Permit and Fee for Service Inspections

From time to time, a homeowner or business may find that work has been done on their property, such as finishing a basement or a tenant improvement, without the proper permits

While an inspection under a building permit may be possible after work is complete, covered electrical work (or plumbing) cannot be fully inspected unless all of the work is uncovered. Further, if a permit is received, it means that all work needs to be inspected to today’s standards.

The vast majority of cases where owners approach the City for unpermitted work is due to finished basements where electrical permits were not received.  The Fee for Service brochure PDF deals primarily with electrical permitting and inspections. That said, if plumbing permits are needed for work that has already been completed and covered up, the same processes would apply.

As uncovering electrical or plumbing installations may not be practical, the City and its contractor, The Inspections Group, provide two inspection options to customers.

Option 1: Apply for a Permit with the City

This option involves uncovering the work to be inspected (meaning taking down walls, vapour barriers and insulation in most cases) and then applying for an electrical permit. With an electrical permit, the wiring must be brought to the standards in place the day the permit is issued. While these requirements may seem onerous, the City must comply with the following Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) rules: 

• Rule 2-004 of the CEC states; “Electrical contractors or others responsible for carrying out the work shall obtain a permit from the inspection department before commencing work with respect to installation, alteration, repair, or extension of any electrical equipment.”

• If work commenced without a permit, Rule 2-028 of the CEC states, “No electrical work shall be rendered inaccessible by lathing, boarding, or other building construction until it has been accepted by the inspection department.”

Option 2: Fee for Service Inspection through The Inspections Group

If an inspection cannot be carried out to meet the requirements of CEC Rule 2-028, a Fee for Service Inspection may take place.  This is an assessment of the installation of what can be seen and accessed at the time of the inspection.

A Fee for Service Inspection is an inspection of the installation pertaining to the visible portions of the wiring to ensure the installation is safe, but there is no determination whether the installation meets Code requirements, as some wiring would remain covered and therefore could not be inspected.

The Inspector will document the deficiencies observed on a report and submit it to the homeowner or applicant. Unless the deficiencies observed pose a safety hazard to either persons or property, deficiencies will be provided as recommendations only.

How to Apply

Building permits and electrical permits can be obtained through the City of Spruce Grove Planning and Development Department. Fees for permits vary based upon the valuation of the inspection and are paid to the City.

Fee for Service Inspections are booked directly with The Inspections Group by completing their Fee for Service Inspection Authorization application PDF and submitting the appropriate fee.  Fee for Service Inspections cost $120/hour + GST, with a minimum of two (2) hours per inspection, and payments are made directly to The Inspections Group.

Need More Information?

Not sure what type of inspection is right for you?

Contact the City of Spruce Grove Planning and Development Department at 780-962-7582 for more information.