BUILDING INSPECTION DIVISION
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR INSPECTION SEQUENCE AND PROCEDURES
FOR RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION
Revised January 2011
Disclaimer: This document is provided only as a guideline for general information. It in no way should be misconstrued to be absolute for code requirements or inspection processes. It is only to assist you with the inspection process. Any specific questions should be directed to your design professional, your inspector, or by calling the Building Inspection Division at 904-255-8500 and asking to speak to a Building Inspection Supervisor.
This overall sequence of inspections may or may not pertain to your project. Homeowners pulling permits are presumed to be familiar with the building codes and construction practices and are entirely responsible for scheduling inspections in a timely manner. If work progresses beyond the appropriate point at which an inspection should take place or enters an area designated as 'at your own risk', you may be required to remove portions of the construction so the inspector can see the required elements for the inspection.
Requirements for individual inspections are standard for all inspectors in Duval County, but change from time to time due to changes in the codes, technology, and the construction industry. You should refer to all Bulletins issued by the Building Official after the date of this writing for changes that may affect you. Refer to Bulletin G-21-04 for recent inspection policies. Please consult our web site:
NOTE: State law requires that a Notice of Commencement be recorded on any project with a cost (including labor and materials) of more than $2,500. The notice must be recorded with the Clerk of the Court and a copy of the recorded document must be filed with the Building Inspection Division prior to scheduling any inspections. The copy may be faxed to 255-8553 or 255-8542 or brought to the Building Inspection Division, 214 N. Hogan Street, 2nd floor. The permit number must be on the Notice of Commencement or it will not be accepted.
(08) FOOTING: Footings dug according to requirements for depth and width as per approved plan. Footings must be level and square. Proper size and count reinforcing steel (rebar) placed in footings with required clearance (3' min.) from dirt, both sides and bottom, and proper lap (24' min.). Grade pegs must be in place and set at proper elevation for top of footings (wood or hollow pegs are not allowed). Corner bars are required on all corners and intersecting footings. No loose or un-compacted soil or standing water allowed in footing. If there are any DWV pipes going through the footing they are required to be hard sleeved a minimum 2 sizes larger than pipe being sleeved. Any pipe or configuration of pipes larger than 2' within a footing requires the footing to be thickened to allow for displacement of concrete. The added thickness shall be a 1:1 ratio to the pipe within the footing. No roots allowed in footing. Finger roots must be trimmed even with sides of footing.
(16) TIE-BEAM/LINTEL (Required for above grade structures): Vertical reinforcing spaced as per approved plan. Vertical reinforcing must terminate into bond-beam with a hook. Horizontal reinforcing is in top of wall as per approved plan. Corner bars required at all corners and intersecting walls. Make sure all trash and debris is removed from cells that are to be filled with concrete.
When pouring bond-beam (lintel) with filled cells on full height walls, separate inspections are required for each lift (maximum pour is 5' high unless engineered otherwise). Clean-outs must be provided at the bottom of each cell containing vertical rebar for lifts over 5'. Clean-outs must be at least 3' wide and must not impact the structural integrity of the wall. All dirt, debris and excess mortar must be removed from clean-out prior to inspection. Vertical rebar must be proper size and properly lapped if not in one continuous piece. Vertical reinforcement must terminate into beam with a standard hook. Vertical rebar must be of sufficient length to maintain required lap on steel extending out of slab.
(59) FILL CELL (Used for walls poured in lifts): When pouring masonry walls in lifts cells are not required to have clean-outs (except for high lift grouting exceeding 5' high). Walls can only be laid a maximum of 5' high and can only be poured to 4'- 8'. Vertical rebar must project out of block sufficient length to allow required lap for the next lift. When filling block cells, the concrete must be left down 4' to allow pours to key together. Vertical rebar must be in place at time of inspection or inspection will fail. Dowels projecting from slab must be at required spacing and in proper location in proximity to openings and corners as required by code.
