If you’re planning on building a new home or doing a renovation in Virginia a building permit is required. During the building phase there are specific  building and trade inspections. The inspections are to insure that the construction meets the minimum building code standards that the jurisdiction has adopted.

The following are required:

Residential Building permit: Architectural and structural elements

Electrical: Electrical systems, including electrical meter

Plumbing: Plumbing and gas pipe systems

Mechanical: Heating and cooling systems


Additional permits or plans may be required depending on the size of the project:

Land Disturbance Plan: Disturbance of areas over 2,500 SF or greater

Tree Plan: Tree protection and tree planting specification

Water Quality: If the property is located in a Resource Protection Area

Right of Way: If work is performed within county or state ‘right of way’ areas

Transportation Right of Way: Work that restricts, blocks or limits public use of roads, sidewalks, etc.


Zoning: The proposed structure must also meet local zoning requirements:

Land use, building placement (setbacks from property lines), height restriction and lot coverage.

A plat showing the proposed new structure on the property is required.


Building and zoning requirements vary by jurisdiction. Check with your local city, county or state for building and zoning requirements.


Arlington County:

Building: http://building.arlingtonva.us/project/building-a-new-house/

Zoning:  http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/CPHD/planning/zoning/CPHDPlanningZoningOffice.aspx


Fairfax County:

Building: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/buildingpermits/

Zoning: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/faqs/zoning.htm