The Atlanta metro area is comprised of many counties, “and every one of them seems to have a different format for the inspection process,” says Dale Contant, owner of Atlanta Design & Build. “Some [require] electrical and plumbing [inspections] at the same time; sometimes [they are required] to be done in sequence.”
To track the different processes, schedules, and outcomes, Contant developed a simple form that is kept in the job file notebook for each project and is shared among employees. “This helps it all get done and documented, and we have verification,” he says.
“Inspections are an integral part of the whole puzzle,” says operations manager Guy LaMarca, who also does permitting and design. “The end result is cash flow,” he adds. “[Clients] want to see that they’ve reached a certain point and that things have been certified by the county. Now they can release the money.”
—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.
Refer to form.
1. Important Numbers
When Atlanta Design & Build gets a permit number, trade partners get the number to use for their permits. This number is required for licenses and insurances — or the county won’t issue a permit affidavit. AD&B will have a permit, but subs can’t perform their work unless they’re caught up on paperwork.
These are the most important numbers, operations manager Guy LaMarca says. “Some inspections have to be called in before noon,” he says, “and if you don’t have [the time] listed, you may assume it’s any time the day before. You may miss the time slot, and they don’t guarantee [whether the inspector will] be out there in 24 hours.”
2. Inspection Items
Items are listed in a logical order. “You wouldn’t call a framing inspector out before you do the plumbing,” LaMarca says. Some counties require an insulation or damp-proofing inspection. Since these are not standard inspections, LaMarca writes them in on the form.
3. From Rough to Final
Once everything passes the rough inspections and is closed in, LaMarca goes back through all the trades again and calls in the final inspections. Then he calls in for a final building inspection, which receives a CO (certificate of occupancy) or a Certificate of Completion, depending on the municipality.
4. Notes About Specifics
For example, if a project requires a foundation, the first inspection is for a footer. “If it’s in Cobb County,” LaMarca says, “I know [calling in has to be done a] day prior. I’ll make a note that I called it in 11/5 for 11/6. Then I’ll find out from the lead carpenter, who met with the inspector, if we passed or failed. If we failed, I’ll note what the issue is.”