Build Your Own House

Construction Inspections

Summary: Construction inspections are made to insure that new home construction is in compliance with Building Codes. Building codes are a set of minimum home building standards.

Hi Carl, In your steps to building a new home, you only mention inspections at two stages, before pouring the foundation and after step 23 or 24. Are there other inspections that should take place and if so, at which stages of construction? Rose

Hi Rose, Actually, the rest of the important ones are mentioned, just hard to find in the minutia of text.

Here is where some of the other new construction inspections are mentioned: “How to Build a House Step by Step”:

STEP 11: Rough-ins (1-2 weeks) All electrical, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning, phone pre-wires, cable or satellite TV lines, stereo and intercom, Internet, and burglar alarm systems should be roughed-in at this time or anytime after step 8 is completed. This does not mean that these units are installed at this time - only the wiring or plumbing for them. Inspections are needed when this step is complete.

STEP 12: Insulation (3 days) Consult with your local utility company on the insulation you need to qualify for their lowest rates. Some locales require an inspection of insulation by both the utility and the building inspection department when it is completed, and before it is covered with drywall, paneling or plaster.

Image Courtesy of Johns Manville

My list of inspections does not mean it will be your list of inspections. You may have more inspections or you may have less depending on the locale in which you build your new home. It varies widely.

Having more inspections is good, especially for the 1st time home builder as it takes some of the worry off your shoulders. It is also a great selling tool when you go to sell the house.

When you go through the process of obtaining all your permits you will find out what inspections need to be done for your house. In most locales the cost of permits covers the cost of required inspections.

Here’s a list of most of the possible inspections. There may be other inspections that may be required that are not listed. If you are ever in doubt whether or not an inspection is required, call your building inspection department. Remember: Building Codes are a set of minimum standards. After plan review, permits issued and permits posted:

Building Code Inspections:

NOTE: All work requiring an inspection must be inspected prior to covering.

• Temporary electric • Driveway specifications for inspection and permit posted • Soil erosion control • Footing inspection • Mono slab/footing Inspection • Formed wall Inspection (required for all formed walls prior to placement of concrete) • Foundation inspection (Note: inspection of steel reinforcement in forms may be required depending on the design of concrete walls or grouted walls) • Certified foundation survey (for review at the foundation inspection) • Garage and basement slab areas • Deck footing inspection • Slab inspection (non monolithic slab) • Plumbing under slab Inspection


• Framing • Plumbing • Mechanical (HVAC) • Electrical • Water and Sewer Inspection • Insulation Inspection FINAL inspections for all building components completed including: • Mechanical • Electrical • Plumbing Systems • Stairs • Decks • Handrails • Guardrails • Exterior finish • Interior finish material (excluding floor finishes/coverings, and interior paint) • Final grading

OTHER INSPECTIONS • Waterproofing inspection • Swimming pools (Require separate permits) • Retaining walls (Require separate permits)

Well Rose, I am glad you brought the subject up as it’s important. I should have thought to write this a long time ago. Thanks.

You are probably surprised that there are so many inspections.

Carl Heldmann