When is a permit required?

Permits are required before starting work that is not exempt from the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC). Work including, but not limited to the following items requires a building permit:

  • Changing the designed use of a building, installation
  • Construction or demolition of a building or structure
  • Installations or alterations that involve any wall or structural component
  • Removal or disturbing any materials containing asbestos during construction, additions, or demolition (exemptions exist for Single Family Dwellings)
  • Replacement of any system or component within a building or structure not exempted by the USBC


A permit is required for the following work:

  • Building additions to existing structures
  • Constructing/replacing a deck
  • Construction of new buildings/structures
  • Construction of retaining walls supporting 36 inches or more of unbalanced fill
  • Finishing a basement
  • Installation of new fuel tanks
  • Installation of swimming pools (above and in-ground) Swimming Pools that have a surface area greater than 150 square feet, over 5,000 gallons and are more than 24 inches deep.
  • Installing new systems (electrical, plumbing, mechanical, gas)
  • Replacement of gas or oil equipment (gas or oil furnaces, gas water heaters, etc)
  • Storage/Utility buildings (with or without electrical) that exceed 256 square feet

Show All Answers

1. When is a permit required?
2. When is a permit not required?
3. What are penalties if I do not apply for a permit?
4. What types of permits are issued?
5. What is required for a permit?
6. What are some building requirements specific to the county?
7. Who may apply for a building permit?
8. What are hours of operation?
9. What forms of payment are acceptable?
10. When are requested inspections scheduled?
11. What are the fees associated with permits?
12. Do I need to be present for the inspection?
13. When is the best time to speak with an inspector?
14. What do I need when scheduling an inspection?
15. What inspections are required on my permit?
16. Where can I access a code book?
17. What codes are adopted in Virginia?
18. What is a manufactured home and differences between them and modular/stick built homes?
19. What steps are involved in obtaining a manufactured home permit?
20. What are recommendations made to the Franklin County Building Inspection Department?