Building Permits & Inspections
The Building Inspections Office is responsible for ensuring public health, safety, and welfare associated with the design, construction, and use of buildings. In addition to a Building Official, Campbell County has three Building Inspectors. County inspectors inspect all buildings under construction for compliance with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.
Building codes in Campbell County TOP
Virginia’s building codes and regulations are administered through the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC). Codes and regulations are adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The 2012 editions of the codes are currently in effect.
The complete codes from DHCD can be found below (large PDF files). For smaller files, broken down by chapter, see the International Code Council's website.
Significant changes in the 2012 code TOP
• Temporary residential ramps are exempt from permitting (R-3 and R-5).
• Fences are exempt from permitting except concrete fences equal to or greater than 6 feet with greater than 3 feet of backfill.
• Single story detached accessory buildings less than 256 sq. ft. are exempted unless electricity is installed.
• Rain water and gray water from lavatories, bathtubs, showers, and clothes washers can be used for water closets. It must be clearly identified.
• When the air infiltration is less than 5 air changes per hour, mechanical ventilation is required.
• Insulation values for walls have increased to R-15. This can also be achieved by using R-13 + 1 continuous insulation.
• Ceilings spaces with attics require R-38 insulation. It can be reduced to R-30 when uncompressed and it extends to the soffit. Baffles and a solid soffit dam must be in place.
• Glazing at the top of the stairs is no longer a hazardous location.
• Glazing greater than 36” high on a landing is not hazardous location.
• Glazing at landings more than 60 inches from steps is no longer a hazardous location.
• Dwellings with a kitchen, living or entertainment space, and on the same level as the required egress door, must provide interior passage to a bedroom and a bathroom. When another bathroom is available, the bathroom in the bedroom is not required to be accessible. Exception; Landing step shall not exceed 8¼ inches.
• A household carbon dioxide detector now allowed.
• Nuts and washers in contact with treated wood must be approved for their use.
• When sock covered drain tile is used, a filter fabric is not required over the gravel.
• Southern pine spans have been greatly reduced for girders, joists, rafters, etc. The Virginia 2012 Construction Code has the reduced spans.
• The spans for decks (wet locations) have been reduced. See the above website.
• Roof uplift protection can now also be accomplished with properly installed screws.
• All outlets with 6 feet of sinks must be GFCI protected.
• AFCI circuits are the same as the 2009 codes.
• Separately derived systems grounding electrode must now be tied to the building grounding system.
• Outdoor receptacles must be weather resistant (WR) GFCI.
• The receptacle boxes for commercial and temporary locations must be rough service.
• A second ground rod is required unless the ground is a UFER ground or it is proven to have less than 25 OHMS.
• Switch boxes require a neutral wire in other than unfinished walls.
• Tamperproof receptacles are not required when located over 5 feet 6 inches from the floor, when serving a single appliance, a duplex serving 2 appliances, or when replacing an ungrounded receptacle.
• Tamperproof receptacles are required when there are over 4 children under 7 years of age. This includes churches, schools, and daycare. It is also required when replacing receptacles in these locations.
• LED lighting requires the same protection as incandescent lighting (closet).
• Outside commercial and temporary services require extra duty (in use) electrical boxes.
• Whirlpool tubs require GFCI receptacle within 12” of opening and facing opening. (Readily accessible)
• Air must not be used for leak testing of plastic drainage and vent piping.
• Newly installed thermostats must programmable.
• Hatches and doors to attic spaces must be sealed and insulated to R5. Pull down stairs must be insulated minimum of 75% R5 rigid.
Design Criteria - Climate and Geography TOP
Subject to Damage From:
Ice Barrier Underdlayment
Frost Line Depth
*Effective date. FHBM identified 11/22/1974
Building permits TOP
A building permit is required before:
- Constructing, moving, altering, or demolishing a building or structure.
- Changing the use of a building where the new use requires different structural strength, fire protection, exits, or sanitary provisions.
- Installing or altering any equipment which is regulated by the building code.
