Remodeling? L.A. building inspections now available Saturdays

Like many homeowners, Kevin and GiGi Hughes found that giving their bathroom a face-lift can be a major time commitment.

Since the couple started remodeling their Cheviot Hills home, they have undergone numerous safety inspections. Each time, they had to rearrange their work schedule or ask neighbors if they would be available on a weekday to show the building inspectors around.


But on Saturday, the Hugheses were at home with their two children as inspector Devin Myrick checked the electrical and plumbing work in their bathroom. The city recently launched new inspection hours that let inspectors make Saturday visits for minor renovations.

"On a weekday it's much more difficult" to carve out time to meet with building inspectors, said Kevin Hughes. "Not only do you have to wait, but you have to be here for them. Saturdays are much more convenient for us. We are here anyway."

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city decided to expand inspection hours into the weekends after hearing from residents who said they need more flexible hours.

"The city will be working on your schedule," he said from the Hugheses' lawn. "Until now, homeowners like the Hugheses who are doing minor work on their own home were forced to be home Monday through Friday when most Angelenos are working.... This is all about making City Hall more business-friendly again for Angelenos."

Garcetti said the city was able to add a workday without any extra cost. Inspectors volunteered to work Saturday shifts in exchange for a weekday off.

So far, 34 other families have signed up for Saturday inspections, Garcetti said. The city will be able to accommodate up to 120 inspections each Saturday on minor remodeling such as plumbing, replacing a water heater or remodeling the bathroom or kitchen.

The Hugheses' project passed the inspections, and the couple said they plan to schedule the rest of their inspections on the weekends.