Residential Permit Inspections

Inspector working in a home
Learn about residential permit inspections. Find out when you need building permit inspections and when to schedule home inspections. Get information about electrical inspections, house inspections, mechanical inspections, plumbing and structural inspections.
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The City of Portland requires residential inspections for one- and two-family homes. This includes duplexes and two-unit townhomes. Your permit is not complete until an inspector approves the work.

Today's residential inspections

Learn more about today's residential inspections

Safety during residential home inspections

Please prepare for your inspections by ensuring safe access for inspectors. This includes following all applicable Oregon OSHA safety requirements for concerns such as fall protectionladder and scaffold installation, ventilationelectrical hazards, and excavation.

We're doing the following to protect the health of our inspection staff and our residential customers:

  • Inspectors may wear masks for inspections and/or maintain social distancing.
  • Inspectors from Portland Permitting & Development may choose to wear masks for in-person inspections. 
  • Inspectors will wear masks where required or if requested by a property owner, permit applicant, or job site manager.

We perform residential inspections as scheduled on:

  • New construction
  • Remodels or additions
  • Inspections in occupied homes

If you have had an inspection and a re-inspection is needed, it is recommended that you use our Remote Video Re-inspection program. The program provides 24/7 appointment scheduling, time-certain appointments, and quick results to prevent project delays.

Most common types of residential inspections 

The most common inspections include electrical, mechanical, plumbing and structural inspections:

  • Residential electrical permits may need three inspections: rough-in, service and final.
  • You need mechanical permits before starting work on the heating, cooling or ventilation systems in a single-family home or duplex.
  • All plumbing and piping (water, sewer, storm water or vent system) must be tested (typically with water) and exposed for inspection prior to burial or covering with floor, wall or ceiling coverings. Read more about plumbing permits.
  • Anything to do with walls, floors, ceilings, stairs, roofs is structural. If you plan to remodel a small room or build a new home, these need to be inspected before they are covered in any way, or before pouring any concrete.

All permits need a final approval inspection to be complete.

General information about home inspections 

The city calls one and two-family home inspections "combination inspections." Residential inspectors are trained to inspect all aspects of the project. This saves homeowners, contractors, and the City time, money and energy.

After requesting your inspection, you can find out the date and time on Portland Maps the next day. Residential Inspection times for the current business day are online, daily after 8:00 a.m. Use the Permit Search webpage on Portland Maps after 8:00 am to view inspection times scheduled for today. Searching by IVR number works best.

If the dwelling is occupied, the applicant or an adult at least 18 years old must be present to let in the inspector and remain during the inspection.

Other types of inspections 

Residential inspectors don't conduct these inspections:

You might also want to read more about residential fee-paid inspections and commercial permit inspections. 

Septic inspections 

Septic inspectors inspect permits related to on-site sewage disposal systems. These permits include:

  • alteration permits
  • decommission permits 
  • existing system evaluations
  • holding tanks
  • installation permits
  • land use feasibility studies
  • on-site sewage permits
  • pumper truck and sand filtration system inspections
  • repair permits
  • sanitation permits

For questions about septic inspections contact General Inquiries.

Special inspections

Special inspections monitor specific critical structural materials that require the attention of professionals with specialized skills and qualifications. The Oregon Building Officials Association has created a list of approved special inspectors and agencies. Get details about special inspections.  

Contact district inspectors about residential permits

If you have questions before your inspection, you can talk to an inspector. The inspectors' name, region, and phone numbers are listed on the the 1 & 2 family inspector area map.  

Because of vacation or illness, your inspector may be different than the one listed on the map. If you have questions after your inspection, find out which inspector to call. Their contact information will be on the inspection results and on Portland maps.

Contact the Residential Senior Team for technical code advice 

Sr. Building Inspector503-823-8471
Sr. Building Inspector503-823-8239
Sr. Building Inspector/Expired Permits 503-823-8722
Sr. Electrical Inspector (N/NE)503-823-8481
Sr. Electrical Inspector (S/SE/SW/NW)503-823-6565
Sr. Plumbing Inspector 503-823-8630
Sr. Mechanical Inspector503-823-8497

When to call for residential permit inspections 

Tree preservation (when required)

Protection must be in place and be approved before ANY other work takes place. Protected trees need a 6 foot chain link fence around them as detailed in the approved plans.

Erosion control

If you are disturbing the ground, you need to have erosion control measures installed, inspected and approved. The erosion control inspection must happen before beginning any further ground-disturbing activities.

Footing and setback inspections

  • After trenches or pad openings are excavated and cleared of loose material or mud.
  • After any fill materials are placed, forms erected and secured in place, and reinforcing is in place and secured.
  • Before placing concrete.
  • New construction requires a grounding electrode to be in place before inspection.
  • Property lines must be identified by finding the existing official corner markers or providing a property survey for inspection of the setbacks and fire separation distance between the lot lines and new construction.
  • We strongly recommend that you allow 24 hours from the time of your inspection to your pour to allow for corrections and re-inspections.

Foundation inspection 

  • After forms and reinforcing are erected and secured or braced. Before placing concrete.
  • All hold downs and special frame anchor bolts must be mounted in place before inspection.
  • Can be combined with the footing inspection
  • We strongly recommend that you allow 24 hours from the time of your inspection to your pour to allow for corrections and re-inspections.

Under-floor or electrical, plumbing and mechanical inspection 

  • Any plumbing, electrical, mechanical and gas piping work that will be installed under the floor.
  • After the electrical, plumbing, ductwork and gas piping are in place and secured but before covering the floor framing.
  • Mechanical and plumbing inspections may be done at the same time as the under-floor framing inspection.

