INSPECTIONS AND CERTIFICATES
1. Who needs to be present at an inspection?
On small residential projects where the work can be inspected without entering the occupied portion of the house or garage, the inspections can be performed without the owner or contractor present (i.e. patios, decks, pools, and reroofs). Be sure to allow access and make sure that dogs or other animals are secured. If a ladder is required, have one available for the inspector to use. Also be sure to leave the permit and the approved plans on site for the inspector.
All other projects require an adult to be present during the inspection. This could be the property owner, licensed contractor, or an authorized agent. If the work is being done by a contractor, it is recommended that they be present during the inspection in order to consult with the inspector.
2. Are after-hour inspections available?
Yes. At least a 24 hour minimum notice is required. The charge is a minimum of $304.00 which includes the first two hours and $152.00 per hour or portion thereof after that. All overtime inspections are assigned on a voluntary bases, so a longer lead time will help to arrange for an inspector.
3. What is a special inspector?
In addition to the inspections provided by the City staff, the California Building Code mandates that the owner or the engineer or architect acting on behalf of the owner employ one or more special inspectors who shall provide inspections during construction on elements that are critical to the safety of the structure, such as the underground storage of hazardous materials. It is important to note that these special inspectors are not on the project in lieu of the regular City building inspector, but rather they are on the project in addition to the regular City building inspector. Only companies previously authorized by the City may perform special inspection services.
4. What are the most commonly requested inspections?
The following are typical inspection steps for an addition, remodel, or new residence. Other inspections may be required, depending on the type of permit.
Foundation Slab on Grade or Raised Floor- To be scheduled after all excavations for footings are complete, concrete forms and required reinforcing steel and hardware are in place, and any under floor plumbing and electrical is done and under test.
Girder and/or Under-Floor Inspection (raised floor only) To be scheduled after all under-floor framing, plumbing, HVAC, and wiring are complete and prior to the installation of the insulation.
Under-floor Insulation (raised floor only) To be scheduled after the floor insulation is installed but prior to installation of the sub-floor.
Shear and Roof-ply Nail To be scheduled after roof sheathing is complete, structural wall panels and any associated hardware are in place and windows are installed.
Framing (above floor) To be scheduled after all framing, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC are in place and the building is weather tight with roof, lath, and/or siding in place. Lath to be approved prior to stucco application.
Insulation To be scheduled after insulation has been installed and prior to dry wall covering.
Final To be scheduled after the building is complete, finish grading is done and the structure is ready for occupancy.
5. What is a Certificate of Occupancy?
The City issues a "Certificate of Occupancy" once all aspects of the "Approved/ Issued Permit" have been completed. A "Temporary Certificate of Occupancy" may also be issued for a time period of 60 days or less, provided no Fire or Life Safety items are outstanding. Prior to issuance of the above, approvals must be obtained from ALL inspectors in all disciplines. Certificates of Occupancy or Compliance are not issued for Residential structures.
6. What if a permit expires?
Generally, a permit expires after 180 days if no inspections have been made. If the permit expires before the final inspection, the project is in violation of the California State Building Code. If this occurs, please call the Help Line at 916-264-5011 or come in to the Permit Counter. City staff will work with the applicant to reactivate or re-apply for the permit.