Residential Application Documents
Chesterfield County enforces the 2012 Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC), effective July 14, 2015. The Virginia codes are based on the 2012 International Codes®.
- These codes are the minimum allowable standards, and the homeowner or contractor may build to higher performance standards.
- While all municipalities abide by the same codes, the requirements in one jurisdiction may be different from those requirements in another municipality (example: the wind conditions at the beach are different than here in the Richmond area, and therefore may have different wall bracing requirements).
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development administers the Virginia Statewide Building Code (USBC). The USBC prescribes building regulations applicable to the construction, repair, renovation, maintenance and/or change of use of buildings and structures or portions thereof.
The full 2012 Virginia Construction Code is published by the International Code Council (ICC) and integrates the 2012 International Building Code® with the Virginia amendments.
For Code Books
- Purchase the complete 2012 Virginia codes published by the ICC
- Download the books for free on the ICC website
- Download for free the 2012 Virginia code amendments to the 2012 ICC codes
Statewide Codes Enforced by Chesterfield County for Residential Construction
Purchase or download these codes as described above.
- 2012 Virginia Residential Code (USBC, Part I)
- 2012 Virginia Rehabilitation Code (USBC, Part II)
- 2012 Virginia Maintenance Code (USBC, Part III)
The following can apply for residential building permits:
- Property owner
- Licensed contractor
- Owner’s agent with written permission from the owner
Contractors who have never performed work before in Chesterfield County must submit a Client Registration Form, at which time a Customer PIN will be created for use in future applications and inspection scheduling. The contractor must have a valid business license from a Virginia locality for jobs valued at $25,000 or less. For jobs valued at more than $25,000, the contractor must have a valid Chesterfield County Business License.
Hiring a Contractor
The State of Virginia allows the homeowner to perform all of the construction work without having to hire a licensed contractor. However many homeowners do not have the time or the knowledge to tackle such an undertaking, and therefore hire a contractor to do all or part of the work. Following these few steps can alleviate much anxiety when selecting a contractor:
- Check to see if the contractor is licensed. Ask the contractor for a copy of his/her business license and the state's contractor's license, which are required by each city and county in order to do business in Virginia. If you are unsure of the validity of the license, you can verify it through the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) at 804-367-8500.
- Check to see if the contractor is insured. Ask the contractor for copies of his/her certificate of insurance.
- Check with the local Better Business Bureau and Home Building Association of Richmond to see if there have been any complaints filed against the contractor.
- