Inspection Policy

The inspection policy for the Waterloo Building Department is based on the 2021International Building Code and the 2021 International Residential Code. This policy will outline in simple terms the necessary inspections to be made on all construction or work for which a permit is required.

Right of entry gives the authority to the Building Official or inspectors to inspect the premises where construction is occurring or where it is believed a violation of the code is present.

Section 109 of the 2021 International Building Code and Section 109 of the 2021 International Residential Code outlines the general procedures for inspections.

Inspection Record Cards shall be posted and readily accessible for any inspections to take place.

Inspection request shall be the duty of the person doing the work authorized by a permit to notify the respective inspectors that such work is ready for inspection. The building official may require that every request for inspection be filed at least one working day before such inspection is desired.

It shall be the duty of the person requesting the inspections required by this code to provide access to and means for inspection of such work.

Note: The Building Department has made it a general practice to try to respond to the inspection requests within the same work day. However, when inspections are heavy, response will be made within 24 hours or the allotted time for the given ordinances.

Approval Required shall be noted for any phase that requires inspection before cover can be made. These phases will be listed under required inspections.

Required Inspections shall include the following:

  • Footing inspections shall be made when the reinforcing steel is in place and before any concrete is poured. Additional inspections may be required for treated wood foundations.
  • Foundation inspection shall be made before the start of backfilling.
  • Under-Floor, Under-Ground and Above-Ceiling inspections shall be made on all plumbing, heating and electrical piping before cover is made. If cover is made before inspection each inspector shall have the authority to order work exposed for reinspection.
  • Rough in inspection shall include the following:
    a. Rough plumbing
    b. Rough heating and includes fireplaces
    c. Rough electrical
    d. Framing inspection (Note: Framing inspection will not be made until inspections a, b, and c are completed and approved.)
  • Lath or Gypsum Board inspections shall be required on all fire-resistance-rated assemblies. This inspection shall take place when the material is in place but before plaster is applied or gypsum board joints and fasteners are taped and finished.
  • Additional Requirements for Commercial Buildings - Before any ceiling tiles are placed, the heating, electrical, and firewall inspections must take place.
  • Final inspections shall be required before a Certificate of Occupancy can be issued. The following sequence will govern the final inspection: 
    a. Final plumbing
    b. Final heating
    c. Final electrical
    d. Final Inspection (Note: The final building inspection will not be made until inspections a, b, and c are completed and approved.)
    e. Life Safety Inspection (Fire Department)

No commercial buildings shall be used or occupied, and no change in the existing occupancy of a building or structure or portion thereof shall be made until the building official has issued a certificate of occupancy.

It has been the practice of some contractors to permit a new structure to be occupied before final inspections have been made. This practice makes it very difficult to perform the final inspection and for the contractor to make corrections, if corrections are required. It is the responsibility of the General Contractor to control the sequence of final inspections before the building or residence is occupied.

Reinspection becomes necessary when problems are found that need repairing or adjusting. A reinspection fee may be assessed when the inspector has to make more than one (1) trip to inspect the repaired or adjusted item. This fee shall be assessed at the rate of $50.00 per hour. A reinspection fee may also be assessed if the contractors call for inspections and the items are not ready for inspection.

A Notice of Violation Order will be issued where it is found that work is being done without a permit.  All work must cease unitl plans are approved and a permit is issued or amended.  A Stop Work order will be issued if work on any building or structure is being executed contrary to the provisions of the code or in an unsafe and dangerous manner and such work shall be immediately stopped.

If a Violation order or Stop Work order is placed on a particular trade and it is totally ignored and all efforts fail, including getting the General Contractor involved, then a Stop Work order will be issued on the entire project until the problem is resolved.

Along with the understanding of the above application of the Stop Work order or Notice of Violation, the inspectors will have the following responsibilities:

  • Make certain the violation is a code violation
  • Be able to furnish the section of the code governing the vilation.
  • Work with the contractor in a professional manner to abate the violation.
The contractor will also work with the inspection department in a professional manner to correct the violation.

This procedure was developed by the City Of Waterloo under the current adopted Residential Code as a basic plan to help in the building process. It is not intended to cover all circumstances. Check with the City Of Waterloo Building department for additional requirements.