I had to call in an inspection this morning. Just curious what your local protocals are for getting an inspection. I'm not interested in bashing inspectors but seeing who is using the latest technology and who is in the dark ages.
I work in 3 jurisdictions and the inspections are as follows:
The county I live in. We only have county wide inspectors. I can call it in by 4:30 or email/fax it in by 7:30am morning of.
Adjoining county. I have to call and speak directly to the inspector between 7-9 morning of. No technology just have to take the time to do it. This is quite a hassle because it seems that I have peed it their corn flakes everytime I call.
Local city inspectors. I can call and leave message, fax, email. I don't have to speak to anybody, just leave a message at my leisure. I like it.
OK, here goes: Permit number in hand, call the office. (Code enforcement) 8:00 to 4:30 Mon-Friday Request your inspection type. (Rough/trench/etc) Clerk will give you next available date. (Within 72 hrs) Time btwn 8:00 - 2:30 Monday-Friday. Person may call inspector before 8:00AM for a time window. Clerk enters all info into computer system
No email, messages or scheduling by inspectors.
Emergency inspections are handled ASAP.
Average of 4500+ permits a year; 32 square miles; 110k pop.
Almost all of our jurisdictions here are now automated where we either make the request on line or via touch tone entries. I haven't actually had to speak with anyone in years except one time when the inspector called me from a job site where there was a question.
It is automated here and all the inspectors have laptops with Email. A lot of times you can make the correction, email a picture and get your sign off before close of business that day if it is that sort of thing.
The inspections are scheduled through a "chatty Cathy" using your touch tone phone.
When calling the automated system at 239-533-8997, you will get the following menu: For general permitting information, press 7 To schedule an inspection, press 1 To cancel an inspection, press 2 To hear results of an inspection, press 3 To check plan review status, press 4 To attach a license to a permit, press 5 To receive a copy of a bldg permit Cert of Occupancy or Compliance by fax, press 6 To make a payment on a permit or to update your license, press the star key * To speak with a Permit Representative, press 0
You can also look at your permit online to see all activity. They seem to get updated pretty close to real time from the laptop.
Greg: 1,2,4,7 & '0' are all handled by the clerical staff. 3 is by clerks or the inspectors, but not 'real time'. 4 is clerks, but it is frowned upon. 5 is only by hard copy at the counter or US Mail. 6 does not happen. 7 is check or money order at the counter, or via mail.
Transactions (fees) are check or money order only. NO cash, credit cards, debit cards, IOUs, etc.
Getting the permit in and approved is the hassle here. Lots of trips to lots of people who don't talk to each other with different procedures. (Zoning, health department, building department and the court clerk) Once you have the permit number you can do everything electronically and it goes as easy as you make it for the inspector. My experience probably doesn't count but my wife built over 100 houses here and she says the same thing.
Hear in north NJ, I follow almost all the same rules as you. The EC calls in the permit number and the TACO sets up the schedule. I have office hours in all towns where the public or EC can meet me and ask questions. The biggest difference with us is that in all my towns, I have set hours of inspections and they are usually with in a 2 hour window. That is just how it worked out with me and my schedule. Most EC's like that because they don't have to wait around all day waiting for me. In one of my towns, I also have early morning inspections. I can be out there from 7:30-8:30 AM and the people love that one. Both homeowners and EC's only have 1 hour to wait for me and then they can still get to work on time.