Under-floor or post and beam inspection

  • After all under floor plumbing, electrical and mechanical (including gas pipe) systems have been installed
  • After all sill plates and under floor structural components are in place secured and properly fastened
  • Before the application of flooring or insulation materials.
  • All structural components which have been improperly cut or notched for plumbing, etc. are to be repaired or replaced as needed.

Concrete floor slabs inspection (within buildings/structures)

  • After all under floor plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems have been installed and approved
  • After the ground surface is prepared and leveled, forms are in place and secured, reinforcing or woven wire mesh (if required) and under slab insulation (when required) are in place.
  • We strongly recommend that you allow 24 hours from the time of your inspection to your pour to allow for corrections and re-inspections.

Roof coverings inspection

The roof covering may be installed over the roof sheathing at any time unless otherwise noted on your plans.

Rough In inspection, all systems (rough plumbing, electrical, mechanical and gas piping system)

  • Before the framing inspection and covering any work.
  • Can be done at the same time as the framing inspection.

Shear walls inspection

  • After the structural frame is in place, all panels are to be nailed per the shear wall schedules, hold-downs and straps are to be installed and in any miscellaneous attachments installed.
  • Can be done with the structural frame inspection.

Structural frame inspection

After approval of all the above systems. All structural components that have been improperly cut, notched or altered for systems installations must be replaced or repaired as indicated. Roof, wall and floor sheathing are to be in place and nailed. Bracing, blocking and fire stops are to be complete. Windows and doors must be installed.

Insulation and vapor barrier inspection

  • After all insulation and vapor barriers are in place and secured.
  • Includes walls, floor, ground covers etc.
  • Does not include loose insulation to be supported by ceiling finish materials.

Weather protection must be provided before insulation. Wet or soaked insulation will be rejected. Substantially wet or soaked wood construction is not to be covered with vapor barriers unless adequate provisions are made for thorough drying of the structure. Under-floor and attic insulation may be done at a later time, but must be in place before the final inspection.

Gypsum wallboard (drywall) inspection (on firewalls and gypsum wallboard/drywall shear walls only)

  • After all nailing or other fastening systems are complete.
  • Before tape, plaster or other coverings are applied.
  • If multiple layer of gypsum wallboard are required, the nailing of each layer must be inspected.

Public sidewalk and driveway approach inspection

  • Required for all concrete paving within the street right-of-way.
  • After the excavation is complete, the forms are in place and secured, and the sub grade is properly prepared.
  • Before placing of any concrete.
  • The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) performs ALL driveway aprons and frontage sidewalks. Please call (503) 823-7002 to schedule inspections for this part of your project.
  • Portland Permitting & Development will continue to inspect the flatwork part of the driveway from the back of the sidewalk to the garage/house. Please call (503) 823-7000 to schedule the inspections for this part of your project.

Driveways, porches and flat work inspections (concrete driveways, patios, walkways and porches)

  • After the ground service is prepared and leveled, and forms are in place and secured.
  • The inspector will verify that the placement of concrete will not be against untreated framing or siding, and the rise and run of any steps or stairs.
  • We strongly recommended that you allow 24 hours from the time of your inspection to your pour to allow for corrections and re-inspections.

Other inspections

Other inspections may be required on particular jobs. These inspections will be on the approved plans and specifications. Or the Building Inspector will inform the permit holder of the need for them.

Special inspections

When special inspections are required, a qualified and approved special inspector is to be at the job site whenever work requiring special inspections is in progress. The City of Portland does not perform special inspections. The building inspector or approved agency shall submit a report of their findings upon completion of the inspection.

Final inspections

After all other required inspections are approved including:

  • building
  • electrical
  • plumbing
  • mechanical
  • erosion control
  • tree planting (if required)
  • fire suppression (if required) 

Must have final approval before occupancy of the premises is allowed. 

All permits need the “999 Final Permit” inspection. Your permit will be not be approved and closed until you get this inspection. Without the “999 Final Permit” inspection, the permit is still “under inspection.” 

Schedule a residential permit inspection

To schedule an inspection, call the automated inspection request line. You will need your IVR or permit number and the three-digit code for the inspection.

If you got your permit online through Development Hub, you can schedule your inspection online too.

Find out your inspection time and inspector's name on the daily residential routes. This is posted daily after 8:15 am weekdays. 

Get residential permit inspection results

Get inspection results by searching for your permit online at

Inspection Report

Your inspector will email you an inspection report. If the inspection is approved, great!

If the inspection failed then your inspection report will list the corrections required to get approved.

There are many reasons why work did not get approved:

  • no access - the inspector may not have been able to inspect the work
  • incomplete work
  • code violations

You will be responsible for making the corrections.


Option 1 (fastest option): Schedule through Remote Video Re-inspections (RVR)

Learn how to schedule a Remote Video Re-inspection (RVR).

Option 2: Schedule through IVR

Call for a re-inspection at 503-823-7000 after making the corrections. Use the same three-digit inspection code.

If you make the corrections the same day, wait until 5 pm to request a re-inspection. The inspector needs to enter their results before you can schedule the re-inspection. 

Field Issuance Remodel (FIR) Program

The Field Issuance Remodel (FIR) program provides plan review and inspection services to a small group of registered contractors and architects. Read more about the FIR program.


General Inquiries

Portland Permitting & Development
phone number503-823-7300Our front desk team will be available to answer Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please leave a message if you call outside of those hours.
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Requests for Inspection

Permitting & Development
phone number503-823-7000Automated Line - Requires an IVR or permit number
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Residential Inspections

Permitting & Development
phone number503-823-7388Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
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fax number503-823-7693

Property Compliance Help Line

Permitting & Development
phone number503-823-2633Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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