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Building FAQs

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What applications are required?

If you are installing a manufactured dwelling or constructing a modular or stick built dwelling, you must complete the following applications.  These applications  should be submitted to the Department of Community Development with a floor plan of the dwelling.*

Residential (single- or multi-family)
Manufactured Dwelling Permit Application
Zoning Permit 
Agreement in Lieu of an Official Erosion & Sediment Control Plan.  

* Manufactured dwellings (single wide & double wide homes) do not require floor plans.

Swimming pools with a depth of 2 or more feet of water, require a Pool Permit Application and a Zoning Permit.

Any work consisting of only one trade, such as electric, plumbing or mechanical, requires an Electric, Plumbing & Mechanical Permit Application; however, you are only charged for the trade work that is being done.

What works requires a permit?

  • Any construction, moving, altering or demolishing of a structure over 256 sq. ft.
  • Changing the use of a building 
  • Adding or replacing a deck
  • Replacing the plywood or truss of a roofing system 
  • ANY roof work on a commercial structure, however, DOES require a permit
  • To finish any or all of an unfinished basement 
  • Replacement of water or sewer lines
  • Installation of any swimming pool that will be more than 24 inches deep 
  • New electric or upgrade of existing electric
  • Installation of any gas, electric or oil burning heating system 
  • Modifications of interior or exterior wall framing

When do I NOT need a permit?

  • Painting
  • Re-roof, residential 
  • Replacement windows & doors, except those in fire rated assemblies
  • Repairs or replacement to interior walls & wall coverings 
  • Floor coverings & porch flooring
  • Cabinet Installation 
  • Repair or replacement of existing plumbing and electrical fixtures
  • Replacement of common appliances 
  • Installation of residential exterior siding
  • Replacement doors and windows (with no framing changes) 
  • Low-voltage lighting systems (less than 50 volts)

Can I do the work myself?

The Code of Virginia allows any person who performs or supervises the construction, removal, repair or improvement of no more than one primary residence owned by him and for his own use during any 24-month period. 

It also allows any person who performs or supervises the construction, removal, repair or improvement of a house upon his own real property as a bona fide gift to a member of his immediate family provided such member lives in the house.  For purposes of this section, "immediate family" includes one's mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandchild, grandparent, mother-in-law and father-in-law. 

All building contractors should be licensed by Virginia's Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR).

  • A valid Class A license is required of any contractor who undertakes a project that has a total value of $120,000 or more.
  • A valid Class B license is required of any contractor who undertakes a project that has a total value greater than $10,000 and less than $120,000. 
  • A valid Class C license is required of any contractor who undertakes a project that has a total value between $1,000 and $10,000.

What this means to you is . . .You can list yourself as any or all contractors OR you may hire a licensed contractor and provide our department with a name, address, phone number and license number for the contractor you have chosen.  One of the reviews of the construction application process is to verify the licensing of contractors listed, however, you may check the licensing of a contractor by visiting the DPOR license Look Up website.

How much will my permit cost?

Please refer to the Fee Schedule, Division of Inspections, for the full list of fees associated with this department.

Will my permit expire?

A Permit will become null and void if construction work is not started within six months of date the permit is issued or if construction is abandoned for any six month period.  At this time the permit will be moved to the closed status in the inspections office and will be held for a period of three (3) years.  During the three year period the permit may be reopened by paying the fee of $50.00 + levy fee. 

If a permit is reopened, all work to be performed must be done under the code edition in effect at the time of re-issuance. 

After three years all documentation will be destroyed and before work may continue a new permit must be obtained and all necessary fees must be paid.

What does farm use mean?

When erecting a farm use structure, construction and zoning applications are required, however fees are not collected and inspections will not be performed, as they are exempt.

Electric service is also exempt from fees and inspections, unless, you are running the service from another structure.  In this case, an electrical permit will be required, fees will be charged and an inspection will be performed.

How do I get an address for my property?

When you apply for a construction project for a dwelling, the 911 address process begins automatically!  Appomattox County does not issue a 911 address until your construction project is at the electric service stage.  When the electric service inspection is called in, the Inspections Division will contact the 911 Coordinator to visit your site.  Once an address is assigned, the Division of Inspections will send out a postcard as notification that a 911 address has been issued.

Who is my power company?

There are three (3) power companies that provide service to Appomattox County.  The best way to determine which one serves your property is to look at the pole closest to your property.  The name of the power company providing service to your area should be identified.

Below you will find the contact information given by each of the companies on how to contact them.

How do I get an inspection?

Inspection requests are taken until 10:00 AM the same day you need the inspection.  Just call the office and let the assistant know the permit number and type of inspection you need.  Any requests called in after 10:00 AM will be scheduled for the following day.

Voice mail is also available for your convenience should you need to contact the office outside of normal office hours.  Be sure to leave your name and number along with the permit number and type of inspection.

What kind of inspections are required?

NEW CONSTRUCTION:

  • Footing (before concrete is poured)
  • Anchor Bolts / Drain Tile
  • Slab
  • *Framing – Rough In
  • *Electric – Rough In
  • *Plumbing – Rough In
  • *Mechanical – Rough In
  • Insulation
  • Meterbase
  • Final 
    *Rough In inspections are preferred to be done at the same time.

MODULAR:

  • Footing (before concrete is poured)
  • Foundation / Sill Plate (before setting the home)
  • Plumbing
  • Electric / Meterbase
  • Final

MANUFACTURED / ON FRAME MODULAR:

  • Footing
  • Block / Anchor / Strap – also known as “setup”
  • Plumbing
  • Meterbase
  • Final

** Additional inspections may be required depending on your construction project.

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