Virtual inspections to come online after two-week pilot program
Texas Border Business
As part of the City of McAllen’s progressive eServices and ongoing effort to protect the health and safety of its residents, contractors, and employees, the City of McAllen’s Building Department is launching a program to conduct live remote video residential building inspections. The purpose of the Remote Video Inspections (RVI) program is to provide an alternative to on-site locations.
“As we try to navigate through these unprecedented times, the business of the city must go on,” said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E. “Homes are being constructed or renovated and we must make sure that those homes are safe for all involved, whether it is the contractors constructing the home or the residents who will eventually live there. The RVI program will ensure that our inspectors can still inspect homes while keeping them safe, as well. The RVI program will also be a great time saver, as well.”
The RVI program requires customers to use a minimum 4G device for inspectors to remotely view the job site using either FaceTime (iOS) or Google Duo (Android). Currently, the City of McAllen Building Department is offering the following residential remote video inspections: Infiltration; Insulation; Service Re-Do; Temporary Poles; and Working Clearance Inspections.
The RVI Program, however, is entirely optional and in-field inspections will continue for those who cannot or do not wish to participate in the RVI program. For those who do wish to participate in the program, there is a specific set of guidelines to follow.
Customers can schedule an eligible Remote Video Inspection (RVI) either through the Building Permits and Inspection Recording System (956) 681-1328) or through the City of McAllen Online Permit Portal via email firstname.lastname@example.org. In the request, indicate if the inspection will be a remote inspection and leave name, contact and permit number, address of location and eligible inspection type.
An inspector from the Building Department will call on the day of the inspection to schedule an exact inspection time. Customers are expected to be ready and able to receive a video call from the Building Inspector at the appointed time. Failure to answer the call may result in a failed status.
The remote video inspection will follow a specific set of instructions for customers and inspectors and, upon completion of the remote inspection, will follow the same procedure for follow-up, depending on results of the inspection. At the end of the RVI, the Building Inspector will update the system with inspection results and an email will be sent to the permit holder on file. Additionally, the results will be available on the City of McAllen Online Permit Portal.
It should be noted that the City of McAllen is currently exploring virtual inspections for other departments, as well. Health & Code Enforcement, the Fire Marshal’s office, and the Planning Department are also looking into conducting certain inspections via remote video inspections, as well.