Common Questions

Image of Downtown Los Angeles

Search Common Questions


or Select by Topic

Disabled Access

Disabled Access Sample

Waiting for Disabled Access Content

Electrical Plan Check

Electrical Plan Check Sample

Waiting for Electrical Plan Check Content

Electrical Research Report

Electrical Research Report Sample

Waiting for Electrical Research Report

Elevator

Elevator Sample

Waiting for Elevator Content

Fire Sprinkler

Fire Sprinkler Sample

Waiting for Fire Sprinkler Content

General

General Sample

Waiting for General Content

Grading

Grading Sample

Waiting for Grading Content

Green Code

Green Code Sample

Waiting for Green Code Content

HVAC

HVAC Sample

Waiting for HVAC Content

Inspection

Inspection Sample

Waiting for Sia's Inspection Content

What is an inspection?

All construction work for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by authorized inspectors. An inspection must be performed before work is concealed or covered. It is your responsibility to notify the inspector when the work is ready for inspection. Work is generally inspected and approved in succession and no work may continue beyond the point indicated in each successive inspection without first obtaining the approval of the inspector. 

Common items to be inspected are foundation excavations, concrete work, wood framing, ventilation equipment, plumbing, electrical, shear wall nailing, roof nailing etc. When completed, there shall be a final inspection and approval of the completed project.

When do I call for an inspection?

Once you obtain a permit, you can commence with the work. However, you must call for inspection before you cover or conceal any work. If you are unsure of when to call for inspection, please contact our Customer Call Center at 3-1-1.

How do I schedule for an inspection?

When the work is ready, request an inspection using one of three options:

  1. Request an inspection online using our Request For Inspection system. Requests made before 4:00 pm can be scheduled for the next business day.
  2. Dial 888-LA4-BUILD / (888)-524-2845 for inside Los Angeles County or (213) 482-0000 for outside Los Angeles County and choose Option 1 to request an inspection using our Automated Inspection Request System. The AIRS Sequence Chart is helpful to have when using our Automated Inspection Request System (AIRS)
  3. Dial 3-1-1 for inside L.A. County or (213) 473-3231 for outside L.A. County. Automated inspection requests may be made anytime (except between 2:00 am and 3:00 am). Requests made before 4:00 pm can be scheduled for the next business day. When calling for an inspection you will need to know the permit number, the site address, and type of inspection needed. To request an inspection for the next business day with one of our staff members, you must call in prior to 4:00 p.m. Automated inspection request systems will accept next day inspections prior to 4:00 p.m. We will attempt to contact you on the morning of the inspection.

For requests of four (4) or more seismic gas shut off valve inspections, please complete the Seismic Gas Shut Off Valve Inspection Request Form. To schedule fewer than four (4) seismic gas shut off valve inspections, please call 3-1-1 for inside Los Angeles County or (213) 473-3231 for outside Los Angeles County.

Deputy Inspection Notification

Deputy Inspection notification may be made by calling 3-1-1 or by completing a Deputy Fax Notification form and faxing it to (213) 482-6838 or 6839 by 3:30 pm one working day before the day of the inspection. Deputy Inspection Notification is not currently available on the Automated Inspection Request form.

Can I request an inspection for tomorrow?

You can request an inspection for the next business day, as long as the request is made before 4:00 pm.

Can I request an inspection for any permit & do I need to register beforehand?

You can request an inspection for any permit, regardless of whether it was obtained at an LADBS Development Services Center or on the Internet via e-Permit

Registration is not required to request an inspection, however, if you are already logged in as an e-Permit user, you do not have to log out to request an inspection.

Why are there only three days available for scheduling inspections?

The automated inspection request systems allow inspections to be requested only three days in advance. Call the Customer Call Center at 3-1-1 if you need to request an inspection more than three days in advance.

What types of inspections does LADBS provide?

