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Building Inspections

Being prepared for your building inspections will save you money (by avoiding unnecessary re-inspections) and time. This page will help you get prepared, and provides information on what types of inspections may be required and the process required for making changes to your building plans mid-project.

Building inspections are scheduled for critical stages of the construction process to ensure that the work being carried out is in accordance with the approved Building Consent documents and that building regulations are being met.

A list of required inspections will be included with your Building Consent. You need to book the inspections as each stage of work is ready. Once the work passes inspection, the building officer will sign off the work and the project can continue. Visit the Booking an Inspection page for more information.

What do I need to have ready?

All approved Building Consent documents must be on site and available to the building officer.

It is advisable that you or your contractor be on site when the building officer visits as they may have questions or advice for you and discussing matters directly could reduce the number of inspections required.  If any inspections need to be repeated additional costs will apply.

Site safety

The safety of all people (including building officers) on the construction site is your responsibility. The inspector may refuse to enter the site if they deem it to be unsafe. You need to provide safe access to all parts of the site to allow work to be inspected.  Ladder access must be securely fastened. Scaffold access or lift equipment (eg cherry picker) maybe required for higher buildings.

What happens during the inspection?

The inspector will verify that construction has been carried out in accordance with the consented documents. Inspection observations will be recorded on the on-site inspection report. If the inspection involves Restricted Building Work, the Licensed Building Practitioner carrying out the work will need to produce their photo ID licence card.

If the work has been completed in accordance with the consented documents the inspector will sign it off and work can continue.

What happens if the work is non-compliant?

Areas of non-compliance will be detailed on the on-site inspection report. Re-inspection may be required if the building officer is not satisfied that the work meets the requirements of the Building Consent and/or the Building Code.

Extra inspections will incur additional charges which will need to be paid before a Code Compliance Certificate can be issued.

Where issues are of a more serious nature it is possible a Notice to Fix may be issued, requiring any building work not done in accordance with the Building Code to be corrected. Officers may also direct that building work cease in the area affected by the non-compliance until satisfied work is able to proceed in compliance with Building Act requirements. Failure to act promptly can result in an infringement fine or prosecution.

Work may continue that is not effected by the non-compliant work but this needs to be established with the building officer on site.


If changes are proposed to the consented plans, an amendment must be applied for and granted prior to work commencing. To find out more on the definition, assessment and granting of amendments to Building Consents, see Major Variations Guidance.

Minor variations

A minor variation is a minor modification, addition, or variation to a Building Consent that does not deviate significantly from the plans and specifications to which the consent relates. To find out more on the definition, assessment and granting of minor variations to Building Consents, see Minor Variation Guidance.

How to apply for a Minor Variation

There is no formal application for a minor variation.  Prior to the work commencing, you will have to provide plans of the proposed changes to a building officer to be assessed to see if this can be accepted as a minor variation or whether it may need to be processed as an amendment.

If the building officer accepts the Minor variation it will be approved and a copy saved to the property file.

Types of inspection

The following are the types of inspections that may be required depending on the type of building work:

Building inspections
  • Site; location of the building on site (visible boundary markers or a surveyor’s report may be required)
  • Foundation; before placing any concrete for foundation walls or footings
  • Piles; before placing any concrete for pile foundations (timber or concrete)
  • Masonry; before placing block fill
  • Pre-Slab; before placing any concrete for concrete floor slabs and any integral footings
  • Drainage; Drains in place with pipework bedding material connections venting and falls to verify
  • Retaining Wall; before back-filling against any wall or covering any tanking
  • Sub Floor; before covering any sub-floor framing
  • Pre-Wrap; prior to the roof underlay being installed and the building wrap being placed around the building
  • Cladding; cavity batons in place, flashing installed
  • Cladding; Substrate for plaster systems
  • Cladding; Plaster systems mesh coat or scratch coat installed
  • Roofing; Flashings, junctions and internal gutters, upstands and balustrades prior to scaffolding being removed
  • Pre-Line; before fitting internal linings or installing wet area membranes, airseals fitted internally around joinery, bracing connections complete and moisture content testing of framing
  • Acoustic; before fitting internal linings where specialist vibrationally isolated connections or in-frame insulation is specified
  • Post-Line; post line bracing while fixings are still visible. Where fire-rated walls are included, sufficient inspections to verify correct installation of specified linings and protection of penetrations or sufficient inspections to verify correct installation of specified linings and attenuation of penetrations
  • Solid fuel heater/solar water heater; at completion of work to ensure clearances are correct, penetrations are weathertight and pipework is in place
  • Final; final inspection on completion of all building work - a formal application for a Code Compliance Certificate (form supplied with approved consent  documentation) must be supplied after all work has been signed off.
Plumbing and Drainage inspections
  • Drainage; testing any drainage work prior to back filling and before covering any field drains
  • Pre-Slab; plumbing in/under the floor slab (applicable to drainage designed to AS/NZS3500 only)
  • Pre-Line; plumbing systems before fitting any linings
  • Final; final inspection on completion of work

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