How does the inspection process work?

Section 14.05.032 (G) of the Mill Valley Municipal Code requires that your first inspection must be scheduled within 180 days of the date the permit was issued, and "successive approvals" must occur every 180 days thereafter. "Successive approval" means the work is inspected and approved within the 180-day period. A typical scenario would be an inspection is requested and performed, a correction list is generated, and the corrections are completed, another inspection is scheduled to verify the corrections, and the next 180-day period begins from the date the corrections were "signed off", and the work in question allowed to be covered.

Upon request, a permit may receive a one-180 day extension. The request for an extension must be in writing and signed by the applicant, addressed to the Building Official, and the reason for the request must be stated.

It's important to note at this juncture that "successive approvals" must be based on "valid" inspection. A valid inspection generally involves completing all possible elements in a phase of the project before applying finishes, or otherwise covering the work. An example of this could be a bathroom remodel. We would not inspect the plumbing, electrical, framing, and mechanical elements separately; we would request that once all these elements were completed, the applicant would call for a "rough all" inspection. This means that all of the work involved is completed and ready to cover with sheetrock or other finishes.

With every permit that is issued, a copy of "Building Inspection FAQs" is included with the permit hard copy. The majority of information necessary for understanding the inspection process is included in this document. The inspection process for larger projects is covered in detail in the "Pre-Construction Meeting" handout. This is usually distributed as part of a project that requires a pre-construction meeting, but a great deal of the information is relevant to the inspection process in general.

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1. My neighbor's construction project is making a lot of noise - what is allowed?
2. Do I need a building permit?
3. What are the dangers of mold and mildew and whom do I call if I encounter this problem?
4. It seems like almost anything I improve, repair, or replace on my property requires a permit. Why is this?
5. OK, I think I’m ready to apply for a permit. What information does the City need to begin the process?
6. How long will it take before I can get my permit?
7. Can I get started on the project before I actually obtain my permit?
8. What are these additional charges that don’t seem relevant to the scope of my project? What is a Road Impact Fee? Drainage Fee?
9. Does my project need to be completed within a certain time?
10. I’m thinking about renting, purchasing, or renovating a commercial proper. What do I need to be aware of in regards to City requirements?
11. How far in advance do story poles have to be put up? How long do they stay up?
12. I don’t understand how getting a permit for my project will actually benefit me; it just costs me money. What happens if I just do the work, and don’t bother with a permit?
13. I’m a property owner and I'd like to get a copy of the original set of building plans for my house. Do I still need approval of the design professional?
14. Why should pools be maintained and what should I do if I know of someone with a pool that is not being maintained?
15. I’m a new business owner and will be replacing the old sign with my new name. Do I still need a sign permit?
16. What days are no-construction work days?
17. I’m considering a home improvement/repair project, and I’m not sure where to start. What’s my first step?
18. Is there any way to expedite my approval, especially if it is a small project?
19. What do I do if I own or know of a vacant, unsecured substandard structure?
20. How does the inspection process work?
21. How do I report a code violation?
22. I can’t decide whether to hire a licensed contractor, or be my own contractor and manage the project myself to save money. What are the pros and cons of each?
23. RBR (re-sale) inspection - If unpermitted work or expired permits are discovered, what do I do?
24. How much will my building permit cost?
25. I am concerned about hoarding – what do I do?