What Should I Expect From a Final Home Inspection?

Answered by Brett ~ November 14, 2011 ~ Comments

What is the inspector looking for when doing a final building inspection on a residential home before obtaining a certificate of occupancy?

Carrie B. ~ Miami, FL

Brett Kulina

Carrie, in most areas a certificate of occupancy (CO) is issued by the local building department to show that a residence has been built, or remodeled, in accordance with its approved plans and any applicable building codes. At its most basic, a certificate of occupancy is a written document that indicates a structure is in a livable condition and meets the requirements as set forth by your local building department. In some cases, it may be necessary to obtain a CO prior to selling, renting, or taking out a mortgage on a home.

Prior to issuing a CO in Miami, you can expect the building department to inspect your home in order to confirm that the house has been built according to your approved building plans and meets all aspects of the South Florida Building Code. In some cases, such as a residential remodel that costs less than $15,000, the building department will issue a certificate of completion rather than a certificate of occupancy, which may or may not require a home inspection. When you received approval for your building plans, you may have been given a list of the required inspections, which should detail what the building inspector will be looking for when inspecting your home.

In general, newly constructed homes are inspected to verify code compliant HVAC systems, plumbing and electrical systems, building envelope, and for fire penetration. Keep in mind that in Miami, you also have the opportunity to apply for a temporary certificate of occupancy, which could allow you to live in your new home prior to the absolute completion of all construction. Most of the responsibility for obtaining your CO should fall to your general contractor, who needs to be present at all building inspections so that you can get your CO without delay.

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