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Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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Permit Inspection Operational Changes

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services


Service Level Update: Inspection Services Division

Permit Inspection Operational Changes

September 24, 2009. Budgetary constraints have necessitated significant staffing reductions within the Inspection Services Division. In order to maintain the highest possible service level with limited resources, the division has explored and identified areas where efficiency can be improved. In addition, the division has prioritized the various types of inspections performed, and certain inspections will no longer be performed until further notice. This will allow us to focus on the most critical areas of work relative to fire and life safety, structural integrity and livability.



The following policy and procedure changes are effective October 1, 2009 until further notice:

  • Elimination of requesting a 2-hour time window for inspections. Given current workload, staff must route their inspections by the most efficient travel route. When requested, staff will call the customer before 9:00 AM and inform them if the inspection is planned for AM or PM.
  • Turnaround times for inspections may be increased from 24 hours to 48 hours, possibly longer for final inspections.
  • For one-and-two family residential projects, all trades must be completed and ready for inspection prior to calling for inspection of under floor post and beam, framing cover, or final. This will reduce the number of trips required as these inspections will be preformed by combination certified residential inspectors.
  • For commercial projects, we request that all electrical work [line voltage, low voltage, voice and data] be completed and ready for inspection at one time. This will allow our electrical inspectors to make one trip instead of two or more to inspect the work.
  • Shower pan/water test and tub-shower combo/water test inspections will not be performed for listed pre-fabricated units.
  • For one-and-two family residential projects, slab inspections will not be performed.
  • For all remodeling/alteration projects, install insulation and vapor barrier prior to calling for framing cover inspections.
  • Consultation inspections will be provided on a strictly limited basis. Inspections staff will call the customer regarding any consultation inspections requested to see if the question can be quickly answered. If not, staff may recommend appropriate action for the customer such as consulting a licensed contractor or design professional. Consultation inspections may be performed based on the specific need and complexity of the project.
  • Re-inspection fees will be assessed, per code, when inspections are requested and the work is incomplete or access is not provided to perform the inspection. This is not intended to generate revenue, as the fee will simply cover the cost of the extra trip, rather it is to encourage customers to be sure all aspects of the project are ready for inspections and access is provided for each inspection requested.
  • Partial and phased inspections will be provided on a strictly limited basis, with the exception of large commercial projects where the construction sequencing necessitates such additional inspections.
  • Multi-layer gypsum board assemblies will be inspected upon completion of face layer and before application of finish materials. Builder will need to verify type and spacing of fasteners for all layers.


In the event that all requested inspections cannot be completed in a given day, customers will be

notified by telephone if their inspections request has been set over. Inspections will be prioritized

as follows;

High priority:

  • Concrete pours
  • Cover inspections [Structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing]
  • No electricity
  • No heat
  • No water
  • Open trenches
  • Inspections previously set over
  • Medium priority:
  • Finals
  • Stormwater
  • Erosion control
  • Insulation/vapor barrier
  • Zoning inspections
  • Compliant investigations where there is not evidence of an immediate safety or health hazard

Low priority:

  • Consultations
  • Partial inspections
  • Residential slabs, non-structural commercial slabs.

If you have questions, you may contact Jim Nicks at 503-823-1054.

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