When a Permit is Required
There are several types of permits that may be necessary for a commercial project depending on the scope of work. Use the list below to help you determine if your project requires a building permit. If your project is not listed or you need help determining if a permit is required, please contact our office 804-717-6427. The following projects require a permit:
- Construction of a new structure (building or non-building)
- Demolition of a structure, including the removal of any wall, partition, or structural component
- Reconstruction, alteration, or replacement including:
- The addition of any wall, partition, or structural component
- Reconstruction of decks, balconies, porches and similar structures
- Any required fire or smoke-resistance rated assembly
- Modification to means of egress
- Removal or disturbance of asbestos containing materials
- Replacement of roofing and siding
- Change of occupancy* requiring a new Certificate of Occupancy (CO) prior to the use of the structure
- A Certificate of Occupancy is required when the USBC requires a greater degree of structural strength, fire protection, means of egress, ventilation or sanitation.
- Typical examples: new restaurant (A-2) locating in an existing mercantile shopping center (M); business (B) operating from an existing residence (R).
*Change of occupancy was formerly referred to as “change of use”.
- Tents or air-supported structures greater than 900 square feet or with more than 50 occupants
- Modifications to the Exterior Accessible Route: Modifications to an exterior accessible route i.e.: accessible parking and sidewalks leading to an accessible building/site
- Converting a single family dwelling into a business office - A permit is required even if no alterations are proposed.
- Construction trailer permit
- Demolition permit
- Swimming pool permit
- Retaining wall permit
- Cell tower, flag pole, and other non-building structure permit
Installations or alterations involving:
- The water supply and distribution system, sanitary drainage or vent system
- Electric wiring greater than 50 volts, or less than 50 volts where wiring penetrates a fire rated or smoke protected assembly, is located in a plenum or is associated with an elevator fire safety control system, egress control system or fire protective system
- The fire protection system, mechanical systems or fuel supply systems
- Equipment regulated by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code
Replacement of above-ground existing LP-gas containers when any of the following occur:
- Tank capacity changes
- Tank location changes
- Tank regulator changes
- Sign permit
- Elevators/conveyance equipment installation – Elevator/conveyance equipment permit
- Amusement devices – Amusement device permit
For a complete listing of required permits and exceptions, view the Virginia Construction Code (Chapter 1).
You can also call the Building Inspection office at 804-748-1057.