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Neighborhood Enhancement - Commonly Inspected Items Building Inspection
Building Inspection


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Building Inspection Director
Richard C. Witt

Phone/Fax
(804) 748-1057
(804) 751-4713 Fax

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Permits and Fees
Residential code requirements
Commercial code requirements
Residential inspection requirements
Commercial inspection requirements 


Hours
Office - M-F, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Inspectors M-F, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Mailing Address
Chesterfield County Department of Building Inspection
P.O. Box 40
Chesterfield, VA 23832-0040

Street Address
9800 Government Center Parkway
Chesterfield, VA 23832
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Property Maintenance of Existing Buildings
Neighborhood Enhancement - Commonly Inspected Items

For more information: 

Vacant structures & land: All vacant structures must be secured, not allowing access from the outside to the first floor or to any stairway leading to a floor.

Accessory Structures: Structures not greater than 256 square feet in floor area, and not over two stories in height, the use of which is customarily accessory to and incidental to that of the dwelling, and which is located on the same lot. All accessory structures shall be maintained structurally sound and in good repair.

Examples of accessory structures are:

  • Detached garages
  • Fences
  • Walls
  • Sheds
  • Carports

Swimming pools/ Hot tubs: Pools, hot tubs and spas shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, and in good repair. Pools, hot tubs, and spas containing more than 24 inches of water in depth shall be completely surrounded by a fence or barrier at least 48 inches in height. Gates shall be self-closing and self-latching.

  • Exception: spa and hot hubs with a safety cover that complies with ASTM 1346.

Grading/drainage: All premises shall be graded within 10 feet of the foundation and maintained to protect the foundation walls or slab of the structure from the accumulation and drainage of surface or stagnant water.

Foundation walls: All walls must be maintained free from open cracks and breaks, to prevent entry of rodents and other pests.

Items of concern include:

  • Cracked or bowing foundation
  • Loose and flaking mortar
  • Missing or unsecured crawl doors

Basement hatchways: The hatchway shall be maintained to prevent the entrance of rodents, rain and surface drainage.

Protective treatments: Peeling, flaking and chipped paint shall be eliminated and surfaces repainted.

  • All siding and masonry joints as well as those between the building envelope and the perimeter of windows, doors, and skylights shall be maintained weather resistant and watertight.
  • All metal surfaces subject to rust or corrosion shall be coated to inhibit such rust and corrosion and all surfaces with rust or corrosion shall be stabilized and coated to inhibit future rust and corrosion.
  • Oxidation stains shall be removed from exterior surfaces. Surfaces designed for stabilization by oxidation are exempt from this requirement.

Structural members: All structural members must be sound and free from rot or deterioration.

Structural members include:

  • Walls
  • Columns
  • Beams
  • Band boards
  • Roof trusses/rafters
  • Floor joists
  • Posts

Exterior walls: All walls must be free from holes, breaks, loose and rotting material, and maintained weatherproof, and properly surface coated to prevent deterioration.

House numbering: Buildings shall have approved address numbers placed in a position to be plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property.

  • These numbers shall contrast with their background.
  • Address numbers shall be Arabic numerals or alphabet letters.
  • Numbers shall be a minimum of 4 inches high with a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inch.

Stairways, decks, porches, balconies: All exterior stairs, decks, porches and balconies and any attachments to them, shall be maintained structurally sound and in good repair.

Handrails & guards: All handrails and guards shall be firmly fastened and in good repair.

Windows, skylights: Every window and skylight shall be kept in sound condition, good repair and weather tight.

  • Glazing (glass): All glazing materials (glass) shall be maintained free from holes (weather tight).

Doors & doorframes: All doors, door assemblies and hardware shall be maintained in good condition.

Roofs and drainage: Roof and flashing shall be sound, tight and free of defects that shall not admit rain. Drains, gutters and downspouts shall be maintained.

Chimneys: All chimneys and vents shall be maintained structurally safe and in good repair.

Electrical/Mechanical equipment (definition): Components of electrical, plumbing and heating and/or air conditioning units found affixed to the exterior of a structure or detached on any portion of the property that is not inside a structure.

The following equipment shall be maintained in good condition:

  • Exterior light fixtures and receptacles: All exterior lighting fixtures, receptacles must be in good condition.
  • Electrical panels and conductors (wires): There should be no exposed or bare wires.
  • Equipment disconnects: All disconnect (boxes) must be intact and in good condition.
  • HVAC outside units: All exterior equipment must be in good condition.

Dogs: Residential properties in subdivisions cannot have more than three dogs four months of age or older unless a Special Exception from the Board of Zoning Appeals is obtained.

Trash/debris: Discarded material cannot be deposited or stored on any lot or parcel of land, including but not limited to the following:

  • Scrap metals
  • Scrap material used for building, plumbing, electrical and heating installations
  • Discarded household appliances, furnishings and fixtures
  • Dismantled or demolished motor vehicles
  • Dismantled machinery

Tall grass/weeds: Vacant property cannot have any grass, weeds, brush or other uncontrolled vegetation in excess of 18 inches in height.

Grass on lawn areas of occupied properties cannot exceed 12 inches in height.

  • Exception: Natural yard areas

Vehicles 

Inoperable vehicles (definition): Vehicles and trailers that are not in operating condition, are missing either a current state inspection sticker and/or state license plates or have been partially disassembled for sixty days or longer.

Inoperable vehicles are required to be:

  1. Parked in the rear yard,
  2. Screened from view by a cover, dense evergreen foliage or a fence or wall,
  3. Licensed, or a yearly $100 unlicensed vehicle fee must be paid to the County Treasurer.

Only one inoperable vehicle is allowed per property unless the inoperable vehicle is being restored. In such case, an additional inoperable vehicle is permitted as a source of parts for the vehicle being restored

Unlicensed vehicles (definition): Vehicles or trailers that have expired or missing state license plates.

  • Unlicensed vehicles are not required to be in the rear yard and you can have as many as you would like; however, you must pay a yearly $100 unlicensed vehicle fee for each one. If the vehicle does not have a valid inspection decal (state inspection sticker) it is considered inoperable.

Recreational equipment: A vehicle or boat used for recreation can only be parked in a rear yard.

Commercial truck or commercial vehicle (definition): A vehicle exceeding 10,000 pounds and having more than 2 axles, or a commercial vehicle which tows or hauls disabled, wrecked or junked vehicles.

Such a vehicle cannot be parked or stored in the yard of a residential property. (Note: Utility trailers are not included.)

For more information see 

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