Palm Coast - Some residents have been home more than usual during these times of COVID-19, and figure it's a good opportunity to hire a professional to get some work done around the house. Can the City help to make sure their project is completed quickly and safely? 

The answer is a resounding YES.

Palm Coast's building inspections have become virtual for projects within living spaces where someone actually occupies the home (new home construction inspections still remain onsite).  These evaluations are rendered on cell phones using Google Duo or FaceTime. Installation projects may include new windows, doors, water heaters, minor electrical work or air conditioning.

Plans Examiner and Building Inspector Chris Piscitelli is carrying out his virtual inspections synchronizing his role within both social distancing guidelines and state codes. At first, his co-workers worked to manage a few of the cyber obstacles caused by different phone features, but eventually equipment synched correctly. "Since April when we began inspections online, we've become adept at completing five-six jobs each day," he declared. 

And Piscitelli is pleased with the drive time everyone saves with virtual inspecting. Round trips to sites have been eliminated, saving time to get more work completed. Also, contractors are now reporting inspection requests immediately onsite, right after they finish a job. City techs can then phone in directly to assess the work. There's no need for another meeting to finalize the project.  

"Our department is always looking to formulate proficient ways to do business, adapting to any situation," says Jason DeLorenzo, Chief Development Officer for the City of Palm Coast. "Performing inspections virtually is a successful program that shows our flexibility and adaptability to protect the public and our workforce."

With building permit numbers holding steady throughout this year, the Community Development Department remains actively engaged, continuing to meet construction needs regardless of the challenges. They will continue virtual inspections as an ongoing effort to save time, money and lives.