(20) SLAB ON GRADE (Monolithic): Slab and footing pour together. All organic material must be removed from slab area. If there is plumbing included in the project, any underground plumbing must be inspected prior to slab inspection. Footing area must be dug at the depth and width as per approved plan. Rebar required on plans must be in place and proper clearance maintained (3' min.). There must be corner bars at all corners and intersecting footings. Any loose dirt or un-compacted fill must be removed from footing area. No roots can be in footing. Finger roots in footing area must be trimmed even with dirt. Slab must be graded 4' minimum thickness, level, and compacted. Moisture barrier must be in place, lapped properly, and joints taped if required. Any penetrating items such as plumbing and electrical pipes must be sealed as tightly as possible. Any DWV pipes or conduit through footings must be hard sleeved. Sleeve must be a minimum of 2 pipe sizes larger than pipe being sleeved. Pipes cannot run parallel in a footing. Any pipes or configuration of pipes larger than 2' running through a footing must have the thickness added back to the footing for the displacement of concrete. Soil treatment for termites must be done prior to slab inspection. Once soil is treated, if dirt must be disturbed for any reason, you must retreat the disturbed area prior to inspection. In the same respect, if slab or footing areas gets rained on prior to pouring or inspection areas not covered with moisture barrier re-treatment is required. Also see 'slab with stem wall'.
Note 1: If located in a defined passive radon zone, slab must be prepared as set forth in appendix B of the Florida Building Code.
Note 2: If the slab is greater than 5000 square feet in area, concrete testing is required and the test results shall be made available at the request of the building official.
Note 3: For plain concrete, masonry foundations, or timber foundations compaction testing is required and shall be available at the time of inspection. Plain concrete is concrete with no reinforcement. For the purpose of this inspection, fiber mesh concrete is considered reinforced concrete.
(20) SLAB WITH STEM WALL: All organic material must be removed from slab area. If plumbing is included in the project, all underground plumbing must be inspected prior to slab inspection. Chair block or header block must be continuous around the entire perimeter of slab. All vertical reinforcing must be bent into slab area. All fill cells with vertical reinforcing must be clean of dirt and debris to footing. All other cells must be clean a minimum of 16' from finished elevation. The reason for this is to ensure sufficient concrete for placement of anchor bolts. Slab area must be graded, level, and compacted and be consistent for required depth of concrete as per approved plan. Slab must be treated for termites and have moisture barrier in place. Joints must be taped and any penetrating items sealed as tightly as possible. If soil is disturbed after soil treatment has been done or if areas uncovered get rained on, soil must be retreated prior to inspection or pouring concrete. Also see 'slab on grade'. Note: Any slab with grounding requirements for electrical panel must have a ground rod. Ground rod must be a minimum of 20' of #5 rebar with a minimum of 2' out of slab. The vertical portion of ground must be visually marked to distinguish it from other vertical steel. Ground rod must be marked at slab inspection or inspection will fail.
(57) OPEN FLOOR FRAMING (Required for any off-grade structure): Entire floor framed with all buckets nailed completely. Intermediate beams must be of proper size and number. Anchor bolts tightened and spaced as per approved plan. Any straps or hold-downs that will be covered must be in place at the time of inspection. Termite shields must be in place and installed properly. If any plumbing is involved with project, rough plumbing inspection must be done prior to floor framing inspection (if required). Sub-flooring shall be installed after this inspection has passed. No vertical construction can begin until this inspection is passed. When building an off-grade structure you must provide access (18" X 24" minimum) and cross ventilation (1 sf per 150 sf of first floor area minimum with one located within 3' of each corner). Pressure treated lumber used where required by code.
(63) ROOF/WALL SHEATHING (for residential projects only): This inspection replaces the (23) Roof Sheathing and (58) Wall Sheathing inspections used for commercial jobs. At the time of this inspection the following items are to be checked:
a. Nailing pattern for both wall and roof sheathing, all exterior exposed structural strapping and hardware including columns, and size and material of sheathing. Wood is in place in masonry window/door opening.
b. This inspection also verifies primary flashing including wall-to-roof flashing, valley flashing, chimney flashing, and crickets (required for chimneys 30' wide or more).
c. If windows are installed prior to this inspection, the wall sheathing around flanged windows must be fastened along the king studs outside the flanges. The inspector will note this condition in the inspection record.
PLEASE NOTE: Roofing underlayment (felt) is installed 'at your own risk' prior to this inspection. Felt must be installed parallel to eaves. If roofing underlayment is installed, the inspector will spot check roof sheathing by cutting open random selected areas to inspect nailing or 'bumping' the sheathing from below. If the sheathing is found to be nailed improperly, you may be required to remove all of the roofing felt for a re-inspection. No shingles or any other roof covering can be installed until the sheathing inspection is passed. If roof covering is installed prior to inspection, covering must be removed. If shingles are loaded on the roof, they must be kept a minimum of 5' from gable ends and away from valley flashing. If deficiencies are found, you may have to relocate or remove the loaded shingles in order for the inspector to confirm that the rest of the roof sheathing is nailed properly.
