Virtual Inspections

Virtual inspections, an efficient alternative to in-person inspections, enable prompt service, productive follow-ups, and more specific scheduling. Virtual inspections are conducted between a customer and a County inspector by using a video call on a smartphone or tablet.

Requirements

  • All building-related inspections (Building, Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing, Energy, and Certificate of Occupancy) may be considered for virtual inspections; however, based on the size and/or complexity of the project, it may not be possible to conduct inspections virtually. Note:
    • Inspection complexity will be determined by the inspector.
    • For inspections deemed too complex for virtual completion, the County will accept third-party inspections per the County’s policy on Third-Party Inspectors.
  • Customers must have a smartphone or tablet connected to WiFi or 4G wireless service.
  • Google Duo (all devices), FaceTime (Apple OS devices), or Microsoft Teams (all devices) is required to host the video call. Check your mobile device’s app store to download. Additional apps may be offered as this program expands.
  • Third party engineers or third party agencies must obtain approval prior to conducting a virtual inspection. For approval, submit resumes and proof of certification to inspections@arlingtonva.us.

Process

Step 1: Schedule your inspection. All virtual inspections must be scheduled in advance:

Step 2: Prepare for your virtual inspection:

  • Ensure you have the necessary tools (based on the inspection type) readily available. For example, a tape measure, level, GFCI tester, step ladder, and/or flashlight.
  • Make sure your mobile device is fully charged.
  • Turn off phone or tablet notifications. Notifications can freeze the video feed during the call and could cause delays or require the inspection to be rescheduled.

Step 3: Contact your inspector:

  • The applicant and any contacts listed on the application will receive an email with the inspector’s name and phone number  between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. on the day of your inspection.After receiving the email on the inspection day, text your inspector the following:
    • Permit number
    • Type of inspection
    • Cell phone number of the person who will be walking the inspection site
    • Email address of the person who will be walking the inspection site
    • Method of video call you intend to use (Google Duo, FaceTime, or Microsoft Teams)
  • Your inspector will give you an approximate time window in which your inspection will take place.

Step 4: Accept the incoming video call initiated by your inspector

Step 5: Walk through your inspection with your inspector – note the following (if applicable):

  • Follow directions from your inspector.
  • Begin at street view looking at the structure with the address showing.
  • Walk the inspection in a clockwise direction.
  • Walk the inspection from bottom to top, if multiple floors. If residential, top to bottom to follow load path.
  • Make note of any items that require correction.

Inspection Results

Your inspector will tell you in the video call whether the inspection has passed or failed.

After the inspection is over, use Permit Arlington to view both pass/fail status and any comments from the inspector.

  • Log into Permit Arlington
  • Search for the permit number in the upper right corner
  • Click on the permit number
  • Click on “Record Info”
  • Click on “Inspections”
  • Below the text “Schedule or Request an Inspection” the history of the inspection requests and results are available

If the inspection fails:

  • Comments will be provided by the inspector during the inspection.
  • The inspector will determine if an additional fee(s) for re-inspection is required.