Special inspection

Two men in hard hats

A special inspection is an inspection of all systems and structures in an existing building. The inspection will:

  • Assess general code compliance.
  • Identify upgrading requirements, including any permits needed for the work.

An inspection:

Will be required if you wish to:

    • Move into or run a business in a former marijuana grow-operation.
    • Add a secondary suite to your home.
    • Convert a building to a strata.

May be required if you want do work on or occupy a building that has been:

    • Altered without permits.
    • Damaged by fire.
    • Unoccupied for a long time.

Can be requested if you are starting or moving a business and want to know:

    • If the space is suitable for what you want to use it for.
    • What upgrading might be needed.

Process and Timelines

  1. Download and fill out one of the following forms
  2. Take the form to the Development and Building Services Centre.
  3. Once a special inspection has been requested, it will take at least 7 days to set up. If several departments will be doing inspections, it can take as long at 3 months for all inspections to be completed. The length of each inspection varies, depending on how much work must be inspected, and what the inspector finds once on site.
  4. After an inspection, each inspector will send out a letter identifying the changes or improvements needed to bring the property up to code. If a change of use is proposed, the letter will identify the changes needed to bring the property up to code for the proposed use.
  5. The letter will be issued 2-3 weeks after the inspector visits.

Cancelling an inspection

To cancel an inspection

  1. Call 3-1-1. If you cancel before the cancellation deadline, you will receive a case number.
  2. Make sure that someone on site knows the case number so that they can give it to the inspector if the inspector shows up at the original time. This will help you avoid being charged a re-inspection fee.

If you do not cancel before the cancellation deadline, you may have to pay a re-inspection fee when you re-book.

Inspection day Cancellation deadline
Monday Before 2:00pm on Friday. If Friday was a holiday, before Thursday 2:00pm.
Tuesday Before 2:00pm on Monday. If Monday was a holiday, before Friday 2:00pm.
Wednesday Before 2:00pm on Tuesday.
Thursday Before 2:00pm on Wednesday.
Friday Before 2:00pm on Thursday.

Permit and inspection fees

Inspection fees are included in the permit.

However, you will have to pay a re-inspection fee if:

  • You miss one or more meetings as a result of access
  • The inspector finds incomplete work that had been identified on a previous inspection
  • The inspector finds too many non-compliances

Contact the Development and Building Services Centre about building and zoning


Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
Ground floor
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm

Tuesday, Thursday
8:30am to 4:00pm

Free 2-hour parking
West 10th Ave parking lot,
between Cambie and Yukon

Think you might need a permit?

Get the permit, do the work, and get the inspection — that's the ideal process for construction.

But what if you already started the work?

Avoid risk: learn how to get the right permit