I am doing the electrical work for an addition to our house. I am at a point where all receptacles are installed, and all rooms have lights, but we do not have all light fixtures picked out / bought yet. This may be a little bit down the road in order to make sure the design department (my wife) will be pleased with everything. Rough in inspection was done before the sheetrock went up. I am located in Minnesota, USA, and this is under the 2017 NEC.

In order to be able to open up the wall into our existing house, I would like to get the final electrical inspection done before all the remaining lights are picked out. I don't think it would be OK to open up the wall until I get the final, as that would make the new space "occupied", right? Is it typically acceptable to have some boxes covered with blank covers or temporary lights (just plain lampholders), as long as all other requirements are generally fulfilled (i. e. receptacle spacing, lights in every room, etc).

I know this will probably vary a little depending on the inspector, but was just looking for a general guideline.

  • A lot of it depends upon where you are and the AHJ. I assume you had your rough in inspection already approved (?) In my neck of the woods they don't even do a final inspection, rough-in only. Unless a missing light would create a hazard (like over a stairwell), I believe having blank covers is acceptable. ( I have a few in my house that I never ended up in stalling fixtures). Others here with more experience with inspectors may be able to add more info. Feb 28, 2020 at 18:20
  • Kind of what I thought. Yes, I did have the rough in done a while ago, before the sheetrock went up. Feb 28, 2020 at 21:28
  • Call up your local permit/inspector office and see what they tell you. Most of 'em are probably pretty accommodating.
    – SteveSh
    Feb 29, 2020 at 1:18

1 Answer 1


I have done work as a licensed "homeowner" many times. (passed local electrical exam)

Your local inspector can work out whatever they want to - basically they make the rules - but in general for the final electrical inspection, all outlets must be connected and all light units must be workable.

Every inspector that I have had has turned on every single light (need bulbs too), fully ground tested every outlet, and opened up most junction boxes. These are the basics.

But again your local inspector can do whatever he wants but I highly doubt you are passing your final electrical before lights are in. You should expect to install them and take them out if you need to do other work.

Note: I pulled the last inspection sheet I had. It had a checklist for the final electrical walk-through that needed inspector checks and signature.

  • I've never seen a checklist at final. The final inspection for a 2+ year renovation I had done took less than 10 minutes. He basically just wanted to see the stickers showing that that all of the inspections prior to the final had been done.
    – SteveSh
    Feb 29, 2020 at 1:16
  • @SteveSh - I will try to take a picture. I don't think a checklist is "normal", I also don't ever remember passing electrical without light fixtures up - whether I did electric or fully licensed electrician. I have also never gone through a "final" that they were just looking for the previous steps to be done... which probably tells us every town does it a little different.
    – DMoore
    Feb 29, 2020 at 3:47

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