Inspections are an important component throughout the building cycle. Inspections are performed during the project to ensure the structure is built to Building Code for building safety. There are Standard Inspections, Requirements and Protocols, Reinspection Fees, and Owner Responsibilities for construction projects to be aware of. The information on the tabs below is to help with understanding the basics.
Skipping inspections can have a negative impact for your project. Permits can be revoked and/or a Certificate of Occupancy can be denied. Your inspection card will list the REQUIRED inspections for your project.
- Standard Resident Inspections
- Requirements and Protocols
- Property Owner Responsibility
- Reinspection Fees
Inspections are the formal evaluation performed at stages of construction to ensure Building Code compliance. Not all construction projects have the same scope of work, therefore will not have the same inspections. The Plan Review process will determine which inspections are required for your project. However, there are Standard Inspections throughout stages of construction. Listed below are the most common inspections.
Depending on the time of year or weather, you can expect the inspection as early as 7:00 a.m. and by 5:00 p.m. on the arranged day. Schedule any subsequent work accordingly.
It is our goal to ensure your project inspections progress smoothly and efficiently. The applicant/owner/contractor is responsible for making sure inspections are scheduled and approved. Therefore, basic inspection etiquette is necessary to avoid timely and/or costly mistakes. While this inspection list is comprehensive, it is NOT all inclusive and does not account for every building code requirement.
GRANT COUNTY RESIDENTIAL INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS AND PROTOCOL
It is the goal of the Development Services Department to ensure that the customer’s project runs as smooth as possible once the building permit has been issued. It is a requirement of the WA State Building Code that all required inspections be completed and approved so that the customer obtains the Certificate of Occupancy that confirms the legality of the structure. It is therefore imperative that the customer and/or contractor understand what elements of the required inspections need to be completed when the inspection is scheduled so that the project can continue to progress, unnecessary trips by inspection staff is avoided and ultimately, reinspection fees can be avoided. Please refer to Standard Resident Inspections Tab for an example Inspection Card (Job Card) that lists the required inspections needed for a standard single-family dwelling project. The applicant/owner/contractor must understand that while this list is comprehensive it does not account for every building code requirement, which must be verified by the inspector.
NOTE: Any deviation from plans that are designed and sealed by a license design professional can only be approved by the design professional of record. These inspection requirements are not all encompassing and may vary according to project. In certain cases, given the complexity of projects, unforeseen circumstances, or site deterioration, additional items not listed here may be required at the discretion of the plans examiner or inspector.
1. SETBACK INSPECTION: Verification that the building footprint is “setback” the approved distances from all property lines, structures, easements, etc. that are listed on the approved site plan. Property lines must be identified by string lines provided at the time of inspection. Inspectors do not provide string lines and measurements to landscaping or existing fences is inaccurate. If any encroachment is proposed to be the minimum required, property survey pins may be required to ensure that the building meets all setback requirements prior to any concrete being poured.
NOTE: The maximum projection (overhang) cannot exceed 20-inches when the finished building face is located on a 5-foot minimum side or rear yard setback. The maximum projection into any setback shall not exceed 24-inches. This is a requirement of the development regulation and not the building code. The building code has its own set of requirements, and these requirements are known as Fire Separation Distances and not setbacks. All structures must comply with both codes.
Temporary site addresses are verified with the setback inspection and should be posted at the legal access of a project. Multiple markers may be needed in remote locations. Site addresses ensure inspectors have arrived at the correct location, given there may be multiple sites along one road. Site addresses also help direct EMS in the event of an emergency.
