Building Inspection Checklist Items
By Editorial Staff
Contributed by Info Guru David Galassi
Whether it’s a one-bedroom single family home or a 70-story condominium, if it’s new or being rehabbed, expect a visit from the building inspector.
Heads up! Here are the top ten things a building inspector will look for when performing basic construction inspections at various stages of residential construction. Make sure your general contraction – that means YOU if you are acting as GC – is on the same page as your municipality, and everything will go smoothly for your project’s permitting and inspection process.
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10. Foundations and Concrete
Inspectors want to see that all dimensions are followed for thickness and width, that concrete is sitting on undisturbed or compacted soil or fill and that all steel reinforcement is in place in an approved manner.
9. Wood framing
Be sure all nailed connections are flush and tight, headers are in place and have correct bearing, rafters have full bearing on the ridge board, stud are on center per spec and sheathing in nailed in a correct pattern and spacing. Don’t leave missed nails sticking out or the inspector may make you remove roofing felt and house wrap to observe the nailing closer.
Rough inspections require the correct plumbing supports, correct size fittings and increases and correct slope. Most plumbing inspectors take a close look at all the above and nothing is hidden so don’t cheat.
7. Rough Electric
Be sure that all service panels have correct grounding, rough in conduit and any flex is supported correctly and wire sizes and color meet current code. Watch for correct support of recessed lighting as the electrical inspectors has authority here as well for correct lighting installation. Your choices in home lighting must start with code-compliant electric service.
6. Rough Mechanical
Inspectors are very tough on support spacing and duct sizing and they take a very close look at joint connection sealing. Be sure connections and joints are sealed with an approved product and sheet metal screws are evenly spaced and seated.
Be sure all insulation is of the correct size and is attached per spec. Seal around electric and plumbing penetrations with an approved fire caulk. Save the empty fire caulking tubes so the material can be verified. Don’t use painters caulk as fire stop!
Most inspectors take a close look at the screw spacing on drywall. Local codes govern, but to be safe 8” spacing will always pass inspection. Most inspectors carry an 8” stick to check your centers so don’t cheat. Screws are cheap.
3. Building Envelope
Inspectors look at the siding for correct attachments, window and door caulking and sealants, brick weeps, eve venting, stucco cracking and correctly installed trim work and accessories.
Most inspections are done well after the felt is applied and the shingles are nailed. Some inspectors will look at the sheathing from underneath to insure a 3 or 4 nail pattern exists. They will also observe correct venting, soil stack and chimney flashings and gutters and downspouts.
1. Finish work and Occupancy
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Before you get your certificate of occupancy inspection be sure there are no plumbing leaks, the toilets flush and fill, doors close, window open and close, all electric outlets have been tested and all cover and caps have been installed. Be sure to test all fire and Co2 alarms. Check the safety feature on the electric garage door as well. The inspector will!
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