What is a Special Inspection and Structural Observation?

Special Inspections (SI’s) and Structural Observations (SO’s) are in addition to the inspections required by the City. SI’s & SO’s are associated to each project during permitting and are indicated on the drawings. In San Francisco the standard practice is to embed the City’s 11×17 form onto the full size structural plans (though it many cases it can also be stapled to the plans).  The required inspections for each project are also available online – see link below. The Special Inspection form lists ~25 discrete inspections with a check box next to each one. The City and or Engineer/Architect checks the boxes for the inspections they want done.

Online San Francisco Permit Tracker

When do I call for Inspections?

Call for inspections before you cover up any work. Typically you need to call both the City and the third party inspections agency and/or engineer of record.

Examples: before you put up gypsum board (which covers framing, plywood, insulation, electrical, plumbing); before you add plywood (same as gyp); before you pour concrete (which covers the rebar and size/depth of footing); before you install epoxy anchor bolts (which covers the hole and what type of epoxy you used).

Who does the Special Inspections and Structural Observations?

You can call one of the testing agencies listed here – Full list of San Francisco DBI Approved Testing Agencies

Barringer Design can do many of the inspections. Please contact our office to schedule.