1. What is an inspection?
All construction work for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by authorized city or deputy inspectors. It is your responsibility to notify the inspector when the work is ready for inspection. Work is generally inspected and approved in succession and no work may continue beyond the point indicated in each successive inspection without first obtaining the approval of the inspector. Common items to be inspected are foundation excavations, concrete work, wood framing, ventilation equipment, plumbing, electrical, shear wall nailing, roof nailing etc. When completed, there shall be a final inspection and approval of the completed project.
2. When is an inspection required?
Any work which requires a permit will require inspections. When a permit is received, an Inspection Report Card will be issued. This card must be posted on the job site. The plans which were approved by the Department of Development Services must also be available during each inspection.
3. How do I request an inspection? What type of inspection will I need?
The Inspection Record will indicate the first inspection required for a job.
An inspection request can be made by calling (562) 570-LBDS.
This number is connected to an answering machine and should be used only to request inspections. These machines are available 24 hours a day.
When calling to request an inspection, please have the following information available:
The address of the job.
Type of inspection required.
The type of building (i.e. single family, apartment, commercial)
During the first inspection, the inspector will determine the amount of work which can be completed before the next inspection. Do not work past this point. This process will be repeated for each succeeding inspection.
Some commonly needed inspections are:
Grading - If a project requires grading of the site before construction, a registered inspector must be on-site to provide continuous inspection during grading. In most cases grading is necessary only for projects requiring the removal or addition of large amounts of earth.
Foundation/Slab - This inspection is performed after rough grading and placement of concrete forms and reinforcing steel, but prior to pouring any concrete.
Framing - Inspection is required after the roof covering is installed, doors and windows installed, flashed, and caulked, and electrical, plumbing and heating systems are prepared for rough inspection.
Energy Insultation - Inspection is required after installation, but prior to walls and ceilings being covered.
Lath/Drywall - Exterior lath is inspected after interior nailing of wall cover is completed and paper and wire have been nailed and trim is in place.
Final - This last inspection will occur when all fixtures are in place and the building is ready for occupancy
4. How much does an inspection cost?
The cost of a building inspection is included in the permit fee. However, there is a $192.37 reinspection fee if an inspection call is made but the work is not ready for inspection or required corrections have not been completed. A reinspection fee will also be charged if the approval plans are not available or the inspector cannot gain access to the site to perform the inspection.
5. What is a special inspection?
Special inspections are offered to assist property owners in determining the condition of an existing building.
A special inspection is sometimes required by lending agencies when a property is sold or refinanced. Before starting a major remodeling, a special inspection for minimum housing requirements may help identify any existing hazardous conditions. Some new businesses will also require special inspections in order to obtain a business license.
Separate inspections of the electrical plumbing, mechanical, and structural systems in buildings are available.
Homeowners can receive a combined inspection covering minimum housing health and safety requirements.
Owners will only be required to repair problem areas which have the potential to pose a life-safety hazard.
6. How much does a special inspection cost?
The fees for special inspection is $176 per hour or fraction thereof, plus surcharges.
7. What are the steps to get a general permit and an inspection?
There are a number of general steps in the process for obtaining permits and inspection approvals.
NOTE: Keep in mind that this is only a general outline of the permit and inspection process. Some projects have additional requirements, such as A.Q.M.D. or Harbor Department approvals, Public Works permits, additional fees for transportation or parks improvement. You should be notified of the additional requirements no later than initial plan review.
The property owner or authorized agent for the owner, or the contractor should:
Prepare plans, also known as blueprints, for the proposed construction.
Prepare and submit an application for the disciplines required to be permitted.
Submit the construction plans to the Building Bureau located in the Development Services Center.
Pay plan review fees.
After submittal, the Building Bureau staff will:
Review the plans submitted for compliance with applicable codes and State Law.
The plans will either be approved and ready for permit issuance or the plan checker will prepare and issue a set of corrections that are required to be made to the plans before permit issuance.
If corrections were issued, the property owner or authorized agent for the owner, or the contractor should correct the plans and resubmit to the Building Bureau for review and approval.
If the plans are approved, the property owner or authorized agent for the owner, or the contractor should:
Return to the Development Services Center to obtain the approved plans.
Return proof of other Department approvals, if required.
Obtain the permit and an Inspection Record Card for posting at the site.
Pay the cashier for the permit fees and any other applicable fees.
At various stages of construction, the property owner or authorized agent for the owner, or the contractor should:
Obtain inspections for compliance with the approved plans.
Call for inspections should always be made before the work is concealed.
All approvals are recorded on the Inspection Record card to track construction progress.
When the work is completely finished the property owner or authorized agent for the owner, or the contractor should:
Review the work and make sure that it is ready for a final inspection.
Go online or telephone for an inspection.
Meet the inspector at the property address on the following business day between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. for the inspection.
For the final inspection, the inspector will:
Make a final inspection, reviewing the progress made since the last inspection and review all work completed to ensure safety for occupancy and connection of utility services.
If there are no corrections the inspector will approve the work and will authorize the connection of utility services.
Issue a Certificate of Occupancy to the property owner.
8. What is a certificate of occupancy?
A certificate of occupancy is issued pursuant to a building permit for new construction, additions, and changes of occupancy after all the necessary construction has been approved by the inspector. It is evidence that the Department of Development Services has determined that the construction was done according to the requirements of the code for the given occupancy to be housed in the building.
9. Can a building official issue a “Temporary Certificate of Occupancy” prior to the completion of the entire building or structure?
If the building official finds that no substantial hazard will result from the occupancy of any building, or portion thereof, before the same is completed, and satisfactory evidence is submitted that the work could not have been completed prior to the time such occupancy is desired because of its magnitude or because of unusual construction difficulties, and where applicable the City Engineer or duly authorized representative has reported that all required public improvements have been completed, the Building Official may issue a temporary certificate of occupancy for any building or portion thereof. Please see Long Beach Municipal Code section 18.16.180 for more details.