Example projects that require a building permit:
- Add or replace an existing deck
- Replace or repair of roofing substructure (plywood, trusses)
- Any roof work on a commercial building
- Finish an unfinished area or basement
- Replace water or sewer lines
- Set up or install a swimming pool (more than 24 inches deep)
- Install new electrical circuits
- Install gas fired heaters or fireplace logs
- Storage building or detached garage greater than 200 square feet in size
- Changes to heating and ventilation ducting, water and wastewater piping, appliance vent systems and gas piping (other than when reconnecting to replace equipment)
- Modification of interior or exterior wall framing
- Fences (if greater than six (6) feet tall as measured from the ground up)
Example projects that may be exempt from requiring a building permit:
- Residential re-roof
- Replacement windows and doors, except those in fire-rated assemblies
- Repairs or replacement to interior walls and wall coverings
- Floor coverings and 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)
Permits - Application process TOP
Most permits can be issued while you wait, assuming that all required information and fees are included. Permits involving plan review may take several days. The applicant will be contacted when a permit is ready to be picked up. Permits are not written after 4:30 pm.
Permits - Required Information TOP
Having all of the necessary documentation and information will greatly speed the application process and save you multiple trips to the Building Inspection office.
Permits - Fees TOP
(A 2% State Levy fee is added to all permit fees)
||$0.18/sf for finished space and $0.11/sf for unfinished space|
|Additions or alterations
||$0.10/sf ($25 minimum)|
||$0.10/sf ($25 minimum)|
Singlewide $125 | Doublewide $200 | Industrialized $125
||$0.10/sf ($50 minimum)|
||$20 + $5 per appliance (residential) or $10 per appliance (commercial)|
||$20 + $5 per fixture, appurtenance, septic connection, county sewer or water connection|
$20 + $__ depending on size of service or number of switches, outlets, appurtenances
Other Common permit fees:
||$0.10/sf ($25 minimum)|
||$20 (residential), $30 (commercial)|
Complete Fee Schedule
Permits - Will my permit expire? TOP
A permit remains valid for six months from the date it is issued. Each time an inspection is performed, the permit is extended for another six months. If an inspection is not requested within six months the permit may be suspended and may require you to re-apply and pay additional fees to reactivate it.
Permits - Obtaining by mail TOP
Building permit applications are available at the Building Inspections office, or you can download the application. You may also request an application be mailed to you.
If you are confident that the application is complete, with all information and correct payment included, you may submit it to our office by mail. Normally, however, we recommend that you bring the application and supporting information to our office so we can verify all required information is included and to determine the correct fee amount.
Permits - Who may apply TOP
Permits may be applied for by the owner or lessee of the building, or by the licensed engineer, architect, contractor, or subcontractor employed in connection with the prospective work. Engineers, architects, contractors, or subcontractors must be licensed to practice in Virginia.
Farm building permits TOP
In certain situations farm structures are normally exempt from building and zoning permits. Among other things, the structure must be part of a farming operation where profits and losses will be reported by the owner to the IRS on Schedule F. If you cannot meet the criteria, you must apply for a building permit. The Application for Exemption: Farm Building Construction is required.
Inspections - Scheduling TOP
To schedule an inspection, call our office at (434) 332-9596, the one work day before you need the inspection. You will need to provide your permit number. Inspectors are allowed two business days to complete an inspection, but will normally arrive the next business day.
When you schedule an inspection we will not know what time the inspector will arrive. Routes are set up each morning, so call the office between 8:30 am and 8:45 am to talk to the inspector directly.
Inspections - Which inspections do I need? TOP
Here is a List of Inspections normally performed. The inspections you need will vary depending upon the project. If you are unsure about what inspections you need, please talk to a building inspector at (434) 332-9596.
Manufactured homes - Installation or replacement TOP
You must first obtain a permit to install or replace a manufactured home. Please refer to the Requirements for Manufactured Houses for a detailed list of what you will need to apply for the permit.
The dealer is normally responsible for the installation of the manufactured home as stated in the sales contract. Some dealers use their own personnel while others use contractors. If you buy your home through a private sales transaction, you will have to coordinate with a contractor. Confirm that your contractor and subcontractors are properly licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia – Contractor License Lookup (to search by name, check the boxes under "Contractors").
Before You Hire a Contractor TOP
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 licence 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 licence is required of any contractor who undertakes a project that has a total value between $1,000 and $10,000.
Virginia Board for Contractors Regulations
Consumer Protections info sheet
License lookup, Complaint history, and Disciplinary actions