LADBS provides the following types of inspections:

  • Residential
  • Building
  • Electrical
  • Elevator / Pressure Vessel
  • Fire Sprinkler
  • Grading
  • Mechanical
  • Plumbing
  • Sign
  • Green Building
  • Annual Inspection
  • Haul Route Violation
Refer to our "Types of Inspections page" to see more detail.

Can I select more than one inspection type?

Yes. You may select as many inspection types as you wish. Please limit your selection(s) to work that is ready to be inspected.

If the inspection I would like to request is not listed, what do I do?

Select the inspection that most closely matches the type of inspection you want to request. 

When in doubt, select the "rough..." inspection and place a message in the ‘Comments’ section. Alternatively, you may contact the Customer Call Center by dialing 3-1-1 or (866) 4LA-CITY/(866) 452-2489 within L.A. County or (213) 473-3231 outside L.A. County.

Can I cancel, reschedule or correct an inspection requested through the internet?

No, contact the Customer Call Center at 3-1-1 for assistance.

If I make a mistake when entering my inspection type or contact information, can I correct it?

Mistakes can be corrected on the page before clicking the "Continue" button, by highlighting the area to be corrected and retyping the information. Once "Continue" has been pressed, no changes can be made. 

For assistance, contact the Customer Call Center at 3-1-1.

How do I cancel or re-schedule an inspection?

To cancel or re-schedule an inspection, please contact our Customer Call Center through the following numbers: 3-1-1 or (866) 4LA-CITY / (866) 452-2489 within Los Angeles County. If you are outside Los Angeles County, you may call (213) 473-3231.

When calling, you will need to know the permit number and the site address.

How long do I have to obtain a plumbing permit once work has commenced in order to avoid any LADBS fines?

You have until 12:00 noon of the third day that LADBS is open for public business.

What is Extra Inspection Trip Payment?

"Extra Inspection Trip Payment" is an online service offered by LADBS to provide its customers the capability to pay extra inspection trip fees via the e-Permit system, when an inspection is scheduled but cannot be performed due to customer error.

Customers can pay for "Extra Inspection Trip" fees through Online Services.

What do I need at the time of inspection?

At the time of inspection, make sure the following are available on-site: 

  • A copy of the permit
  • Approved plans if plan review was required
  • The Building Card issued at the time of permit issuance (this is applicable to Building Permits only)
  •  Any equipment needed to do the inspection, such as a ladder.

I get an error message when I try to request my fire sprinkler, elevator, or pressure vessel inspections. Can I use the internet to request these types of inspection?

No. You must contact the inspector directly to request these types of inspections. You may obtain the inspector’s telephone number by contacting the Customer Call Center at 3-1-1 during business hours (8:00 am to 4:45 pm) or referring to our "Employee Directory" page.

I get an error message when I enter the permit number which is not a Fire Sprinkler, Elevator, or Pressure Vessel Permit. Why can't I request an inspection?

There are three reasons why you might get this error:

  1. You may not have a valid permit number
  2. Your permit number is correct but the permit has not been issued
  3. A ‘hold’ has been placed on the permit.
If you know your permit number is correct and feel that you should be able to request an inspection and are unable to do so, please contact the Customer Call Center at 3-1-1 for assistance.

What is the Certificate of Occupancy?

A Certificate of Occupancy is issued pursuant to a building permit for new construction, additions, and changes of occupancy after all the necessary construction has been approved by the inspector. It is evidence that the Department of Building and Safety has determined that the construction was done according to the requirements of the code for the given occupancy to be housed in the building.

Mechanical Research Report

Mechanical Research Report Sample

Waiting for Mechanical Research Report Sample

Plumbing

Plumbing Sample

Waiting for Plumbing Content

Records

Records Sample

Waiting for Records Content

Research Report

Research Report Sample

Waiting for Research Report Content

Soft-Story

What is a soft-story building?

A soft-story building is a structure which has a weaker first floor and is unable to carry the weight of the stories above during an earthquake. The first floor generally would have large openings in the perimeter walls such as garages, tuck under parking or even large windows.

