december 2022, issue 1
BRIEFING ON CONSTRUCTION & Some other stuff
Written by TATIANA gUSt
Today we will be discussing about inspections related to a building permit from a building code point of view. As we have discussed in other blogs, there are different departments that also review and inspect as part of the building process. There could be other inspections such as final site inspections, final fire inspection, or final health inspection, etc.
A final inspection is the last inspection from a building code perspective to finalize a project. This inspection is typically called “final building,” or some variation along those lines.
A building inspector typically looks for the following items:
- Approved plans match the final construction. If they don’t, the inspector will ask for a revision (sometimes called as built) to record the actual finished product. So don’t wait to the end, as this may delay your certificate of completion (CC) or occupancy (CO).
- All the envelope for the building must be completed. This includes all windows and doors, paint, caulking, cover plates, etc. The inspectors will not pass exterior walls that have patches (not painted) since paint is the barrier for weather elements, or exposed wires because a light fixture was on backorder, but inspectors will pass it if you place a cover plate on it.
- All exterior grade around the house has to be completed and sloped away from the structure. .
- If new building is within 10’ of property line, gutters will be required (check local ordinance as other areas may also require this under different circumstances).
- All windows and doors must be operable, especially egress windows, since this is the time when inspectors can properly test them.
- All hardwire appliances must be in place. Plug in appliances are not required unless they have permanent connection such as dishwasher.
- Inside the building paint does not need to be completed; substantially completed is acceptable.
- There shall be no exposed wire hanging from anywhere.
- Drywall shall be completed and mudded. No holes or cut because someone else was working around there.
- The outside of the building should have the building address numbers. 4” min required for residential, and 6” min required for commercial. If the building is not visible from the public way, numbers shall also be located on a mailbox or signage by the road.
In general, inspectors are okay with the building substantially completed.
I also want to share with you another list that I don’t often get asked for but typically one question at the time comes through. So, these are things that I don’t necessarily make a big deal about, but it all depends on your building inspector and what the local building official feels comfortable with.
What is not needed to obtain a CO:
- Completed trim, baseboard or crown molding.
- Flooring – except in commercial common areas where we need to verify change in levels for accessibility.
- Interior door hardware – except commercial projects and bathrooms since you need privacy.
- Interior paint – the contractor will do a punch list until you are happy.
- Cabinet doors
- Any appliance that is plug-in – unless is stuck on an exterior wall such as mini split system.
- Mirrors – unless in an accessible bathroom
- Any cabinetry that does not have any plumbing or electrical elements associated with it.
We can work with anything that does not have a code requirement associated with it. Remember, as building inspectors, as we discussed in a previous blog, we need to ensure buildings meet minimum building codes and approved plans.
I hope this helps someone during the end of the construction process, we understand it is a stressing period for some trying to coordinate movers, or opening a store, or closing with the bank , etc. Now you know what you can leave for later and still being able to get your CO.
Let me know if there is another topic you want me to discuss in the future. Please share the knowledge with others, and I will see you for our next blog!