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CNI-004 Building Inspection Procedures

Permit and Resource Management Department Banner 750

Version: 09/23/2021

Instructions for scheduling building inspections after a building permit has been issued.


All construction and work for which a building permit has been issued shall be inspected and approved by Permit Sonoma) building inspection staff as required by the California Building Code. All such construction and work shall remain accessible and exposed for inspection purposes until approved. It is the responsibility of the property owner or the property owner’s agent to call for required inspections through each phase of the construction project. Work shall not be completed beyond the point indicated in each successive inspection without first obtaining the required approval.

The building inspector will result the requested inspection and will either approve that portion of the construction, as completed, or issue a notice indicating corrections for that portion of work. The work shall not be covered or concealed until all corrections have been completed and that portion of the work approved. The approved construction plans and associated documents must be maintained on the job site at all times and available for the building inspector. The inspection results will be electronically recorded by the building inspector.

Required Inspections

The following is a list of required inspections for most building projects. Inspection requests should be grouped into these categories whenever possible. Other inspections, including special inspections, may also be required to ascertain compliance with the building code.

  1. Foundation Inspection: shall be made after excavations for footings are complete, forms are constructed, and any required reinforcing steel, UFER ground, and seismic restraints are in place. Concrete shall not be poured until after the inspection. In addition, improvements required under Fire Safe Standards (FSS) such as an emergency all-weather access road, water supply and hydrant shall be completed prior to the foundation inspection. 

    Note: A pre-construction meeting with the building inspector prior to the foundation inspection stage is recommended on commercial projects, complex residential projects and for property owners who are unfamiliar with construction. Please call (707) 565-1679 during business hours to schedule a pre-construction meeting.
  2. Concrete Slab Inspection: shall be made after all in-slab drain/waste plumbing, water lines, mechanical ducts, hydronic systems and other ancillary equipment items are installed and before any concrete is poured.
  3. Under-floor Inspection: shall be made when the under-floor structure is in place and rough plumbing, heating and mechanical are installed (water, wastewater and gas piping strapped and under test; heat ducts installed, supported and insulated). Subfloor and floor insulation are not to be installed until inspection of the underfloor has been approved.
  4. Shear and Roof Nailing Inspection: shall be made after bracing materials (roof and floor sheathing) are installed and all other structural connections are in place.
  5. Close-in Inspection: shall be made when the structure is weather-proofed and all windows, rough plumbing water (under test), rough electrical and mechanical are installed and complete. The insulation is installed after close-in inspection is approved.
  6. Drywall, Lath Inspection: shall be made after all drywall or lathing (interior and exterior) is in place and before plaster or stucco is applied. 
  7. Special Inspections: all special inspections, when required, must be completed with daily reports available.
  8. Final Inspection: shall be made after construction is complete and before the building is occupied. If special inspections are required, final signed special inspection reports must be submitted for review and approval. The building must be unlocked or arrangement made for the building inspector to access the building. All of the of following must be in place:
    • Appliances
    • Electrical fixtures
    • Convenience outlets
    • Switches
    • Plates
    In addition to inspection of the completed building, final approval of the building permit to allow occupancy of the building is subject to final approval from Planning (zoning), Well and Septic or Sewer, Fire Prevention and any other required Permit Sonoma approval.

Request an Inspection

Please visit our Inspection Scheduling page to learn about the various methods for requesting building inspections.

In most cases, inspections are scheduled for the next working day. Inspections in The Sea Ranch, Timber Cove, Annapolis, and areas north of the towns of Cazadero and Jenner are provided on Monday, Wednesday and Friday only.

For complete instructions and inspection type codes, please visit the  Building Inspection Codes page.

In order to schedule an inspection, the following is required:

  1. Building permit number
  2. Job address
  3. Inspection type(s) (see above)
  4. Gate combination (if relevant)
  5. Contact telephone number

Note: Inspections cannot be scheduled for a specific time. Call our automated inspection scheduling line at (707) 565-3551 or call (707) 565-1679 after 8:00 AM, on the day of the inspection to get an approximate time of inspection.

Before the Inspector Arrives at the Job Site

  1. The site address must be posted or displayed at the road, visible from both directions, at any forks in the road and at the site (see CNI-002 Site Evaluation Procedures for Building and Grading Permits).
  2. The approved plans and associated documents must be on the job site and available for the inspector.
  3. The owner, contractor, or owner’s agent must be present at the site for inspections in an occupied residence.
  4. The work to be inspected must be complete and accessible for inspection.
  5. If necessary, a sturdy ladder of sufficient length must be available for the inspection.

Note: Failure to meet these requirements will result in re-inspection fees being assessed.