(58) WALL SHEATHING (for commercial projects only): This inspection may be done at any point in time after the rough framing. Windows must be installed at the time of inspection. Windows shall be installed according to the manufacturer's specifications and will be inspected for compliance with those specs. Windows will be checked for proper egress size at this time. Wall sheathing must be nailed with proper size nails and spacing as per approved plan. Nails should not be over-driven. They should be flush with surface of sheathing. Any straps or hold downs that will be covered by vapor barrier or exterior finishes such as post straps or beam straps and hold-downs for porches must be installed. If these items are not in place they will be checked at the framing inspection. We request that the roof sheathing and wall sheathing inspections be done at the same time in order to reduce the inspector's trips to the same project.
(23) ROOF SHEATHING (for commercial projects only): This inspection should be done at the same time as wall sheathing inspection or afterwards. Roof sheathing must be complete and nailed as per approved plan. If roof is a hip roof, span ratings must be maintained for sheathing. If the roof is a gable end, outriggers must be installed properly; joints in sheathing at gable ends must be blocked and nailed 4' from gable end. If there are any rips less than 2 ft. wide, code requires sheathing to be blocked. Nails must be correct size and spacing as specified on approved plan. Nails should not be over-shot or over-driven; they should be flush with surface of sheathing. Roof may dried-in with felt, however no shingles or any other roof covering can be installed until sheathing inspection is passed. If roof is covering is installed prior to inspection, covering must be removed. If shingles are loaded on the roof, they must be kept minimum 5' from gable ends and away from valley flashing. If deficiencies are found, you may have to remove or relocate the loaded shingles in order for the inspector to confirm that the rest of the roof sheathing is nailed properly.
(64) DRY-IN: The inspector shall inspect the air infiltration barrier, window and door frame installation, and skylights.
a. Air infiltration barrier installed for all conditioned areas. It may be installed directly over the studs, or cut and wrapped over the exterior sheathing and behind the window flanges. Cutting infiltration barrier around the windows will only be permitted for thin tape products, which will allow the inspector to verify number of window fasteners. Thick seal tape cannot be installed until after window fasteners are inspected unless fasteners are installed through the tape so they are visible. Air infiltration barrier horizontal joints must be 6' minimum lap or be taped, all vertical joints must be taped, and all penetrations, cuts, and tears must be sealed.
b. Moisture barrier installed to protect all structural sheathing. Note that some products are approved for both air infiltration and moisture barrier protection.
c. Roof shingling may start 'at your own risk', however this inspection must be obtained prior to completing shingle installation and flashing must be visible if not inspected at the (63) Roof/Wall Sheathing. Do not install shingles if felt was damaged at the (63) Roof/Wall Sheathing inspection.
(62) ELEVATED FLATWORK FLASHING: This inspection is for residential projects with balconies, decks, or similar flat construction over roofing material to verify all penetration flashing and counter flashing.
(18) FRAMING: Electrical cover-up, plumbing top-out, and mechanical rough inspections must be completed and passed prior to framing inspection. Project must be punched out by contractor prior to inspection. Items to be checked as per approved plan include lumber proper size and species, anchor bolts proper size and spacing, headers/beams proper size and location, straps on bearing walls proper size, location, and nailed per specification, major hold downs proper location and nailing (SPG'S, MTS'S etc.). All load path connections from roof to foundation, blocking at off-ridge vents, X-bracing if required for gable ends, and engineering for truss bracing and proper connections for uplift requirements. Other items to be checked are notching and boring of studs and top plates, all penetrations through top plate sealed with sealant meeting requirements of ASTM 136E, fire blocking and draft stopping at all applicable areas. This is only a partial summary of items to be checked and not a complete list. The inspector should verify stair riser and tread relationships when possible at this inspection rather than at the final.
(19) INSULATION: All batt insulation in place and installed properly (verify conformance with energy forms). Windows foamed around frames. All voids around door casings stuffed or foamed. Batt insulation installed in vaulted ceilings. All baffles in place in areas to receive blown insulation. Proper insulation and air infiltration installed in open floor framing. Any items left from framing corrections must be completed or inspection will fail. Blown-in insulation will be checked at final inspection, but depth gauges need to be in place and spaced properly.
