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The building code allows some work to be done without obtaining a permit. While a permit is not required, the work must be in compliance with the code. Some examples of work that does not require a permit include (see USBC 108.2):• Making ordinary repairs and improvements, including, but not limited to:o Painting the inside or outside of the house or detached structureso Repairing drywall, plaster, exterior siding, etc.o Installing new floor coverings, such as vinyl, carpet, or hardwoodo Installing or refurbishing cabinetryo Repairing or replacing porch or deck flooring boards Please note a permit is required to repair or replace the joists or girders.o Repairing or replacing handrails on a porcho Installing or replacing doors and windows, including storm windows, where no structural changes are performedo Installing or replacing exterior sidingo Residential re-roofing: Old shingle roof can be left in place provided that there are not more than two previous layers of shingles and that the existing shingles are not water saturated.o Installing or replacing gutters and downspoutso Repairing or replacing siding• Installing driveways or sidewalks• Constructing or installing a storage shed, playhouse, etc, 256 square feet or less in area Zoning permit required. • Adding a fence (which is not part of a swimming pool enclosure) and which is 6' or less in height Refer to subdivision covenants (if applicable)• Building recreational equipment, such as swings, skateboard ramps, jungle gyms, etc.• Adding roof insulation• Installing any wiring or equipment which operates at less than 50 volts• Installing a security alarm system• Replacing existing electrical water heater with a new electric water heater• Replacing electrical fixtures, such as switches and receptacles• Installing or replacing a ceiling fan to a pre-wired switch• Replacing plumbing fixtures, such as sinks• Replacing or repairing existing mechanical appliances (of equal size and type) This exception is not applicable to gas and oil fired appliances.• Temporary ADA ramps with less than 30” rise for residential properties
Construction plans are a critical aspect of the construction process. The complete construction drawings serve many capacities including but not limited to: •Outlining materials and methods of construction •Clarifying the scope of work for the understanding of all parties involved (contractor, owner/occupant, inspector, etc.) •Serve as an archived record of the proposed work (as required by the Commonwealth of Virginia) •Serve as a means of confirmation of structural adequacy by the plan reviewer correcting a deficiency after installation is often difficult and costly; a detailed set of plans greatly reduces the potential for this to occur. A good set of construction plans benefits everyone involved in the construction process.
There are several reviews your application must go through before it can be approved, each of which are completed by a different department or division:
• Environmental• Grading, Erosion and Sediment Control and Drainage• Zoning• Utilities or Health Department• Application Review
Economic and seasonal influences can effect review times significantly. It is our priority to review your plan quickly and efficiently.
2015 USBC, however applicants have the option of using the 2012 USBC until September 4, 2019.
The Building Inspectors are able to give estimated arrival times. The inspector makes many stops at different job sites during the day; often problems occur where the inspector cannot leave the job site due to the permit holder having other questions, or there could be emergencies where an inspector must abandon the route set in the morning to attend to the emergency call. Rather than commit to an exact time when the inspector will be at your job site, and not be able to meet the commitment due to unforeseen circumstances, the Building Division will supply a two hour window of arrival. You can find your estimated arrival time on the IWR or by calling the inspections office at (540) 658-8950 after 7:30am the morning of your inspection.
• Holdovers from the previous day• Homeowners (as many take time from work to meet the inspector)• Concrete pours as the concrete delivery is scheduled and anticipated• Final inspections for new homes (as this affects closing dates and moving plans)• Ditches/ trenches that pose a hazard• Electrical service inspections that require power interruptions
As you can see there are many circumstances that require a sense of urgency. We appreciate your patience as we make every effort to provide efficient service to Stafford County residents and contractors.