Grand traverse county inspection schedule

Grand traverse county inspection schedule DEFAULT

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About Us

The Grand Traverse County Building Department is responsible for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the people who visit and live in Grand Traverse County by regulating the construction of our built environment to ensure compliance with construction codes, ordinances, and related rules and regulations.

Starting October 25th, our office hours will be 8 AM - 5 PM, but closed for lunch from 12-1 due to staffing shortages.

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Daily Inspections 

There will be limited electrical inspections for the foreseeable future, please plan accordingly.  All disconnect - reconnect inspections must have prior approval with office staff and coordinated with the power company.  Voice mail messages or online requests are not accepted.

Todays Inspections 

Week of October 18th. Updated each weekday between 9:30 & 10:30 a.m.
Daily inspections (pdf)

Estimated wait for Plan Review:  2 weeks

Current Construction Codes 

We are using the 2015 Michigan Building Code, 2015 Rehabilitation Code for Existing Buildings, 2015 Michigan Energy Code, 2015 Michigan Residential Code, 2017 Michigan Electrical Code, 2015 Michigan Mechanical Code, and 2015 Michigan Plumbing Code.  The State of Michigan (LARA) has revised the rules for the seal of Architects and Engineers to now include the licensee’s full name and license number.
Please see the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, General Rules:
Architects: section R 339.15404, Effective date Feb. 20, 2020.
Engineers: section R 339.16032, Effective date Dec. 10, 2020.

Please note: We no longer accept faxed submissions, please use our email address above.  Please use (231) 995-6044 to reach both Building AND Trade divisions.  Phone number (231) 995-6049 has been retired. Thank you!


Building Departments in Grand Traverse County, Michigan

There are 2 Building Departments in Grand Traverse County, Michigan, serving a population of 91,222 people in an area of 465 square miles. There is 1 Building Department per 45,611 people, and 1 Building Department per 232 square miles.

In Michigan, Grand Traverse County is ranked 43rd of 83 counties in Building Departments per capita, and 20th of 83 counties in Building Departments per square mile.

List of Grand Traverse County Building Departments

Find Grand Traverse County, Michigan building departments, planning, permits, zoning, and inspections.

About the Grand Traverse County Building Department

Building Departments in Grand Traverse County, MI are responsible for ensuring safe construction of buildings located in their jurisdictions. Building Departments create building codes and standards for building construction to ensure building safety. The Grand Traverse County DOB is involved in all aspects of construction, including zoning laws, design requirements, building materials, trade and professional license regulation.

You may contact the Building Department for questions about:
  • Grand Traverse County, Michigan building inspection records
  • Contractor license searches
  • Grand Traverse County building codes
  • Building permit violations, appeals, and fines
  • Construction permits and building ordinances
  • Grand Traverse County, MI zoning laws and requirements

Grand Traverse County Building Structure & Housing Statistics

Find Grand Traverse County Residential Housing Units, Occupied Residential Buildings Construction Year, Occupied Residential Buildings Room Characteristics, Occupied Residential Buildings Bedroom Characteristics, and Occupied Residential Building Facility Characteristics. Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2018 ACS 5-Year Estimates.

 Grand Traverse CountyMichigan
Total Housing Units43,4644,580,939
Occupied Housing Units37,134 (85.4%)3,909,509 (85.3%)
 Grand Traverse CountyMichigan
Single-Family Detached Homes27,131 (73.1%)2,837,744 (72.6%)
Single-Family Attached Homes1,303 (3.5%)184,958 (4.7%)
2 Apartments642 (1.7%)81,248 (2.1%)
3 or 4 Apartments862 (2.3%)100,302 (2.6%)
5 to 9 Apartments1,531 (4.1%)171,914 (4.4%)
10 or More Apartments2,780 (7.5%)345,946 (8.8%)
Mobile Home or Other Type of Housing2,885 (7.8%)187,397 (4.8%)
 Grand Traverse CountyMichigan
2014 or Later639 (1.7%)32,062 (0.8%)
2010 to 2013962 (2.6%)49,106 (1.3%)
2000 to 20096,342 (17.1%)402,996 (10.3%)
1980 to 199913,184 (35.5%)920,220 (23.5%)
1960 to 19798,971 (24.2%)1,077,894 (27.6%)
1940 to 19592,993 (2,993.0%)879,747 (879,747.0%)
1939 or Earlier4,043 (10.9%)547,484 (14.0%)
 Grand Traverse CountyMichigan
1 Room197 (0.5%)41,089 (1.1%)
2 or 3 Rooms25,972 (69.9%)2,697,448 (69.0%)
4 or 5 Rooms12,664 (34.1%)1,277,762 (32.7%)
6 or 7 Rooms11,108 (29.9%)1,334,221 (34.1%)
8 or More Rooms9,633 (25.9%)942,000 (24.1%)
 Grand Traverse CountyMichigan
No Bedroom219 (0.6%)45,511 (1.2%)
1 Bedroom2,615 (7.0%)329,207 (8.4%)
2 or 3 Bedrooms25,972 (69.9%)2,697,448 (69.0%)
4 or More Bedrooms8,328 (22.4%)837,343 (21.4%)
 Grand Traverse CountyMichigan
With Complete Plumbing Facilities37,108 (99.9%)3,895,910 (99.7%)
With Complete Kitchen Facilities36,962 (99.5%)3,880,358 (99.3%)