2. FOOTING: The footing inspection may be conducted in conjunction with the stem wall (foundation) inspection, known as a monopour. Elements of the footing required to be verified prior to pouring concrete are as follows:
a. Footing Frost Depth (18-inch minimum to bottom of footing)
b. Footing location, width, and depth as per approved plan
c. Presumptive Soil Bearing Value of 1,500 psf or greater or per engineering or geotechnical report, if applicable. No wet, frozen, or objectionable soil conditions will be approved for concrete pour
d. The footing projection for the stem wall shall be no less than 2-inches and shall not exceed the thickness of the footing unless designed otherwise on the approved plans
e. Reinforcement Bar sized, placed, continuous, lap spliced, and supported per approved plan
f. All pier, column, spread, or isolated footings must be inspected and approved prior to placing concrete. This may warrant more than one footing inspection
3. FOUNDATION: The elements of the foundation/stem wall required to be verified prior to pouring concrete are as follows:
a. Stem Wall location, width, and height as per approved plan
b. Reinforcement Bar sized, placed, continuous, lap spliced, and supported prior to placing concrete
c. Required hold downs, such as STHDs, HDUs, Threaded Rods, etc. shall be installed per approved plans or manufacturer specs in the appropriate locations
d. Anchor Bolts installed per approved plan. Bolts may be “wet-set” at the contractor’s own risk, if the approved plans allow
e. Crawl Space Vents, if applicable, shall be placed per approved plan or may be place in the perimeter wall assembly
4. UNDERFLOOR INSPECTION: The underfloor inspection shall be performed and approved prior to the floor sheathing being placed. The elements of the underfloor inspection are as follows:
a. Floor Joists installed per approved plan or per manufacturer installation instruction on if using engineered wood floor system
b. Sill seal or pressure-preservative treated lumber for sill plate is installed
c. Anchor Bolts are sized, placed, and secured per approved plan
d. Joist, beams and other wood elements shall meet required clearances to concrete or ground contact, or shall be separated by an approved barrier
e. Crawl Access is installed per approved plan and per prescriptive minimum size
f. All nails, hangars or other fasteners shall have positive connections and shall be installed per the approved plan and best construction practices
g. All blocking, squash blocks, web-stiffeners, etc. are placed per approved plan or manufacturer installation instructions
h. Clearances to underside of floor joists, beams, girders, etc. are per code and/or approved plan and there is access to all areas of the crawl space beneath beams or through pony walls
i. Post and beam underfloor framing systems shall be sized, placed, connected, and installed per approved plan
j. Concrete has been consolidated appropriately in all areas of the foundation
5. GROUNDWORK PLUMBING: (Slab on Grade Systems).
a. DWV is on 5 psi test using water @ 10 feet head or 5 psi using air
b. Water Supply is on 50 psi test minimum
c. Groundwork and embedment shall be free of rocks and debris and the pipe shall be supported on clean compacted material
d. Piping is of code compliant material, is the correct size, slope, connections and fittings are correct and are protected at floor penetrations
6. SLAB-ON-GRADE WITH TURNED DOWN FOOTINGS: Slab-on-grade floors may have insulated turned down footings or frost-protected footings and require the following:
a. Frost protected footings are 18-inches minimum below grade
b. Perimeter insulation is installed per approved plan
c. Welded Wire Fabric or other reinforcement is installed per approved plan
7. BRACED WALLS – SHEAR WALLS: The roof structure must be installed prior to scheduling the shear nailing inspection. This inspection includes the following:
a. Shear or Braced Wall Panels have edge and field nailing per the approved plan (interior and exterior locations)
b. All hold-downs, transfer straps or other hardware is installed per approved plan
c. All horizontal and/or vertical seams are appropriately blocked and nailed
d. All positive connections can be visualized, including portal frame components
e. Exterior framing components (posts and beams, etc.) and connection hardware shall be verified prior to covering with soffits, post wrap, etc.
8. ROUGH TRADES INSPECTION: This inspection combines the following and each category must be completed and ready for inspection as follows (including rough electrical sign off):
A. FRAMING: Rough framing includes the following:
a. All framing completed per approved plan, including porches, decks, and trusses
b. All interior hold-downs, straps, fasteners per approved plan
c. All fireblocking and draftstops per approved plan/code
d. All stairway profiles, dimensions of run and rise, etc.
e. Egress windowsill height above finished floor (44 and 24)
f. Safety Glazing locations
g. Spans, loading conditions, notching, splices and condition of all studs, headers, truss bracing, blocking, purlins, kickers, collars ties, etc.
