After you obtain a permit and begin construction work, inspections are required before you cover or conceal any work. Your construction is not approved until it has been inspected and accepted by our inspection staff at LADBS.
For Building Inspections, inspectors are accessible to the public at their designated LADBS office, or by telephone, from 7:00 to 8:15 A.M. Monday through Friday. Field inspections are performed weekdays until 3:30 P.M. Please refer to our organizational chart for specific offices and contact numbers.
Links Helpful for Inspections
Download Forms & Publications
Before you can request an inspection, you must first obtain the required permit(s) for the work you intend to do. You can check out our Permit page for more information on obtaining a permit. Once you obtain a permit you can commence with the work. However, you must call for inspection before you cover or conceal any work.
Work is generally inspected and approved in succession and no work may continue beyond the point indicated in each successive inspection without first obtaining the approval of the inspector. Common items to be inspected are foundation excavations, concrete work, wood framing, ventilation equipment, plumbing, electrical, shear wall nailing, roof nailing etc. When completed, there shall be a final inspection and approval of the completed project.
Getting an Inspection
When the work is ready to be inspected, you can request an inspection online or by calling 311 locally, or (213) 473-3231 if you are outside of the Los Angeles area.
The inspector will make sure that the work is being performed in accordance with the applicable codes and standards. It is important to remember the permitted work is not approved until it has been inspected and accepted by the inspection staff at LADBS.
Depending on the scope of work being performed and the type of building, you may have one or more inspections.
At the time of inspection, make sure the following are available on-site:
- A copy of the permit
- Approved plans if plan review was required
- The Building Card issued at the time of permit issuance (this is applicable to Building Permits only)
- Any equipment needed to do the inspection, such as a ladder.
Make sure all work being inspected is visible at the time of inspection. If any work has been covered, you will be asked to uncover it and schedule an Off-Hour Inspection at additional cost.
Types of Inspections
Note: For buildings other than single-family dwellings and duplexes, specialty inspectors will inspect the different trades such as building (structural), plumbing, electrical, and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) work.
The Residential Inspection Division inspects one-and two-family dwellings; including new structures, additions, alterations, swimming pools, retaining walls, various accessory structures, and demolition of existing structures.
See Residential Inspection Forms & Publications
The Building Inspection Division provides inspection services for all commercial, industrial and residential buildings over two units. Inspections are performed on all integral, non-mechanical, components including the zoning of buildings.
See Building Inspection Forms & Publications
An electrical inspection provides inspection services for all commercial and industrial buildings, and verifies compliance with the electrical code.The intent of electrical inspection is to ensure compliance with the applicable electrical code in order to reduce personal, and structural electrical hazards.
Also, the inspector ensures that the correct product or equipment has been selected for the job, and verifies the proper installation and compliance with the Departmental approved plans, if applicable.See Electrical Inspection Forms & Publications
LADBS inspects all elevators and related conveyances, as well as pressure vessels, annually for compliance to applicable codes. In addition, we inspect new installations, modernization and repair of existing devices, as well as responding to customer complaints and reported accidents.
See Elevator/Pressure Vessel Forms & Publications
Fire Sprinkler Inspection Division provides inspection services for all commercial and industrial buildings, and verifies compliance with the Fire Sprinkler code.
- Inspections of overhead and underground fire sprinkler protection systems
- Fire sprinkler system installations located in a variety of occupancies including but not limited to medical facilities, high-rise office buildings, manufacturing and industrial buildings, food service establishments, retail and residential structures and process waste plants and refineries.
- Fire Pumps, Fire Water Storage Tanks, Fire Hydrants, and Standpipes Systems
See Fire Sprinkler Forms & Publications
The Grading Division of the Inspection Bureau oversees issues related to soils and foundations, grading, excavations, and fills.
The Grading Division uses primarily Chapters 18 and 70 of the LA Building Code for inspections. Permits are required for grading/earthwork in the Hillside Grading Area, removal and re-compaction, or back-fill. The Division provides inspection for foundation excavations, grading and fill placement.
Prior to issuing permits, a soils and/or geology report is usually required to be submitted to the Division for technical review by our geotechnical engineers and geologists.
Reports submitted to the Division typically address geotechnical engineering design as well geologic hazards, such as slope instability/earthquake induced landslides and liquefaction (Seismic Hazard Zones). Areas near active faults, including those in the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zones, require sufficient geologic investigation and coordination with the Division’s geologists. Various Information Bulletins provide additional information relative to requirements of the Grading Division.
See Grading Inspection Forms & Publications
Mechanical Inspection Division provides inspection services for all commercial and industrial buildings, and verifies compliance with the Mechanical code. LADBS is responsible for inspections of all Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Fire Life Safety Testing for Mechanical systems, including stairwell pressurization and smoke control smoke evacuation systems installed in all commercial, mixed use and multifamily buildings.
See Mechanical HVAC Inspection Forms & Publications
Plumbing Inspection Division provides inspection services for all commercial and industrial buildings, and verifies compliance with the plumbing code. Inspections are required for plumbing systems, which include sanitary, industrial waste, vent systems, and fuel gas systems. These systems are located in a variety of occupancies, including, but not limited to, medical facilities, high-rise office buildings, industrial buildings, manufacturing, food service establishments, retail and residential structures, process waste plants, and refineries.
See Plumbing Inspection Forms & Publications
As a part of our effort to reduce visual blight in the City, our Sign Enforcement Division is comprised of three units that enforce the City's sign regulations:
See Sign Inspection Publications
- General Sign Code Enforcement
This unit responds to complaints regarding all types of signage and illegal signs.
- Inspection of New Sign Construction
When permits are issued to alter a sign or for new signs, this unit inspects the construction of the sign.
- Off-Site Sign Periodic Inspection Program (OSSPIP)
The OSSPIP Section is dedicated to conducting a fee-supported program approved by the City Council for on-going periodic inspections of all off-site signs in the City which includes an evaluation of the sign's safety and legal status and compliance to the codes.
As of January 1, 2011, the following type of projects are subject to the Los Angeles Green Building Code (LAGBC):
- All new buildings (residential and non-residential)
- All addition (residential and non-residential)
- Alterations with building valuations of $200,000 or more
(residential and nonresidential)
- Residential alterations that increase the building's conditioned volume
The LAGBC is based on the 2013 California Green Building Standards Code, commonly known as "CALGreen" that was developed and mandated by the State to attain consistency among the various jurisdictions within the State; reduce the building's energy and water use; reduce waste; and reduce the carbon footprint.
See Green Building Publications
Haul Route Monitoring Program
The current rise in construction projects in Grading Hillside Areas has seen an increase in truck traffic related to the importing and exporting of soil. In working with the Council Offices and listening to the communities, LADBS recognized the need of added enforcement of the hauling activities to ensure safety and the quality of life for the residents.
The Haul Route Monitoring Program is enforced by the Grading Division of the Inspection Bureau.