Planning Your Project: Inspections

Remodeling offers homeowners the opportunity to get that dream kitchen, bathroom, master suite or deck without the hassle of buying a new home. However, it’s not as easy as just knocking down that wall to open up the main floor, or re-doing the master bathroom.

Each city has different rules, regulations and processes for home remodeling projects, and this series is intended to help anyone interested in improving their home understand the scope of what needs to be done. In this installment, the City of Minnetonka’s building inspectors share important advice regarding home remodeling inspections.

  1. Know the Sequence and Plan Ahead
    • It’s important to know the sequence of inspections with a remodeling project. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing inspections come first, followed by a framing inspection. That same sequence is followed for final inspections, and then the overall building inspection is the final piece of the puzzle. Be sure to schedule all required inspections well in advance, and have a realistic timeline.
  2. Be Prepared
    • Homeowners need to have permits and plans available (or printed out) for all inspections. Be sure you’re ready with the right documentation when the inspector arrives.
  3. Don’t Write the Check Until You Inspect
    • If you hired a contractor for your remodeling project, make sure the final inspection has been conducted and is approved before making the final payment to your contractor.
  4. Assess Your Detectors
    • Before your inspections, be sure that your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors are installed properly, in good working condition and up to code. Become familiar with your city’s code and reach out to city inspectors if you have any questions.
  5. Check the Deck
    • Many home remodeling projects involve adding or updating a deck. If the deck is more than four feet off the ground, the only inspections required are a footing inspection, and a final inspection. If you have questions about your deck project, reach out to your city’s inspectors.

For more tips and advice on inspections, visit the West Metro Home Remodeling Fair on Sunday, Feb. 11, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Eisenhower Community Center (1001 Highway 7) in Hopkins, Minn. City inspectors will be on-hand to answer questions about inspections, permits and other project requirements.

The fair also features a wide variety of exhibitors with products and services related to home improvement, including remodeling contractors, architects, landscapers, financial lenders and more. Learn more at