Inspection Procedures

Inspection Procedures for Construction of
New Single-Family Dwellings

 The Planning & Inspections Department staff offers the following guidelines to help the home builder/ general contractor understand when inspections are necessary and how to arrange for required inspections:

General Site Requirements:  The following is a list of general site requirements that is required to be in place when calling in for any inspections.

  • Trash corral or dumpster for construction debris.
  • Erosion control measures in place around property.
  • Portable toilet on site before first inspection.
  • Safe access on job site and into dwelling for inspectors to perform necessary inspections. No ramps will be used to access the dwelling.

Building Permit Box:  A City of Dunn Inspections/Data card is provided when a building permit is issued.  This card is extremely important.  It must be posted in a weather proof enclosure at the front of the property for use by inspections personnel and must remain in place until the project is completed.

A copy of the stamped approved plans for the building project also must be available in a weather proof enclosure for use by the Inspections Department staff each time an inspection is conducted.  As each inspection is made, the inspector will make a pass or fail notation on the card.  If a portion of the project fails an inspection, the inspector will leave a copy of the “rejection notice” detailing what code violations were found.  The contractor may not proceed with any work until the approved column has been signed for each trade.

Footing Inspection:  Footing trenches are dug according to plans approved for the project.  If required, all necessary reinforcing steel must be placed along the appropriate supports in the footing trench.  All grade stakes and step-down forms must be installed.  The bottom of the trench must be virgin soil, or if filled, should be properly compacted and all roots and other debris removed.  The footing trench must be inspected before any concrete is poured.  (Compaction test or fill or other soft footing must be certified by an engineer.)

Building Slabs:  If the structure is to be built on a concrete slab-on-grade, several inspections are necessary before the concrete may be poured.  First, the slab area must be graded and compacted for stability (see note above).  Second, if any plumbing, electrical wiring, gas piping, and/or mechanical duct work is to be installed beneath the slab, each type of trade work must be inspected and approved before the slab is poured.  This is called a trade “groundwork inspection.”  Following these approvals, washed and crushed stone, wire mesh and vapor barrier materials should be installed before the “building slab” inspection is scheduled.

Foundation Inspection:  For structures with a crawl space, the foundation inspection will follow the footing inspection.  The foundation walls, which support the floors and walls of the structure, should be complete with all interior parts.  All damp proofing should be ready for inspection at this time.

Floor System: The floor system will follow the foundation inspection. All floor joists, girders and blocking should be in place without any sub-flooring installed. The crawl space should be properly sloped, raked, and clean to provide positive drain. A drain pipe should be installed through the foundation wall at the lowest point of the crawl space.

Rough-In Inspection: (These may be scheduled at the same time or separately.)

Electrical Rough-In: All electrical wall boxes, including recessed light fixtures and exhaust fan housing, must be in place. All wiring must be installed, with joints and equipment grounds prepared, and ready for the installation of electrical devices. No fixtures or devices should be installed at this inspection. Electrical panel should be in place at this time.

Mechanical Rough-In: All supply ducts, return ducts, vent pipes and line sets (which will be concealed) should be in place and properly supported. No registers or grills are to be installed at this inspection.

Gas Piping: If natural gas or propane is to be used, all piping must be installed and a pressure test under way at the time of this inspection.

Plumbing Rough-In: All water and sewer piping within the structure should be in place and protected as necessary with all supports in place. Water and drainage systems should be tested by 100 pounds per square inch (psi) for water lines and at 10’ head for drainage system under slab and 3’ above the highest fixture for other rough-in inspections.

Sheathing Inspection: This inspection can be done any time prior to the building framing.

All exterior sheathing should be in place and properly fastened but prior to installation of any finish siding or brick work. If brick veneer is to be used, all brick ties should be in place at this time. Also, all flashing should be installed.

NOTE: Windows do not have to be installed, but the window openings must be wrapped.

Building Framing: This inspection should not be scheduled until all of the previous inspections have been completed and approved.

NOTE: Occasionally, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical subcontractors may cut or notch structural members when installing their trade work. These structural members must be repaired or reinforced before the building framing inspection.

For the framing inspection, all structural members must be in place and properly supported.

All windows and doors must be installed and the building completely closed in with weather boards. If a masonry chimney is part of the interior of the structure, it must be completed through to the first flue before the framing inspection.

If blown-in insulation is to be placed in the attic, or if a cathedral ceiling is to be installed, insulation baffles and insulation markers must be in place at the time of the inspection.

