FAQ – Inspections


1. When I start construction, is the work inspected?

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Yes. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to call the Department of Municipal Inspections to arrange for the required inspections. Required inspections are indicated on the inspection record card, which you receive when your permit is approved.


2. Where should this card be kept?

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The card must be posted in a location visible from the street and accessible to the inspector. Generally, the best location is inside a front storm door.


3. Do I need to provide anything else to the inspector?

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Yes. If you submitted plans along with your permit application, a copy of these plans, bearing an “approved” stamp was returned to you with the approved building card. This copy must be available for the inspector to review for determination that the work is in compliance with the approved plans.


4. How much notice does the inspector need when I am ready for an inspection?

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The State Building Code states that the contractor must give the inspector 24 hours notice prior to the time when the inspection needs to be performed. It further states ” the Building Inspector shall make the inspection within 48 hours after such notification”.


5. Can I call for plumbing and electrical inspections?

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No. These calls must be made by the licensed plumber or electrician. The amount of notice required is stated in their respective codes.


6. What does the inspector look for during the inspection?

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We are trying to determine compliance with the approved plans and with the applicable codes. For more detail, see the attached list of inspection checkpoints.

 


7. Does the inspector carry identification?

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Yes. All inspectors have business cards and photo identifications. Also, they normally arrive in an official vehicle. If in doubt as to the inspector’s identity, please request identification.


8. Will the inspector ever come to my house without a call from me or my contractor?

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Generally, no. However, the issuance of a permit gives the inspector the authority to enter the premises at any reasonable hour for the purpose of determining compliance with the approved permit. Denial of permission to enter the premises could result in revocation of the permit.


9. Does someone have to be home during the inspection?

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If access to the new work requires the inspector to walk through your existing, furnished house, someone must be present to let the inspector in. The inspector will not enter an unoccupied furnished house. We also will not enter a house in which only a child is home, unaccompanied by an adult. In these cases, please make arrangements with the inspector for a time to meet. We will try to accommodate your schedule as much as possible. However, the large number of inspections, and the unpredictability of the length of time each inspection may take, makes precise appointments difficult.


10. I’m having an addition built. When can I begin using it?

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The State Building Code states: “a building or structure shall not be used or occupied in whole or in part until the Certificate of Use/Occupancy shall have been issued by the Building Commissioner or Inspector of Buildings…. The certificate shall not be issued until all the work has been completed in accordance with the provisions of the approved permits and of the applicable codes for which a permit is required…”.


11. Is a Certificate of Use/Occupancy always required?

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No. A Certificate of Occupancy is generally issued only for new construction (new houses, additions, decks, etc.) or for changes in use of an existing area (finishing an attic, etc.). Certificates are also issued for wood stoves. Certificates are not required or issued for roofing, siding, etc.


12. If I don’t get a Certificate, how do I know the work was completed satisfactorily?

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The inspector will sign your inspection record card. Also, if for any reason you want a Certificate, simply request one and it will be provided.


13. Can I occupy my structure before all the work is done?

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In most cases, no. However, at your request we may issue a temporary Certificate of Occupancy if the work is near completion and the structure can be occupied safely. This Certificate will have an expiration date and list the work required to be completed prior to issuance of the permanent Certificate.