Virtual Inspections

The code requires inspection for on-site construction, however, in some cases, inspection may be accomplished remotely using Zoom video conference platform.   While not inclusive of all, the following are examples of inspections that may be accomplished remotely:

  • Reinspection of simple corrections.
  • Replacement of residential HVAC mechanical or plumbing components (change-outs).
  • Residential underfloor rough-in plumbing construction.
  • Residential window and door replacements.


  • The permit holder may request an inspection via Accela or telephone.  Specify the requested date, time and type of inspection.
  • Staff will review your request, determine if the virtual process is suitable, and contact you to schedule an appointment and provide contact information.  An inspection which does not qualify for the virtual process will be scheduled for a traditional on-site inspection.
  • At the time of your appointment, call the inspector.  The inspector will provide the Zoom link for your meeting.
  • The inspector will direct the permit holder through the inspection process.
  • Note: The inspector may terminate the inspection at any time for inability to provide any of the requirements, or comply with directions, or if scope of work is found to deviate from the permit documents.


  • Permit documents.  Permit, approved plans.
  • Mobile device capable of communicating video and audio with adequate clarity.
  • Service connection.
  • Zoom mobile app.
  • Access to all areas of work as directed by the inspector.
  • Adequate lighting for areas subject to inspection.

Helpful hints and tips:

  • Good cell service or Wi-Fi helps tremendously.  Ask the homeowner for access to their Wi-Fi for better service.
  • We can be more efficient and better serve you if we are interacting with the professional responsible for the work.  We may be unable to perform virtual inspections with homeowners who are not familiar with the work.
  • Plan ahead – virtual inspections require scheduling like any other inspection.  Please visit the Cowlitz County website for inspection availability.