Building Departments near Grand Traverse County

Grand Traverse County Public Records

Other Grand Traverse County Offices

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On The Other Side of Building Inspections in Grand Traverse County

Everyone seems to dread dealing with the building inspector – usually the last obstacle in the way of occupying a building. Yet local inspectors face their own headaches, including confusion over zoning law, screaming building owners and conflicting code enforcement across municipal boundaries.

The Ticker sat down with Grand Traverse County Administrator Dave Benda and County Building Official Bruce Remai to get the story behind the inspections.

Ticker: Grand Traverse County handles building inspections differently than many other counties in the state. How does your model vary?
Everything is handled locally by in-house staff. We employ our inspectors, and we do the plan reviews in-house. In Benzie and Leelanau, for example, they contract out for's not in-house staff. The other alternative is to turn everything over to the state and let them do it, but the state's not staffed to do that properly.
Remai: We have nine employees in the (Grand Traverse County) office, including mechanical, electrical and plumbing inspectors, as well as two on-call inspectors.

Ticker: One complaint we hear from developers and builders is that building inspectors seemingly look for or invent problems in order to keep coming back and charging fees for additional inspections. 
Our inspectors get paid a salary, so there's zero incentive for them to do that. Our fees are set, and they generate enough revenue to keep everything going and support the department. We're pretty close to the bone on our profit margin.
Remai: I honestly don't think (our inspectors) think about that. There's no reason for them to. With contract inspectors, that might be different...there's some financial incentive with an outside firm that gets paid per visit. But we're not set up that way.

Ticker: What's usually happening then when a new business is close to opening and keeps pushing back the opening date due to inspection issues? 
The biggest problem we run into is project management, or lack thereof. (Owners) expect us to produce punch lists and show them everything they need to do. But our job is to inspect, not engineer or project manage. Often they won't have engineering drawings, or they'll have them but not follow them. My advice is to always have an on-site project supervisor who knows how to read a blueprint.

Ticker: Different inspectors can interpret or enforce the code differently, which can give the impression someone is being unfairly singled out, or an inspector is on a “power trip.” How do you regulate that?
: In our department, we all try to enforce the code exactly the same way. If one inspector misses something and another catches it, and that happens too many times, you have to look into that. I've fired inspectors for not doing their job. But all of us came from the field...the idea an inspector would retaliate against a developer because they didn't like them is ridiculous.
Benda: Every complaint I've investigated, there was a second side of the story...a commissioner or developer who said they were being mistreated, but turns out didn't do what they were supposed to do. We'll also get (flack) because other counties don't enforce the same things we do. But we're following the state code. It's not just a Grand Traverse County code.

Ticker: You're in a line of work where people aren't always happy to see you...
We're in a regulatory function, trying to provide the best customer service we can. We have to enforce the code...but we want to help people. We want them to succeed.
Remai: I have been on inspections where contractors have gone ballistic. I've had people screaming in my office. We get challenged every single's a bit like a policeman in that way. You can't make everyone happy, and that can be stressful. But you try to handle it in the most professional way possible.

By the Numbers
Nine county inspectors are now working on a caseload of 2,000 projects, according to Remai. Here's a look at last year's GT County numbers:
Building permits = 908, number of inspections = 4,421
Electrical permits = 1,503, number of inspections = 2,693
Mechanical permits = 1,746, number of inspections = 2,670
Plumbing permits = 913, number of inspections = 1,974
Total permits issued = 5,097, total number of inspections = 11,758 

When do you need a Building Inspection?

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Inspection schedule traverse county grand

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