Effective March 23, 2020: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many building and trade inspections can be completed virtually. In-person fire, structural, building and trade inspections are available on Tuesday and Thursday only. All others have been postponed. View all building-related service changes here.
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.
- 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:
- 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 email@example.com.
1. Schedule your inspection. All virtual inspections must be scheduled in advance:
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.
3. Contact your inspector:
- Use the Inspection Detection online tool between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. on the day of your inspection to find your inspector’s name.
- Then look up the inspector’s phone number.
- Between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. 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.
4. Accept the incoming video call initiated by your inspector at the scheduled time.
5. Walk through your inspection with your inspector, noting 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.
Your inspector will tell you in the video call if the inspection has passed or failed.
After the inspection is over, use the Inspection Detection online tool to view both pass/fail status and any comments from the inspector.
You can also call the automated phone system at 703-228-3700 for your pass/fail status.
See instructions for using the phone system to check results for:
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.