Permits - Getting Started

Building permit and the type of permit you need.

Page updated on Jan 19, 2016 at 10:56 AM

****The following content is under construction, additional information will be provided as it becomes available - thank you for your patience****

Do I need a building permit?

Step 1 

Permits, per the Virginia Construction Code (VCC) sec. 108.1, are required for most* construction and maintenance work of buildings and structures, including:

  • New buildings and structures
  • Alterations, renovations, additions and change of occupancy in existing buildings and structures
  • Maintenance of existing buildings and structures 

* Please refer to the VCC sec. 108.2 for projects exempt from permit 

What type of building permit do I need?

Step 2 - Chose between the two general permit categories, Residential  and Commercial:

Residential - residential occupancies in detached one- and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories above the grade plane in height with a separate means of egress and their accessory structures, including:

Townhomes, Rowhouses, Townhouses
Private Garages and Fixed Carports
Accessory Structures (Sheds, Garages, Playhouses, etc.) greater then 150 ft2
Private Pools
Decks, Porches, Stoops
Fences (greater than 6ft in height)
Retaining Walls (holding 2ft or greater of soil)

Commercial - any residential or commercial occupancy not defined as a "residential occupancy" as stated above, including:

Restaurants, Cafes, Night-clubs, Taverns, Bars
Retail - Markets, Stores
Professional Offices - Doctor, Dental, Attorney, Banks, Dry-cleaning/laundry pick-up/drop-off
Schools (kindergarten - 12th grade)
Daycare, Childcare
Multi-family Dwelling Units, 3 or more dwelling units (Apartments, Condominiums)
Hotels, Motels
Public Pools
High-hazardous Material Storage/Fabrication
Hospitals, Assisted Living, Congregate/Convalescent Facilities