INDIO — In an innovative reaction to the times, Indio’s Building and Safety Services began offering real-time virtual building inspections April 6 for certain types of required inspections.

The comprehensive virtual inspection service will be available for eligible residential inspections, and in some cases, commercial inspections.

Last week, Indio’s building inspectors conducted an average of 70 inspections per day, or about 350 for the week.

Mandatory social distancing and health and safety concerns because of COVID-19 have necessitated the move to virtual or online services to keep providing essential services. Indio’s Information Technology Department assisted in putting the infrastructure in place for these moves to online services, which will be helpful, even when mandatory social distancing is lifted.

“Initially, for everyone’s health and safety, we were not entering lived-in homes. Now with the virtual inspections, this may be accomplished by way of video camera,” said Gil Estrada, Chief Building Official.

The Building Inspector Supervisor will determine which residential or commercial inspections qualify and assign the virtual inspection to a building inspector. Examples of eligible residential inspections include: a) photovoltaic systems; b) patio covers; c) water heater change outs; d) sewer connections; e) gas line extensions for BBQs and fire pits; f) HVAC change outs; g) electrical panel change outs; h) re-roofs; and i) window change outs.

Last week, Building and Safety Services, and the Planning Department also launched an online permit application system. In additional to adding convenience and simplicity to the planning and building process, this also maximizes the health and safety of City staff, customers and the community. For additional details on submitting permits and paying fees online.

Image Sources

  • Building Inspection: Shutterstock