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Permits are required before starting work that is not exempt from the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC). Work including, but not limited to the following items requires a building permit:
A permit is required for the following work:
Common exemptions that do not require a permit are as follows:
If you require clarification if concerning work requiring a building permit, please contact the Franklin County Building Inspections Department between 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday at 540-483-3047.
If it is determined that work requiring a permit is being made without valid permits, the permit fee will be doubled up to an amount of $2,500 per Section 5-27 (u) of the Franklin County Code. Additionally, engineering may be required to verify work made prior/without inspections complies with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VAUSBC).
The three main classifications of permits are Residential, Non- Residential, and Miscellaneous Permits. Permit applications are available for each of the listed categories. These applications have either a cover page or other comments on the application to assist the applicant with permit requirements.
Requirements for permits will vary based upon the intended scope of work (i.e. a Construction Permit from the Health Department is required when a dwelling is to be constructed or when bedrooms are added, but not required for additions such as a sunroom or alterations such as finishing a basement). View the following requirements:
Residential & Non-Residential Building Permits require plans to be submitted, reviewed, and approved by the Building Department prior to the issuance of the permit. The Residential review typically requires 5 business days. The Non-Residential review process may require additional time up to four weeks. Some Non-Residential permits may require sealed plans by a Virginia licensed Registered Design Professional (Architect/Engineer).
According to the Codes which are adopted by the State of Virginia in the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC), here are some of the requirements for Franklin County:
Landowners, contractors, or agents may apply for the Building Permit. If someone other than the landowner applies for a “Demolitions or New Structure” permit (other than accessory/secondary buildings), a notarized affidavit (included with the permit applications) must be completed by the landowner(s) to authorize the work. The notary public is not required to be registered in Virginia for landowners who live out of the state.
The Building Inspections Office is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm excluding State Holidays and other times approved by the Board of Supervisors. Application submissions are received and permits are issued between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm.
Inspection requests received up until 3:30 pm (on the IVR system) are normally scheduled for the next working day if so requested. Requests made after 3:30 are scheduled for the next working day. Future enhancements within the software's inspection request system may require the cut-off time for inspections to be modified.
Inspections may not completed on the day requested if the inspection volume is excessive. Rescheduled inspections are prioritized by inspectors on the following work day. In the event that the inspector does not complete an inspection on the requested day, that does not authorize the owner or contractor to proceed without receiving department approval. Individuals who violate this policy are subject to Notices of Violation, referral to the Virginia Board for Contractors, and other legal action as determined necessary by the Building Inspections Department. Also engineering may be required at the owner's/contractor's expense to certify that work not inspected by the Franklin County Building Inspection's Department is acceptable to the requirements of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC).
Inspectors are unable to provide specific times for inspections due to variables such as:
Please make inspection locations available throughout the day. If additional security is desired please provide key location information with the inspection request. Locked/inaccessible locations are subject to a $45 reinspection fee. This fee is to be paid before a reinspection or another type of inspection is scheduled. Please have unattended pets contained so that animals will not interfere with the inspection.
View the fee schedule and descriptions currently listed on the Building Inspections website page. Briefly, new construction and additions are based on a flat fee per square foot, while alterations are based on the estimated cost of the work.
For alterations permits only. When providing the estimated value/cost you may deduct the cost of the following items from the alterations total (Some residential buildings may be eligible for additional exclusions for roofing, siding, or device/equipment replacement. Inquiries are suggested):
No, the structure needs to be accessible for the inspection only. If there are minors present in the home (and the inspector is required to enter the home), an adult is required to be present for the inspector to complete the inspection. All incomplete inspections and following re-inspections are the responsibility of the contractor and/or the Landowner.
Inspector's office hours are in the afternoon between the hours of 3 pm until 4:30 pm. Before this time they are in the field and unable to take calls. Please leave a detailed message or call the following business day during the time specified above.
You will need the building permit number which is located on the placard or receipt provided at the time of permit issuance. For temporary or permanent electrical power inspections, the nine digit AEP work order number will be required in addition to the permit number before the inspection can be scheduled.
When the building permit is issued a list of common inspections associated with your permit type may be located on the customer copy of the building permit. As a rule of thumb, inspections must be made prior to the Placement of Concrete, Concealment, or Occupancy.
The Franklin County Library has the 2012 International Residential Code Book available in their reference section to provide code access to citizens. Our department does not have code books available for sale. Code books can be purchased from the International Code Council at 1-888-ICC-SAFE.
On September 4, 2018 Virginia adopted the following codes in addition to State amendments located in the 2015 edition of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code:
For the 2015 series, Virginia Amendments have been incorporated into International codes creating ICC publications tailored specifically to the State of Virginia (does not include the National Electric Code). These editions of the code are recommended over International versions because they include Virginia specific amendments. Examples are:
Manufactured Homes are commonly referred to as mobile homes. They are often constructed as a single, double, or triple wide. Manufactured Homes are not constructed to the requirements of the Building Code, instead they are constructed in accordance with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations.
The HUD Code is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, using independent third party inspection agencies for enforcement. Every HUD Code manufactured home is built in the factory. It has a label affixed to the exterior of the home which indicated that the home has been designed, constructed, tested, and inspected to comply with federal standards.
These systems may require additional work during the set-up process, but systems included during the construction of the Manufactured Home include:
All work made on site not covered by the Manufacturer’s Installation Manual must comply with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. Manufactured Homes are designed to be set up as specified in the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Any deviations from the requirements established in the Installation Manual require accompanying engineering from a Virginia licensed Registered Design Professional (RDP). Foundations/supports for Manufactured Homes normally consist of interior piers that receive the weight of the home above via steel I-beams that run the length of the home. The presence of the metal frame does not always constitute a Manufactured Home; On-Frame Modulars (which are constructed to the requirements of the State’s Building Code) can also be designed to be supported on a metal chassis.
Any decks, additions, or other attachments to any home on a metal chassis must be self supporting.
The following steps are involved in obtaining a permit:
The Franklin County Building Inspections Department recommends that: