Under the Building Code, all construction or work that requires a building permit shall be subject to inspection and approval by the County Building Inspector and all such construction or work shall remain accessible and exposed for inspection purposes until approved. Depending on the scope of work being performed and the type of building, you may have one or more inspections. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to schedule an inspection for each phase of construction.
It is important to remember that the permitted work is not approved until it has been inspected and accepted by the Permit Sonoma inspection staff.
Before the County Building Inspector Arrives at the Site
- Post the job address at the job site. Be sure that the address posted is the same as the address on the building permit. Fire Safe Standards require address numbers to be at least 4 inches high with a 3/8 inch stroke, reflectorized and on a contrasting background. Addresses shall be posted at the beginning of the driveway, (where the driveway intersects with the road), and must be visible from both directions of travel. Driveways serving multiple addresses shall have each address mounted on a single post at the beginning and at each Y or intersection in the driveway. Post height should be a minimum of 42 inches with a minimum 8"x10" placard.
- Maintain the approved plans and job card on the job site at all times.
- Make sure the owner, contractor or owner’s agent is present at the site for inspections in an occupied residence. Inspectors cannot enter a residence with unattended minor children present.
- Make sure all work to be inspected is completed and accessible. A sturdy ladder of sufficient length must be available, if necessary, for the requested inspection.
- If you fail to meet these requirements, a re-inspection fee will be assessed. You will not be able to schedule another inspection until the re-inspection fee is paid. You may call Permit Sonoma to pay this fee via the telephone using a credit card.
Types of Building Inspections
In general, inspections should be grouped in the following categories and requested in the following order. Depending on each project, additional inspections may be required for items such as; masonry fireplaces, shear walls, roof diaphragm nailing and roof covering installation. Requesting additional inspections should be discussed with the building inspector.
- Foundation: Request foundation inspection after trenches are excavated, forms are erected, UFER ground, seismic restraints and reinforcing steel are in place and, before, pouring concrete. Fire Safe Standards (FSS) also require that the emergency all-weather access road, water supply and required hydrant are in compliance prior to the foundation inspection.
- Concrete Slab: Request concrete slab inspection after drain/waste plumbing, water lines, mechanical ducts, and hydronic systems are installed, under test and exposed for the building inspector.
- Underfloor Inspection: Request underfloor inspection after rough plumbing (sanitary drain lines) and rough mechanical (water and gas piping) are installed, strapped and under test; and after heat ducts are installed, supported and insulated before the subfloor is installed. Subfloor and insulation are not to be installed until inspection of underfloor has been approved.
- Structural Inspection: Request structural inspection after bracing; shear panels at walls, floors and roof; straps and hold-downs; fire blocking and all other framing and structural connections are in place.
- Close-In Inspection: Request close-in inspection after roof sheathing/nailing inspection and approval, exterior walls and sub-roof underlayment, and exterior siding or lath have been installed; all framing, fire blocking and bracing are in place; rough plumbing is completed and under test; rough electrical and rough mechanical are complete, before the building is insulated and drywall is applied.
- Insulation Inspection: Request insulation inspection after insulation is in place. If prior arrangements are made with the building inspector, a certificate of insulation installation may be accepted in lieu of an inspection.
- Wallboard Inspection: Request wallboard inspection after all lathing or gypsum board (interior and exterior) is in place, but before taping, plaster, or stucco is applied.
- Special Inspections: All special inspections must be completed with daily reports available.
- Final Inspection: Request final inspection after construction is completed, including all grading, drainage and site work, and before the building is occupied. The building must be unlocked, or prior arrangements made for the inspector to access the building. All appliances, electrical fixtures, convenience outlets, switches and plates must be in place. The following is also required to receive a final on the building permit and a certificate of occupancy:
- All required approvals for occupancy which include but not limited to: Well and Septic, Sanitation, Planning, Encroachment, and Fire.
- The following completed documents must be available at the job site:
- CF6R form for energy regulation compliance;
- final special inspection summary if applicable and
- structural engineer’s final report, if applicable.