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Yes. For residential work, you do not have to be a licensed contractor to build your own house or work on your project if you are the homeowner/property owner. However, if you hire a contractor, it is your responsibility to ensure they are licensed and the contractor should obtain the permit.
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A permit is required whenever constructing, adding to, altering, removing, or changing the use of a structure. Also whenever installing or altering equipment regulated by the Virginia USBC, and removing or disturbing any asbestos or lead containing materials.
After obtaining your septic and well permits from the Health Department, you will first need a land disturbing permit issued by the Environmental Department and a zoning permit issued by the Planning and Zoning Department. Application may be made for all permits simultaneously or individually in stages. After the building permit is issued, subsequent permits will be needed such as the trades permits, including electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits. View list of steps (PDF).
Fees are calculated after the plan review is complete. Some fees are based on the size of the structure (square footage) and others are based on the cost of the project, such as alterations and renovations. All permits have a $35 minimum permit fee. View a complete fee schedule (PDF).
Pools, spas and hot tubs require permits and safety barriers if they meet any of the following conditions: Exceed 24 inches in depth, 5,000 gallons of water, 150 square feet in area (14 feet diameter). Find more information in our residential swimming pools brochure (PDF).
Plans are required for review prior to issuance of a deck permit. You may draw your own plans, have your design professional draw them, or you may use the pre-printed deck detail (PDF). If that is the preferred choice, the deck will need to be constructed in accordance with the plan.
The work needs to be checked by an inspector to ensure that the work is done safely and properly. The inspector can also offer advice on how to proceed should problems arise. Other reasons for inspections are legal and financial liabilities. View an inspection procedure (PDF).
You should ask the person you choose to hire to show you their license credentials. Be sure they are licensed and insured. You may also check the website of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) or call them at 804-367-8511. A local business license is required in addition to a state license. If you need additional help, contact this office.
General code questions may be answered in this office by calling 804-693-2744. For more in depth code information, consult the 2012 Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code and the 2012 Virginia Construction Code.
Fences do not require building permits.
Yes. A permit is required for both residential and commercial demolition. It's a good idea to obtain a permit so the structure will be removed from your real estate assessment and you will no longer be taxed for the structure. Commercial structures may require an asbestos report prior to issuance of the permit.
The inspectors are routinely on a daily schedule from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. in the Building Inspection office and then are out performing inspections until around 3 p.m. when they return to the office until 4 p.m. They may be contacted at 804-693-2744 during office times or by email at any time.
Interior alterations and renovations require permits if structural changes are being made or electrical, plumbing or mechanical changes are being made. For residential uses, cosmetic changes such as floor covering and sheetrock do not require permits.
Gloucester is located in the 100 miles per hour wind zone. Get more information regarding basic design criteria (PDF).
Permits obtained for septic systems (septic tank and drainfield) and wells are issued by the Gloucester County Health Department and they may be reached at 804-693-6130.
Flood maps are available in the Building Inspection office and may be viewed during normal office hours. You can check our Flood Information page or feel free to contact us at 804-693-2744 for more information.
Temporary structures require permits and inspections the same as permanent structures. "Portable" buildings also require permits.
Wood stoves require permits and inspections and are to be listed and labeled and installed per manufacturers' installation instructions. View a guide for more information (PDF).
Manufactured homes, previously known as mobile homes, are designed, constructed, inspected, and certified under a federal program administered by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These homes are built on a permanent chassis, are transportable in one or more sections, are designed to be used as single family dwellings when connected to the required utilities, may be sited with or without a permanent foundation, and include the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained in the structure. View details and an image of the label (PDF).
Modular homes have an industrial seal rather than a 'HUD seal' and are built off site to the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.