Inspection Procedures

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To schedule an inspection, please email your request to or if you need assistance, please call (760) 776-6420. 

A City of Palm Desert, Department of  Building & Safety staff person schedules emailed inspections and answers the phone and logs all inspection requests between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Inspection requests must be emailed in by 4:00 p.m. one (1) working day in advance. Inspection requests received by 4:00 p.m. will be performed the following workday. All inspections must be emailed in to receive an emailed inspection confirmation; this includes reinspections and special inspections. You will be asked to provide the Project Number at the time the request is called in.

All inspection requests for morning (A.M.) or afternoon (P.M.) appointments are on an “IF POSSIBLE” basis. To confirm any morning or afternoon appointments you are required to make direct contact with your inspector by calling (760) 776-6420 between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. the day of the inspection.

Inspectors are available in the office between the hours of 7:00–7:30 a.m. and 3:30–4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday to discuss project issues or problems, correction notices and any other code related issues.

The permit applicant is responsible for verifying that all work is complete and is ready for inspection. Reinspections will be conducted after all corrections have been made.

The following inspection sequence will provide you with a basic guideline as to when to call for an inspection. The Building Inspector of Record may allow deviation from standard inspection process if there is sufficient reason or site conditions that allow for an adjustment without causing adverse effects to the design of the building or structure.

FOUNDATION INSPECTION is conducted after excavations for footings have been completed and all forms and reinforcing steel are in place. All underground drain and waste plumbing must be in place with a 10-foot high water test. All required anchors must be fixed in place prior to inspection approval. The main grounding electrodes (UFER) shall be in place.

CONCRETE SLAB INSPECTION will be conducted after grading is complete with the required vapor barrier, sand and reinforcement is installed as per plans. All piping and conduit items must be protected from contact with concrete. This inspection must be performed and approved before placement of concrete.

ROOF SHEATHING INSPECTION will be conducted after all roof sheathing is nailed as per the approved plans and before any roofing materials have been applied or loaded on to the roof. The contractor is responsible to prove ladder/access.

WALL SHEATHING INSPECTION All plywood shear panels on exterior walls must be nailed per the approved plans including any required shear transfer elements (plate nailing, bolting, strapping, and other shear transfer related hardware) and inspected before being covered by exterior finish materials.

FRAME INSPECTION is conducted after all framing has been completed and the roofing material has been loaded. All rough plumbing, fire sprinkler piping, mechanical, and electrical, must be completely installed with all required tests. Windows and exterior doorframes must be in place and properly flashed. Exterior lath nailing inspection can be done during the framing inspection or at a later time, but before the insulation inspection. This is a combination inspection.

INSULATION INSPECTION will be made after all required insulation is in place, windows installed and properly labeled, openings caulked and required sealing completed.

DRYWALL NAILING INSPECTION is done after all drywall and/or interior lath and attachments are fastened in place. This inspection must be completed prior to the scratch coat application and before any drywall finishing is applied. Exterior lath nailing inspection must be approved.

SEWER AND WATER SERVICE CONNECTION BUILDING INSPECTION must be made after the approved piping is in place and the appropriate test is applied. This inspection must be completed prior to any piping being covered.

This inspection shall be made after all piping authorized by the permit has been installed and after all portions thereof which are to be covered or concealed are so concealed and before any fixtures, appliances, or shutoff valve has been attached thereto. This inspection shall include an air, CO2 pressure test, at which time the gas piping shall stand a pressure of not less than ten (10) pounds per square inch gauge pressure for no less than fifteen (15) minutes, with no perceptible drop in pressure. For welded piping, and for piping carrying gas at pressures in excess of fourteen (14) inches water column pressure, the test pressure shall not be less than sixty (60) pounds per square inch gauge pressure for no less than thirty (30) minutes, with no perceptible drop in pressure.

FINAL INSPECTION is made when the structure is ready to occupy. The following list of items must be completed: lot drainage, address posted, plumbing fixtures connected and operable, electrical fixtures in place, insulation certificate posted, structure clean of debris and stored construction materials and wall finishes completed as per approved plans.

In advance of your request for a final inspection, a contractor sub list must be submitted. This will enable the City to ensure that all subcontractors and delivery companies have a business license tax certificate. For more information and a form, contact the Economic Support Center at (760) 346-0611, ext. 443.

When a Final Building inspection is requested, the Department of Building and Safety  will notify the Public Works and Community Development/Planning Departments. Once approvals have been received from the Building, Public Works, and Planning Departments, a Certificate of Occupancy will be prepared and mailed to the “owner” listed on the original building permit application. In addition, the Department of Building and Safety  will notify The Gas Company to release the gas utility.

NOTE: The information provided is only a guide. Projects may need more detailed inspections than are listed. If you have questions concerning specific methods of construction, products, or inspections, please consult with your Inspector of Record, or the Department of Building and Safety at (760) 776-6420. A phone call to the Department of Building and Safety could help you avoid the possibility of costly replacement of either defective or unapproved materials.