Building Permit Process

In accordance with State law, Building & Development Services is responsible for enforcement of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) within the City. The USBC and the Fredericksburg City Code require permits for all new construction, additions, installations, alterations/remodeling, demolition, changes of use, changes of occupancy, movement of a lot or property line, removal or disturbing any asbestos, and any work not specifically exempted by the Code. Permits must be obtained prior to the commencement of any work. The building permit review process typically requires 6-8 weeks for complex projects. Smaller, simpler projects may be reviewed in a shorter period of time. The permit holder is responsible for assuring that all required inspections have been conducted and approved by the B&DS. A certificate of occupancy, indicating completion of the work for which a permit was issued, must be obtained from B&DS prior to occupying the building or structure.

Seal on Drawings


Applications can be submitted via the following link: Permit applications. Please be advised that we are no longer accepting paper applications.

Permits may be issued to the following persons:

Non-Building Permit Activities

A permit is not required for the following activities. All other activities shall require a permit.

  • Installation of wiring and equipment, which operates at less than 50 volts, provided the installation is not located in a noncombustible plenum or penetrating an assembly required to have fire-resistance rating or are a component of any fire alarm / detection system
  • Construction of detached, single story, storage sheds not exceeding 256 square feet of building area, used as a tool or storage shed, playhouse or similar use, not accessory to Use Group F or H (Accessory Structure Zoning Permit still required.)
  • Tents and air-supported structures that cover an area of 900 square feet or less, (aggregate area for multiple tents with greater than 20 feet separation) and with an occupant load of 50 or less (Temporary Use Permit still required.)
  • Swimming pools that have a surface area not greater than 150 square feet, do not exceed 5,000 gallons, and are less than 24 inches deep (must meet all three requirements). (Accessory Structure Zoning Permit still required.)
  • Replacement of above-ground existing LP-gas containers of the same capacity in the same location utilizing the same piping
  • Ordinary repairs that include the following:
    • Replacement of windows and doors that are not fire rated in a single family dwelling in Group R-5 unless in the Historic District
    • Replacement of plumbing fixtures without alteration of the water supply and distribution systems, sanitary drainage systems, or vent systems
    • Replacement of general use snap switches, 125 volt 15 or 20 amp receptacles, or 125 volt light fixtures in single family dwelling units in R-3, R-4, and R-5 (single family dwellings)
    • Replacement of unlimited amount of roof covering or siding in Groups R-3, R-4, and R-5 (single family dwellings) unless in the Historic District and 100 square feet or less of roof covering in all other groups
    • Replacement of 100 square feet or less of roof decking, that is not fire retardant treated or part of a rated assembly, in Groups R-3, R-4, and R-5 (single family dwellings) unless in the Historic District
    • Installation or replacement of floor finishes in all occupancies
    • Installation of replacement cabinetry or trim in same location
    • Application of paint or wallpaper
  • Retaining walls supporting less than 3 feet of unbalanced fill that are not constructed for the purpose of impounding Class I, II or III-A liquids or supporting a surcharge other than ordinary un-balanced fill.
  • Grade level patios and non-load bearing slabs not attached to a structure
  • Recreational equipment not regulated by Virginia Amusement Device Regulation
    • Permits are required for the installation or replacement of any and all fuel fired appliances
    • Changes to duct systems, plumbing supply, drain, waste and vent piping, electrical circuits, appliance vent systems, and gas piping require a permit