NOTE: No ceiling or wall finish (sheetrock) may be attached until the insulation inspection has been approved.

Insulation: After all of the above inspections have been approved, the insulation may be installed. The insulation sub-contractor must place a certification at the attic access or at the pull-down stairs noting the “R” value of the installed insulation. All insulation must be in place with associated vapor barriers and all holes or tears repaired prior to this inspection.

NOTE: All ceiling and wall finishes (sheet rock) can be installed at this point. Roof shingles are also permitted to be installed at this time.

Final Inspection:

Electrical Final: All equipment requiring electrical connections, including mechanical equipment, appliances, devices and fixtures, must be installed. Disconnect switches for water heater, HVAC units and similar equipment must be installed in the electrical panel box. The panel cover should be installed, all circuits must be labeled and the meter base must be ready for the meter.

To speed electrical hook-ups, an application for power should be filed with the power company before arranging this inspection. The power company will issue the owner a premise number. This number should be given to the Inspections Department when scheduling the electrical final. If final electricity is approved, power will be called in by the inspector the same day. If there is already power at the residence, this step is not applicable.

Mechanical Final: All registers, hoods, HVAC equipment and control wiring must be installed and filters should be in place. If approved, the Inspections department will fax PSNC to have gas meter set if using gas equipment.

Plumbing Final: All fixtures (including spigots, water heaters, water closets, and lavatories) must be in place and the water turned on.

Building Final: All trade finals are approved and electricity is connected to the dwelling. All general carpentry work, including decks, porches, guardrails, and all masonry work must be in place before this inspection. The base building with all safety features must be in place. The installation of wallpaper, carpet, trip molding, interior paint and other non-safety items are not necessary for this inspection; however, street numbers, measuring at least four (4) inches high and clearly visible from the street, must be installed. These numbers may also be placed on a mailbox at the street.

Lot Inspection: This inspection will be scheduled automatically when a building final inspection is requested. All grading and grass seed around the dwelling should be in place. This inspection will be conducted by the engineering department.

Building Water and Sewer: This inspection may be arranged when the plumbing rough-in inspection is conducted, but it may be made at any time up to and including the final stage of building construction. The water and sewer lines must be in their trenches, with no backfill in place so that inspectors can see all of the pipe work. The water meter base should be connected to the water line. Arrangement to have the meter set should be made through the City of Dunn Finance Department; the meter will be set as soon as possible after request. (This can be done when construction of the dwelling has started.)

Suggestions: It is best to verify that all required work has been completed prior to scheduling an inspection. If all required work is not completed, the inspector may have to reject the inspection. The inspection request procedure for that specific inspection then must start over.

Scheduling Inspections: The Inspections Department Staff tries to complete all inspections scheduled for that day. But occasionally, the department’s workload exceeds the ability of the staff to get all sites it must inspect. If an inspection cannot be conducted on the day it is schedule, it will move to the top of the list of inspections for the following day. It is important that subsequent work not begin until the appropriate approval has been made on the inspection/data card.

To request an inspection, call (910) 230-3505. All inspection requests must be received in the Inspections Department by 4:00 pm on the day before the inspection is to be made. The following information is required when making an inspection request.

  1. Permit Number
  2. Lot Number
  3. Types of Inspection(s)
  4. Premise Number (temporary board and electrical final)

If you wish to cancel any inspection, you may do so by calling the office by 9 am on the morning the inspection is to be conducted.

Re-inspection Fees:
A re-inspection fee of $50.00 will be charged on all of the following but not limited to:

  • Job not ready for inspection. (Seven (7) or more violations)
  • Any of the above policies violated.
  • For building code violations that will not be seen at next inspection.

If you have any questions concerning permit process, plan review or general code questions on your project you may contact someone at the following:








Chief Building Inspector

Steven King

910-230-3505, x 225


Building Inspector


Slater Johnson

910-230-3505, x 224


Code Enforcement Officer

Dwayne Williams


X 223


Permitting / Scheduling

Melissa Matti

910-230-3505, x 221


Planning Director

George Adler

910-230-3505, x227




More About Dunn

Dunn was originally called "Lucknow" and was renamed in 1873

The city of Dunn was incorporated on February 12, 1887, at which time it was a logging town and a turpentine distilling center. The name honors Bennett Dunn, who supervised the construction of the railway line between Wilson and Fayetteville.

Learn More