What to Expect During an Inspection

If you have to get a permit to build a deck or replace a deck then an inspection will be part of the process. Inspections can be done to show that progress is being made on a project or that a project has been completed. Either way, inspections serve to ensure that the structure meets all technical codes, which outline minimum standards for safety.

Outdoor Seating on Deck

Knowing what to expect before the process begins will help you avoid delays and give you a better chance of passing the inspections without any problems.

Scheduling the Inspection

The first step in the inspection process is getting it scheduled. Depending on the scope of the project and the type of work being done you may need more than one inspection.

You have to line up an inspection time within 180 days of when the permit is issued or you run the risk of your permit expiring before the project can get done. If you’ve already had an inspection within that time frame to show progress you’ll have to schedule a second inspection to show that the project is now completed or nearing completion.

  • Schedule the inspection as early as possible – in a city like Austin BID inspectors are very busy.
  • Don’t wait until day 180.
  • Schedule a time when you can be there, along with your builder/contractor if you have one.
  • You’ll need to have the permit and all approved plans on hand during the inspection.
  • Schedule the inspection either over the phone or online.

Scheduling an Inspection by Phone

You will need to first fill out the Inspection Agent Letter of Authorization and Request for IVR PIN Number form to get a PIN number. Once the form is completed and submitted you’ll be given a PIN number. You’ll need this PIN number and your 10-digit permit number to schedule an inspection. The number to call is (512) 480-0623.

Scheduling an Inspection Online

If you aren’t yet registered on the Development Review, Permitting and Review website you’ll need to first register. After registering you’ll be sent a PIN number that must be used to complete the process. Once that’s done you can set up the inspection online.

Who Schedules the Inspection

It’s up to the permit holder and/or the owner-general contractor to get the inspections lined up in time. However, if there are electrical, plumbing or mechanical components being inspected only a contractor or authorized agent can request an inspection.

If you are working with a contractor it’s important to keep the lines of communication open on inspections. Don’t just assume they are handling it, verify it. It may even be best to get it in writing to safeguard yourself.

Who Will Preform the Inspection?

Austin residential construction projects are inspected by the Building Inspection Division (BID). It is a part of the Planning and Development Review Department. The division has a list of permit and building inspectors that are currently active and used to conduct city inspections.

What is the Purpose of an Inspection?

The inspector will be scrutinizing the project to ensure that everything meets the standards outlined in the Technical Codes. The city has adopted and amended the International Code Council’s 2009 International Building Code to use as their own. Inspectors use it as a guide to determine whether projects meet the:

  • Residential One-and-Two Family Building Code
  • Zoning Codes
  • Plumbing Code
  • Electrical Code
  • Energy Code

There are also sometimes special inspections if a project has a unique hazard or feature that isn’t addressed in the Technical Codes. Once you pass the inspection you’ll receive a Certificate of Compliance (CC).

Inspections are very thorough and serve to protect the safety of the citizens. They may seem like a hassle, but improper construction and maintenance of decks have lead to serious injuries in the past. Passing the inspection will give you peace of mind knowing that you can enjoy the new deck without jeopardizing your safety.

Original Source: http://timbertownaustin.com/real-estate/what-to-expect-during-an-inspection

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