The Building/Fire Official provides inspection services to protect the health, safety, and property of the residents and businesses by enforcing the provisions of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code efficiently.
The first step in ANY development or construction project is to fill out and submit an application for permit(s). The application contains the necessary information to process a permit request. Submitted along with the project documentation (plans, drawings, etc.), the application will be reviewed to determine if the proposed construction meets the applicable standards and requirements.
What Requires a Building Permit
If you are considering construction, reconstruction, altering, or demolishing a structure; changing the use of a structure; removing or disturbing any asbestos-containing materials; or moving a lot line that affects an existing structure's continued compliance with the building regulations under which it was built, you will need to apply for a building permit.
Permit Requirement Exemptions
- Installation of wiring and equipment that (i) operates at less than 50 volts, (ii) is for broadband communications systems, (iii) is exempt under Section 102.3(1) or 102.3(4), or (iv) is for monitoring or automation systems in dwelling units, except when any such installations are located in a plenum, penetrate fire-rated or smoke-protected construction or are a component of any of the following:
- Fire alarm system.
- Fire detection system.
- Fire suppression system.
- Smoke control system.
- Fire protection supervisory system.
- Elevator fire safety control system.
- Access or egress control system or delayed egress locking or latching system.
- Fire damper.
- Door control system.
- One-story detached structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, or similar uses, provided the building area does not exceed 256 square feet.
- Detached prefabricated buildings housing the equipment of a publicly regulated utility service, provided the floor area does not exceed 150 square feet.
- Tents or air-supported structures, or both, that cover an area of 900 square feet or less, including within that area all connecting areas or spaces with a common means of egress or entrance, provided such tents or structures have an occupant load of 50 or less persons.
- Fences of any height unless required for pedestrian safety as provided for by Section 3306 or used for the barrier for a swimming pool.
- Concrete or masonry walls provided such walls do not exceed 6 feet in height above the finished grade.
- Retaining walls supporting less than 3 feet of unbalanced fill.
- Swimming pools that have a surface area not greater than 150 square feet, do not exceed 5,000 gallons, and are less than 24 inches deep.
- Replacement of above-ground existing LP-gas containers of the same capacity in the same location.
- Flagpoles 30 feet or less in height.
- Temporary ramps serving dwelling units in Groups R-3 and R-5 occupancies where the height of the entrance served by the ramp is no more than 30 inches above grade.
- Replacement of windows and doors with windows and doors of similar operation and opening dimensions that do not require changes to the existing framed opening and that are not required to be fire rated in Group R-2 where serving a single dwelling unit and in Groups R-3, R-4 and R-5.
- Replacement of plumbing fixtures and well pumps in all groups without alteration of the water supply and distribution systems, sanitary drainage systems, or vent systems.
- Replacement of general use snap switches, dimmer, and control switches, 125 volt-15 or 20 ampere receptacles, luminaires (lighting fixtures), and ceiling (paddle) fans in Group R-2 where serving a single dwelling unit and in Groups R-3, R-4, and R-5.
- Replacement of mechanical appliances provided such equipment is not fueled by gas or oil in Group R-2 where serving a single-family dwelling and in Groups R-3, R-4 and R-5.
- Replacement of an unlimited amount of roof covering or siding in Group R-3, R-4, or R-5 provided the building or structure is not in an area where the nominal design wind speed is greater than 100 miles per hour and replacement of 100 square feet or less of roof covering in all groups and all wind zones.
- Replacement of 256 square feet or less of roof decking in Group R-3, R-4, or R-5 unless the decking to be replaced was required at the time of original construction to be fire-retardant-treated or protected in some other way to form a fire-rated wall termination.
- Installation or replacement of floor finishes in all occupancies.
- Installation or replacement of cabinetry or trim.
- Application of paint or wallpaper.
- Application for a permit may be required by the building official for the installation of replacement siding, roofing, and windows in buildings within a historic district designated by a locality pursuant to § 15.2-2306 of the Code of Virginia.
- Application for a permit may be required by the building official for any items exempted in this section that are located in a special flood hazard area.
Building permits are required for preassembled structures such as manufactured and modular homes.
Who Is Responsible to Get the Permit(s)
It is the responsibility of the property owner or the owner's designated agent to obtain the necessary permit(s), and it is the permit holder's responsibility to call for the required inspections.