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CONSTRUCTION: Both residential and commercial premises must be signed off at various stages of the project.
Photos supplied CONSTRUCTION: Both residential and commercial premises must be signed off at various stages of the project.
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Planning inspections are governed by the Building Act 1988 and must have an Inspection Request submitted to the Department of Planning.

We work on a Code-a-Phone request system, at # 2977828.

Below is some information on the type of requests and what you can expect from the Inspector.

If you call before 8am, you will qualify for an inspection that day. After 8am you will be placed on the next workday schedule.

Commencement/setting out

Prior to any site works you will need to call for a com/set request.

This inspection allows the Inspector to discuss the project with the contractor and/or the homeowner.

You must have a copy of your approved plans and the inspection card (green card) must be on site at all times.

Your Building Permit # must also be displayed in a place that is visible from the main road and /or estate road.

The larger the number the better, for easy visibility. Prior to any excavation or site works the Inspector must check the setting out.

Paint/spray lines depicting the outline of your addition.

We may also request that a barrier is installed prior to excavation, in order to address any safety concerns.

Excavation/foundation

After the stages of excavation for your building, tanks or retaining wall have taken place, you must call for an inspection to allow the Inspector to confirm that bedrock has been reached.

If no bedrock is detected then the Inspector may suggest a structural engineer’s services are retained, to design a foundation to meet the expected load.

Steelwork

This mostly applies to commercial sites, however there are times when residential applications are necessary and the Inspector will need to inspect before concealing.

Reinforcing

We know this as ‘rebar’ or ‘rod’. In all structural concrete slabs an inspection shall be conducted before any concrete is placed.

At this stage you may need three requests. There may be electrical and plumbing pipe in your deck, and all statuary bodies must sign-off before concreting over.

Electrical/mechanical rough-in

Electrical panel boards, conduits, outlets and/or swimming pool bonding, must be in place before concealing/concreting.

Further electrical rough-ins may be necessary when wiring has been installed to other appliances, ie. pumps. Also of note are gas lines, which must be treated in the same manner.

Framing

This relates to all roofs that use timber for framing.

Our inspectors will inspect the laths in place, anchor bolts and hurricane clips attached, where applicable.

This inspection shall be conducted before you slate or install any other roofing system.

Wooden joist for flooring and bracing must be in place prior to concealing, and framing shall be subject to inspection before installing partitions ie. drywall.

Final inspection request

Final requests are called in for the following:

Electrical Final — requested when all electrical work has been completed. That means there should be covers on all outlets, fixtures installed, panel boards completed and labelled, smoke detectors installed, and the meter head may be installed as well.

Final Building — only call for this inspection when all other finals have been signed off.

Commercial projects must also have an inspection for fire safety, through the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service.

If there are baths, kitchen or other health components associated with your project then the Department of Health must inspect it as well.

Further, we will check for hand rails, guard rails, barriers around pools, parking facilities, storm water management systems, and all gas piping systems. A shut-off valve should be installed in the kitchen no more than six feet from the appliance it serves.

All the above final inspections must be signed off, and all the conditions attached discharged before a Certificate of Use and Occupancy (CO) can be issued.

To reduce the time before a CO is issued, take the following advice.

If you have called in a request and then find the project is not going to be ready, call us and cancel, or you could be charged a re-inspection fee.

This fee has to be paid before any other request can be conducted.

You must call us before 8am on the morning the request is to be conducted.

Call directions:

When prompted leave your name.

Whom you represent.

A contact #.

A building permit #, for example B1234/13.

Recommencement of work: If for whatever reason your project has stalled for six months or more you must request a recommenced inspection.

Project address.

Type of inspection requested.

If you don’t leave the above information on the Code-a-Phone you may not get a response.

Inspections are carried out between 1:30am-4pm.

For more information, call 297-7755 or call myself at extension 1345.

Roy Rodgers is the Senior Building Inspector at the Department of Planning, Government of Bermuda.