Residential Project Requirements and Application Submittal

Residential Permit Application Submittal and Review Requirements

This section provides, by type of construction project, a listing of the plans and other documents typically required to apply for required residential permits. It also provides the requirements for what the plans must contain. Chesterfield County is currently enforcing the 2018 code edition of the Virginia Library of Building Codes.

Addition Projects

The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code requires a building permit for any house, addition or work to finish off existing space. It states any work that is structural in nature requires a permit. It does exclude cosmetic changes (such as painting, installing vinyl siding, replacing carpet, etc.) and ordinary repairs (such as replacing cabinetry, kitchen appliances (except gas equipment), electrical switches, electric water heaters, reroofing, etc.). For additional information, download the requirements for building a house or addition pamphlet (PDF). Call the Building Inspection office at 804-748-1057 if you are in doubt.

The following permits are required for addition projects:

  • Building permit
  • Auxiliary permits: One or more of the following permits may be required, depending on the scope of work: electrical permit, gas permit, mechanical permit, plumbing permit

Application Submission Requirements

  • Residential Building Permit Application (PDF)
  • Plot plan showing setbacks from existing and proposed improvements. Acceptable plot plans contain the following:
    • Entire property, showing all property line dimensions.
    • Existing dwelling, any other existing structures and the proposed structure location (clearly indicate all proposed structure dimensions). For proposed accessory structures, indicate the overall height.
    • Setbacks from the closest point of the proposed structure to property lines in each direction. Label the measurements from each property line to the closest point on the structure. Be as exact as possible and clearly label the road name.
    • All buffers, easements or floodplains located on your property (no structure may be located in these areas).
  • Construction plans (two or more copies) - We'll return one copy to you with the issued permit.
  • Engineered soil reports (two copies) - Required to be prepared by a soil scientist or geotechnical engineer and submitted with each set of construction plans for all new houses. For more information, see the Requirements for Soil Reports and Footings (PDF).
  • Agreement in Lieu of Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (PDF)
  • Residential Plans Review Delivery Form (PDF) - Indicates whether you want the permit and forms mailed to you or held for three days at the Building Inspection office for you to pick up.
  • Permit and other related fee payments - view the Residential Fee Schedule (PDF). Accepted payment methods include cash, check and credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa).

Construction Plan Requirements

Construction plans require two or more copies that include:

  • Attic and attic floor framing plan
  • Basement plan
  • Elevations
  • First floor and first floor framing plan
  • A footing and foundation plan
  • A plat showing the location of the new structure to existing property lines
  • Roof and roof framing plan
  • Second floor and second floor framing plan
  • Shrink/swell soil report
  • Structural cross section(s)

Plan Detail Requirements

General requirements for all construction drawings include:

  • Numbered - Number each plan sheet.
  • Scale - Draw structural plans to architectural scale (typically 1/4 inches, 3/16 inches or 1/8 inches).
  • Legible - Make sure the plans are neat and legible (no handwritten notes).
  • Orientation - Lay out all drawings in the same orientation (portrait or landscape).

Non-structural details:

  • Do not submit mechanical, electrical or plumbing (MEP) drawings. Plan reviewers do not review these for residential plans. The field inspectors check for those issues.
  • Do not submit cabinetry, stair or non-structural details. They are not reviewed.

Plan View Requirements

Plan views are required for footing and foundation, basement, first floor, second floor, attic, roof and framing plans. These plan views must include:

  • Perimeter and interior dimensions
  • Room names on each floor plan
  • Size and location of all doors and windows
  • All interior load-bearing walls identified
  • All beams, including garage door headers, identified. For all beams carrying more than 4,000 lbs., identify the column on each end.
  • Size and direction of all floor joists and ceiling joists
    • For I-joists or open-web joists, provide manufacturer's layout plan.
    • Identification on plans similar to:
      • Nominal lumber: 2 by 8 SYP at 16 inches on center (o.c.)
      • I-joists: Truss Joist, Series 230, 11 feet 7/8 inches, 16 inches o.c.
  • Braced wall lines and the accompanying braced wall panel method(s) with calculation(s) clearly listed on each floor plan
  • Full height, two-story walls (i.e. walls over 12 feet tall) engineered by a registered design professional
  • Attic plan for all attics accessed by a permanent stair
  • Any space intended for "future" use marked accordingly
  • Each rafter or truss individually drawn to show bearing. All overbuilt roofs identified.
  • For structures with truss roofs, provide truss layout and individual truss detail sheets. The truss detail sheets do not need to be individually sealed for plan review, but must be sealed by a registered design professional at the time of inspection.
  • Sections:
    • At least one "through-structure" section, cut from the front to the rear of the structure, in a location that will show any non-standard section, such as a two-story family room or a room with a vaulted ceiling.
    • If there are multiple complicated spaces, separate sections to show all of the structure.
    • Section cut lines (arrows) referenced on the plan views.
  • Elevations:
    • Two elevations (from the front and side). Show the exterior finishes.
    • If it has a basement, include elevations showing approximate grade changes, doors and windows.

Ways to Submit a Residential Permit Application

Residential permit applications can be submitted:

  • Online: Chesterfield Community Development ELM Portal
  • Deliver to our Office: Residential permit applications, plans and associated forms are accepted from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the offices of the Chesterfield County Department of Building Inspection, 9800 Government Center Parkway), Chesterfield, Virginia, except on scheduled holidays
  • Mail residential and commercial permit applications, plans and associated forms, with a check, to Chesterfield County Department of Building Inspection, P.O. Box 40, Chesterfield, Virginia 23832-0040.

Permit Expiration

Permits are valid for six months from the date of last activity, which includes completed inspections, amendments and the issuance of associated permits.

  • If your permit is about to expire and you will be completing the work, contact the office to extend the permit. If the permit does expire, an administrative fee is assessed to reinstate the permit. If you are not going to complete the work, contact the office to void the permit.
  • If a permit was issued and work was performed, expiration of the permit without completing the required inspections is a violation of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.


Refunds are granted if requested in writing, provided no inspections have been performed. The refund amount will be the permit fee paid, minus 25% of the permit fee or $119, whichever is greater. If the permit fee paid was less than the minimum of $119, a refund will not be granted.