What is retrofit?

Retrofit is an improvement to your building by altering or adding any structural elements.

What is Tuck-Under Parking?

This type of parking is parking beneath the 2nd floor.

What is this program about?

The purpose of this program is to reduce the risk of injury or loss of life that may result from the effects of earthquakes on wood frame soft-story buildings. In the Northridge Earthquake, many wood frame soft- story buildings caused loss of life, injury, and property damage. This program creates a guide for property owners on strengthening their building to improve performance during an earthquake.

What is the scope of this program?

This program applies to all existing buildings with the following criteria:

  1. Two or more stories wood frame construction wood frame construction
  2. Built under the building code standards enacted before January 1, 1978
  3. Contains ground or other similar open floor space that causes soft, weak or open wall lines.

Exception: The program does not apply to residential buildings with 3 or less units.

When will I receive my order to comply?

Each property owner of these buildings will be sent an order to comply. These orders will be sent accordingly based on the following priority:

Priority Categories Start date of Sending Out Orders
I. Buildings with 16 or more dwelling units 3-story and above May 2, 2016
2-story July 22, 2016
II. Buildings with 3 or more stories with less than 16 units Oct 17, 2016
III. Buildings not falling within the definition of Priority I or II with 9-15 units TBD
with 7-8 units TBD
with 4-6 units TBD
Condos/Commercial TBD

What do I need to do first?

The property owner must hire an engineer or architect licensed in the state of California to evaluate the strength of the building. The engineer or architect must then develop plans for the building’s seismic strengthening in compliance with this program.  The owner must notify tenants in writing per HCIDLA regulations.

How do I find an Engineer?

Please visit the State of California’s Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists for information regarding licensed engineers: http://bpelsg.ca.gov. 

How do I find an Architect?

Please visit the California Architects Board for information regarding licensed architects: http://cab.ca.gov

How do I find a Contractor?

Please visit the Contractors State License Board for information regarding hiring a contractor and to verify if a contractor is licensed and insured: http://cslb.ca.gov.

What do I do next?

Submit proof of previous retrofit, plans to retrofit, or plans to demolish to the Department of Building and Safety. Plans and calculations will be checked for compliance with the retrofit ordinance. LADBS will provide guidance for all necessary steps to obtain the retrofit permit, which includes obtaining clearances from all pertinent agencies.

What are the time limits to comply?

Within two (2) years after the service date of the Order to Comply, a structural analysis and plans to either retrofit or demolish, or proof of previous retrofit shall be submitted to the Department for review if the building meets the minimum requirements of this ordinance.

Within three-and-a-half (3 ½) years after the service date of the Order to Comply, obtain all permits for retrofit or demolition of the building.

Within seven (7) years after the service date of the Order to Comply, complete construction or demolition work and finalize permits.

What do I do after a permit is issued?

Begin construction and request inspections online using our Online Services.

What should I submit to LADBS for plan check and obtain a permit?

The documents required for submittal are:

  • Structural analysis/calculation package
  • Architectural plans
  • Structural plans

For more details see our Plan Submittal for Regular Plan Check page.

What is plan check?

Plan check is a process of which the plans are reviewed for compliance to current codes. For this program, the plans will be reviewed for compliance to the mandatory retrofit ordinance 183983 and 184081. Once plans have been reviewed and approved, permit can be issued.

What is inspection?

All construction work for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by authorized inspectors. It is your responsibility to notify the inspector when the work is ready for inspection.

Work is generally inspected and approved in succession and no work may continue beyond the point indicated in each successive inspection without first obtaining the approval of the inspector.

Common items to be inspected are foundation excavations, concrete work, wood framing, shear wall nailing, etc. When completed, there shall be a final inspection and approval of the completed project.

How do I schedule for inspection?

To request for inspection, please call (888) LA4Build or (213) 482-0008 or request for inspection online.