(09) FINAL (New Home): All other trades have passed their final inspections. All plumbing fixtures, traps, and supply lines are set. Address posted on house in contrasting color. Lot grading and structure elevation are as per approved plot plan. All sidewalks and driveways reflected on plot plans are in place and complete. Trees are in place and compliant with code requirements. Off-grade structures must have appropriate cross ventilation and access. Garage door installed and meets requirements of approved engineering. Approved garage door engineering from manufacturer attached to approved plans. Termite sticker installed on electrical panel. Fireplace meets all clearance requirements for trim and hearth. All locks and hardware installed on exterior doors. No double-keyed cylinders are allowed on egress doors. Continuous handrail on stairs is at proper height, treads and risers meet code requirements. Guard rails and open stairs have correct spacing of pickets and correct height, also built to withstand load requirements. Safety glass is in all hazardous locations. Blown-in insulation installed. Requirement for accessible bathroom is met. If required by energy calculations, ceiling fans are installed in all applicable rooms.
(09) FINAL (Additions): All other trades have passed their final inspections. All locks and hardware are installed on egress doors. Tempered glass in hazardous locations if applicable. Steps and handrails meet code requirements. Off-grade structures must have appropriate cross ventilation and access.
Common Problems That Cause Failed Inspections
The Building Inspection Division is the governing body for code enforcement and code compliance for the State of Florida in Duval County and most importantly, for the consumer. Most approved plans are engineered and must be constructed as drawn. There are four main things that can go wrong on a job; material, design, scheduling, or installation. Most of the time, a failed inspection is the result of poor installation. The items listed below are problems that cause inspection failures for all types of inspections:
- No plans on job / approved plans not on job.
- Truss plans or floor plan does not match as-built
- Did not follow approved plans
- Not ready for inspection
- Inspection card missing
- Notice of Commencement not posted
What Causes Failures for Specific Inspections
(08) Footing Inspection
Footings not in proper location
Footings not proper size
Steel missing, not proper size, wrong number of bars, or lap on rebar not proper
Vertical steel missing
Missing corner bars
Rebar has been heated and bent
Rebar is dirty, muddy, or has scaling rust
Footings caved in
Step-downs are not formed or dug properly or no forms are set for step-downs
Roots in footings
Standing water in footings
No compaction or excessively soft or muddy soil in bottom of footing
Plumbing DWV pipes passing through footings not sleeved or pipes running laterally in footing
Footings not thickened for displacement of concrete due to large plumbing pipes
Use of wooden grade pegs in footings or no grade pegs installed
(20) Slab Inspection
Same requirements for thickened edge as footings
Interior footings not proper width, depth, or location
Interior footings missing
Organic material in fill or organic material covered by fill. Fill must be clean and free of debris
Fill dirt not compacted
No termite soil treatment
No ground rod / rod not marked
Vapor barrier not in place, seams not taped or sealed, holes in barrier, or not sealed at penetrations
Elevation certificate not completed and available, if required
If in Radon area, additional requirements not met
Slab with Stemwall
Slab requirements same as above
Vertical steel missing
Dowels too short
Horizontal steel missing in stem wall. Rebar not lapped properly, corner bars missing at returns
Rebar is dirty, muddy, or has scaling rust
Inspection holes in block must not affect the structural integrity of the wall
Dirt in cells. There should be no dirt in cells with reinforcing. All others must be clean 16' from finish floor for proper coverage for placement of anchor bolts
Recessed slabs in Garage W/Stemwall
Step down not formed properly, not deep enough, rebar not placed properly
Sloping slab not 4' thick. No dowels tying slab to walls, holes not saw cut for dowels
Thickened edge not formed not proper depth, missing rebar or FTP straps or equivalent not in place
(16)Tie Beam and (59)Fill Cell
Required for lintel beams and other beams in addition to tie beams
Vertical steel missing
Vertical steel not long enough for proper lap or proper hook into tie beam
Steel in tie beam doesn't have proper clearance
Rebar not correct size or count
Rebar is dirty, muddy, or has scaling rust
Incorrect laps or bends
Clean-outs missing if 5' or more pour height
Cells not cleaned out properly
(57) Open Floor Inspection
Non-pressure treated wood too close to ground
Girders wrong size
Girders not as per plan
Buckets not nailed
Anchor bolts wrong sizes, wrong spacing, or not tightened
Ledger boards not attached as per plans
Floor joist wrong size
Floor joist wrong spacing
Plumber over-notched or over-bored floor joists
Access holes wrong size
Not enough ventilation
Wood in contact with ground or concrete not treated
All form work under floor area not removed
