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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.

Amendments

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

  • Sitting/Foundation; before placing any concrete for foundation walls or footings.  Locate building as per consent, determine good ground, may require Engineer certification. Check for steel and placement and foundation/pile sizes.
  • Retaining Wall; before back-filling against any wall or covering any tanking. Pile sizes and spacing, drainage in place and outfall.
  • Masonry; before placing block fill check sizes, steelwork and ties, knockouts/ cavity clean and bond beam placement.
  • Pre-Slab; before placing any concrete for concrete floor slabs and any integral footings.  Check for pads, beams, steelwork, placement of reinforcing, support for mesh and steel, floor thickness and concrete type.
  • Sub Floor; before covering any sub-floor framing. Pile fixing and heights, insulation, anchor plate fixing, timber treatment, sizes and spans.
  • Framing; prior to the roof underlay being installed and the building wrap being placed around the building. Framing members size and spans, truss manufactures detailing, wind loading fixing, brace panel fixing and connectivity, timber treatment, set out matches plan, frame penetration size and spacing, insulation fixing and type, air seals window tapes and framing moisture.
  • Brick veneer - correct brick sizes, tie fixing and spacing, cavity spacing, flashings, consistent joint sizes, base sealed and foundation overhang.
  • Cladding; cavity batons in place, flashing installed. Building wraps, baton type and sizes, cavity closure and drainage, penetrations sealed.
  • Cladding cavity complete, substrate in place, fixing comply, flashing to penetrations, door/windows/vents, parapet/aprons/beam junctions.
  • Cladding; Plaster systems mesh coat or scratch coat installed. Nettings fixing and laps, control joint placement, slip coat, flashing penetrations, cavity closure and drainage, parapet wall junctions.
  • Roofing; Flashings, junctions and internal gutters, upstands and balustrades prior to scaffolding being removed.
  • 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; installation manufactures specifications comply, seismic constraints, hearth, mantel and flue clearances, chimney clean, top sealed and vented, flue liner in place, roof framing reinstated.
  • Final Residential; final inspection on completion of all building work. Landscaping complete, floor height levels, drainage system in place, Entrance and exit ways, claddings and roofing complete, internal linings in place, wet areas sealed surfaces with fixtures secured and sealed, hot water supply system and temperature, ceiling space and insulation fitted correctly,
  • Final Commercial final inspection on completion of all building work. Landscaping complete, floor height levels, drainage system in place, Entrance and exit ways, claddings and roofing complete, internal linings in place, wet areas sealed surfaces with fixtures secured and sealed, hot water supply system and temperature, ceiling space and insulation fitted correctly, Facilities for disabled, Fire protection systems/ warnings/ alerts, car parking requirements. Specified systems as per Form 5.

Plumbing and drainage inspection

  • Drainage; Drains in place with pipework bedding material connections venting and falls to verify. Identify system type, measure falls, granular bedding, locate all fixtures, bends and inspection points and venting.
  • Pre-Slab; plumbing in/under the floor slab. System type, falls, beddings, pipe sizes, water test in place, hot water cylinder, drain in copper.
  • Pre-Line; plumbing systems before fitting any linings. Pipework type and fittings, support horizontally and vertically, water supply type and valving, hot water system, pipework protection and lagging, pressure test.


 

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