h. Electrical boxes in place for smoke and CO alarms
i. Crawl and attic access
B. PLUMBING: Rough plumbing includes the following:
a. All DWV on 10 feet of water test (5 psi) or 5 psi air test with visible gage
b. All Domestic supply on 50 psi minimum pressure test with visible gage
c. Piping is of code compliant material, is the correct size, has the correct drainage slope, connections and fittings are correct, and has compliant cleanouts
d. Venting and combination venting configuration
e. Strike Plates, straps and piping support
f. Notching of studs, joists, and other penetrations
g. Appliance connections, shut offs, tempering valves, or other
C. MECHANICAL: Rough mechanical includes the following:
a. All ducts sealed and insulated where applicable
b. Rigid duct requirements versus transition or flex ducts
c. Appliance locations, vents, intake, supply, transfer size and locations of such
d. Fireplace or other appliance locations, vents, clearance to combustibles per manufacturer installation instructions (must be on-site)
e. Fuel-gas piping, size, location, penetrations, supports, shut off valves, etc.
f. Exhaust fans, dryer exhaust, kitchen exhaust, etc.
g. Mechanical access, light, receptacle and platform if within attic space and condensate drain discharge locations
D. PRE-INSULATION: Pre-insulation inspection is part of the rough trades inspection and includes the following:
a. Exterior water-resistive barrier (Tyvek or other house wrap)
b. Air barrier integrity, sealing of all plate penetrations between conditioned and unconditioned spaces by wires, cables, piping, etc.
c. Electrical boxes and other penetrations sealed or gasketed
d. Bottom plates sealed
9. INSULATION: The insulation inspection includes the following:
a. Appropriate R-Value insulation installed in floors, walls, headers
b. Attic insulation baffles installed at all vents/bird blocks
c. Insulation Shield installed at any appliance vent penetration through attic space
d. Ceiling batt insulation, if applicable
e. Appropriate U-Value of all windows (window stickers must remain affixed)
f. Energy Credit requirements applicable at this point
g. Appropriate class I or class II vapor retarders
10. DRYWALL: This inspection is required only for interior gypsum shear and braced walls, and for fire-resistant rated assemblies such as garage/dwelling separations and garage ceilings with habitable space above. This inspection shall be performed prior to taping to inspect fasteners and verify correct gypsum.
11. FINAL INSPECTION: This inspection includes the following:
a. Exterior grading
b. Hose Bibb AVB’s or ASME 1019
c. Address Posted
d. Blower Door/Duct Certificate Posted
e. Energy Code Certificate, if applicable
f. Life-safety systems (operating smoke and CO alarms), garage door rating/self-closing, means of egress/stairs/guards/landings/etc.
g. HVAC and Water Heater Operational
h. Energy Credit Final
i. Operation of Mechanical Fans/HRV/WHF/Etc.
j. Final Electrical (L&I), if applicable
k. Built-in appliances to be installed and connected
l. Light fixtures in place as required, all lighting and outlets installed and covered
m. Plumbing fixtures installed, and fixtures sealed
n. Hammer arrestors installed on quick-action plumbing valves
12. ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
NOTE: No Certificate of Occupancy will be issued for residential dwellings that missed any required inspection(s) that could not be inspected after-the fact due to cover.
One of our most common questions is, "Who is responsible?". Ultimately, the property owner is responsible for their property which would include any permits obtained for construction, alteration, repair, move, demolish or change of use.
Be Prepared for Your Inspection
When the inspector arrives to perform the inspection, the following should be available to him/her to complete the inspection:
- Approved Plan Set
- Approved Site Plan
- Inspection Card (Yellow Card Stock)
- Issued Permit (white, multiple page document)
- Any Previous Field Notes
If your project site is missing these items, the inspector may not perform the inspection and you could be subject to a re-inspection fee if repeated violations occur.
2.5% convenience fee.
If paying by check, you can mail the check to PO Box 37, Ephrata WA 98823. If paying in the office by check or cash, we accept payments between 8 am – 4pm, M-F.