What is a final inspection checklist?
Buildings should be energy-efficient, safe, healthy, and accessible. Building inspectors use a Final Inspection Checklist to ensure that newly built or remodeled residential properties are compliant with applicable building codes. This will also ensure that buildings comply with all safety regulations regarding materials and building methods. A final building inspection checklist will cover aspects such as:
- Does the site drainage comply with regulations?
- Are outside doors (also referred to as egress doors) up to spec?
- Are gypsum wallboards protected?
- Are all electrical outlets, power points and lighting fixtures safe, and compliant with applicable codes?
- Are electrical panel boards and conductors code compliant?
- Are all plumbing installations and fixtures in order?
- Do all mechanical systems adhere to applicable standards?
In this article, the following points are explained:
1. Why a final inspection checklist is important
2. Typical categories and elements of the checklist
3. Better final inspections with digital checklists
Why is a final building inspection checklist so important?
Routine inspections are normally done on an ongoing basis during the construction or remodeling of any residential building. However, a final inspection is required to verify if the construction work has been carried out in compliance with regulations, the building permit, and the approved plan. The final inspection checklist will:
- Ensure that every aspect of the construction has been done in accordance with the applicable regulations and standards.
- Make sure that all materials used and building methods applied comply with specifications.
- Check whether all relevant documentation like construction logs, inspection reports, liability reports, etc., are in order.
- Ensure installations are up to code.
- Check the specifications of drawings of any non-conformities and deviations from the plan.
- Make sure all coatings and paint finishes are acceptable.
- Ensure samples of soil, asphalt and concrete have been tested.
- If a punch list exists, have all items on it been addressed or remedied?
The final building inspection checklist is the final safeguard to pick up any problems, deviations from code and unsafe elements that might have slipped through and not been detected before.
Typical Categories and Elements of a final inspection Checklist
These are the categories and items that should be covered on a final building inspection checklist:
1. Permits and plans
- Are all permits correct and available with the approved plans for inspection?
- Are street numbers provided and clearly visible and legible?
- Has the verge been cleared of all builders’ rubble and its original condition restored?
- Is there any damage to municipal property?
- Is the driveway entrance in order and has the driveway been completed as per the approved building plan?
- Are all buildings positioned as per the approved plan?
- Are all deviations and minor amendments to the plan covered by the necessary approved documentation?
2. Sewage, water, and drainage
- Are all aspects of the sewage system reticulation (i.e. layout, septic tank, soak pit, and manholes) according to code?
- Are stormwater reticulation and connections in order?
- Is all disposal of wastewater from swimming pools and water features per code?
- Is the swimming pool correctly fenced?
- Are any banks sloped correctly and retaining walls provided where stipulated?
3. Exterior openings and glazing
- Have all windows been installed and glazed as per applicable specifications?
- Have all exterior penetrations like windows and other openings been properly sealed?
- Are all emergency and rescue openings accessible and operational without the use of keys, tools, or specialized information?
- Has safety glazing been installed in hazardous locations like swinging, sliding, shower and storm doors, as well as railings, stairways and enclosures for saunas, hot tubs, outside spas, whirlpools and steam rooms?
- Has glazing been supplied with visibility markings where required to prevent people walking into it?
- Are exterior doors up to code and do they have landings as required?
- Are chimneys the correct height above the roof and supplied with spark arresters?
- Do all configurations of garages meet the applicable fire separation requirements?
- Is the door from the garage into the house self-closing, fire-rated and weather-stripped?
- Are any sheet metal ducts from the garage into the house of the required thickness and correct design?
- Are all penetrations through ceilings and garage walls caulked with code approved materials to resist smoke and fire?
- Are heating systems up to the applicable code requirements?
5. Decks, outside stairways and garden structures
- Do all decks, gazebos, summerhouses, and outside stairways meet requirements regarding placement, size, setback, attachment, sealing, load bearing capacity, guardrails, and fastenings?
- Have all raw edges, cuts, and notches been treated with an approved preservative and sealant?
- Has all decking material been treated against weathering, freezing and decay, or constructed of resistant materials?
- Are all ceiling and head heights as per the approved plan?
- Are all stair dimensions, construction, and illumination in order?
- Have all balustrades, handrails and safety barriers been erected to specifications?
- Are all electrical installations, conduits, wiring, plug points, fixtures, and lighting safe and code compliant?
- Are all plumbing installations, piping, and fixtures to code?
- Do all attics have unobstructed and correctly located access of a sufficient size?
- Are attic doors of the required thickness, and correctly insulated and gasketed?
- Does any insulation used allow the required space between it and the roof, without blocking any baffles, soffits, and intake vents?
- Are smoke alarms, fire-warning equipment, sprinkler systems and carbon monoxide detectors correctly installed as per the household and code?
7. Crawl spaces, floors, cellars, and basements
- Is there access to the crawl space under the floor and is it properly ventilated?
- If required, has a vapor barrier been installed in the crawl space as specified?
- Have basements or cellars been correctly constructed with approved materials regarding structure, support, moisture barriers, and flood resistance (where applicable)?
- Has all builders’ rubble and debris been removed from the crawl space?
- Have floors been constructed of approved materials, and to the required thickness in the case of wood?
- Are wooden floors fire-protected on the underside?
- Is all fire equipment provided as per code and all signage, fire doors and walls in order?
- Has the required geotechnical engineer's report and certificate been submitted?
- Have all relevant building regulation certificates of compliance been submitted?
- Have all structural elements like sewage and drainage systems, swimming pools, retaining walls and balustrades been certified by a competent person?
- Has the necessary certification been obtained for the manufacture and the erection of the roof structure?
- If required, have a land surveyor's certificate and/or a setting-out plan been submitted?
- Have any lifts or mechanical ventilation systems been approved and certified?
- In the case of a thatched roof, has a fire compliance certificate been submitted?
- Has an electrical compliance certificate been submitted?
- If relevant, has a soil poisoning certificate been submitted?
- Have compliance certificates been obtained for all plumbing installations, fixtures, and water clearance?
- If applicable, has a waterproofing certificate been obtained?
Better Final Inspection with Digital Checklists
A final inspection is an extensive and important task, the proper execution of which is critical to the acceptance of a building. Building inspectors are therefore eager to ensure that all inspection proceeds in the best and correct manner. A large part of their daily work involves filling out paper lists and communicating with construction staff. Keeping track of this and always getting the right information for the final inspection report is not so easy.
A digital application like Lumiform is the savior in this case. The app and desktop software for inspections and audits puts an end to piles of paper and communication chaos. Switching to digital checklists offers construction inspectors the following benefits for final inspections and report submissions:
- Use one of the ready-made templates from the template library to get started digitally right away.
- Create your own individual final inspection forms and checklist in just a few steps with the flexible form builder.
- Take unlimited photos of incidents and add comments to make the final inspection more descriptive.
- Assign corrective actions immediately from the app and track their status.
- Schedule recurring and one-off final inspections and set the date, time, and duration.
- All results are automatically bundled into a report and can be sent to stakeholders and other responsible persons and authorities.
- View inspection history and filter data by site, area, or final inspection checklist template.
- Analyze your final inspections by viewing inspection history and filtering data by location, area, or final inspection checklist template.