(63) Roof & Wall Sheathing Inspection
Used wrong size nails
Nail spacing wrong
Nails missing rafter/stud
Blocking missing and/or H-clips missing
Valley blocking missing
Gable blocks missing
Plywood or OSB rips too small without blocking (24' minimum)
Horizontal joints in walls not blocked
SWS not nailed per engineering
Sheathing used as underlayment not ¼' minimum above concrete slab
Wood siding not protected from direct contact with concrete
Penetrations through valley flashing
Siding installed over sheathing
Sheathing saw scored
Exterior metal strapping missing or not installed properly
(64) Dry In
Egress windows wrong size
Wind stickers not on windows
Window and door engineering not on job
Windows and doors not installed per engineering
Wrong design pressures
Gap around jamb too large
Missing tempered glass where required
Air infiltration/moisture barrier torn, missing, or not sealed
Window/door flashing wrong
(18) Framing Inspection
Project is not punched out
Expansion anchors used in slab edge where anchor bolts are missing
Loose anchor bolts
Straps over-shot, not installed properly (straight), wrong fasteners used
Imbedded truss straps in masonry more than ½' from truss
Wrong size or wrong number of nails in load path connections
Headers not supported on cripples or not enough cripples
Interior shear walls missing or not nailed correctly
Interior non-bearing studs spaced greater than 24' O/C
Untreated wood touching or too close to ground and/or concrete
Wall between garage and living space not sealed at bottom
Draft stopping / fire blocking missing or not installed properly
Stairs not framed correctly (tread, risers, or landings) no fire blocking to sloped ceiling below
Roof vents missing, not cut out properly, or not blocked properly
Skylights installed, not on approved plans
Required fire walls not done correctly
Air infiltration cut, missing, or not properly installed
Access to off-grade house incorrect size
Ventilation for off-grade structure missing or does not meet requirements
Attic access(s) too small (22' X 30' clear minimum with 30' clear headroom)
Unsheathed top or bottom chords of trusses not braced (over framing/under framing)
Truss details not matching job
Trusses not bearing at proper location (missing bearing points)
Truss turned backwards or upside down
Truss engineering missing or not properly installed (bracing)
X-bracing / ceiling diaphragm missing or not installed properly
Trusses broken or altered without proper repair/engineering approval
Conventional framing not installed properly
Gable end at vaulted ceiling not balloon framed or engineered otherwise
Fireplace not installed or fireplace permit not posted
Making field changes without getting plans changed
(19) Insulation Inspection
Framing problems not corrected
Roofing not completed
Attic access(s) too small (22' X 30' clear minimum with 30' clear headroom)
Energy forms not followed
Wrong size insulation
Poly vents or baffles missing
Baffles nailed to bottom of truss instead of sides
Depth gauges not in place or spaced greater than 10' apart
Foaming at doors and windows missing or done incorrectly
Circle top windows not foamed or insulated
Entry door from garage not installed and foamed
Batt insulation laid improperly
No insulation behind tub/shower on exterior walls
Batt insulation on knee walls incorrect size, not properly supported
Batt insulation touching fireplace flue (must be 2' clear)
Air infiltration missing on off-grade floors
Pipe boots missing
(46) Lathing Inspections
No air infiltration barrier on wall above soffit
Corner bead not fastened 7' O.C. both flanges (not required for raw CMU)
J mold not in place or not fastened properly
Foundation weep screed not 4' above earth or 2' above pavement minimum
No stops around electric meter, receptacles, etc.
Decorative trim not fastened or installed properly
Control / expansion joints not installed properly
Laps on wire mesh not per code
Wire mesh not fastened 7' O.C. into studs with ¾' penetration into studs
Mesh missing in areas
(09) Final Inspection
Approved plot plan not followed
Sidewalks shown on plans not installed (including those in right of way in front of property)
Trees not correct or missing
No landing outside of egress doors when there is more than a 7' step
Exterior landings not proper size or depth
Wood siding less than 6' above finished grade
House numbers missing or not contrasting color
Double keyed locks on egress doors, exterior door hardware missing
Blown-in insulation missing or installed wrong
Ceiling fans not installed as per energy sheets
Capacity or type of water heater does not match energy form
Safety glass not installed where required
No 29' wide clear path to 1st floor restroom
Fireplace clearances incorrect
Finished stair treads and risers wrong
Guardrails / handrails incorrect, vertical pickets too far apart
Garage door engineering missing or installed improperly
No termite treatment sticker at electrical panel or water heater
Ceiling penetrations in garage not sealed
Attic access(s) not correct size (22' X 30' clear minimum)
No secondary attic access because of ceiling/roof design
Window protection not installed for projects in wind blown debris zone
Crawl space access/ventilation screening missing or wrong size