plumbing inspection: (before drywall is hung)
Is the DWV piping supported every 4 feet horizontally or 10 feet vertically, as required by code? Is the sanitary pipe leak-free? Are the cleanouts installed as indicated on the plans? Do the vents extend at least 6 inches above the windows, plus the average snow-accumulation depth? Has the water supply system been pressure-tested at 50 psi for 15 minutes? Are shield panels installed over areas where supporting members have been notched or bored for plumbing runs? Are there kinks or bends in the HVAC ductwork?
Intermediate electrical inspection: (before drywall is hung)
Does the electrical layout match the layout in the plans? If changes are needed during construction, they can sometimes force an electrician to improvise. Make sure all changes follow code requirements. Are there at least 6 inches of free conductor wire at outlet boxes? Do the ceiling fans have an approved fan box? Is wire entering each outlet or switch fastened to the box? Are shield plates installed where electric cable runs through a stud or joist? Are the envelopes spaced along the wall as indicated on the approved plans?
Gypsum board inspection: (after drywall is hung)
Are Type W or Type S screws used for attachment to wood framing? Do the screws penetrate the wood by at least 5/8 inch? Is 1/2-inch-thick drywall used to construct the wall separating the residence from the garage to prevent the spread of fire?
The final inspection:
Does the grading slope away from the building? Is there a solid-core door between the house and the garage? Is the building generally complete in appearance? Have you installed safety glass in hazardous locations? Are the handrails on the decking stairways 34 to 38 inches above the nosing on each stair tread? Do all the rooms have a 7-foot ceiling height? Is the electrical disconnect clearly identified? Are all bathroom fixtures operable? Is water pressure between 40 and 80 psi?
When the final inspection is complete, the inspector will provide you with a signed certificate of occupancy and call to have utilities turned on. The house should then be ready for years of safe occupancy.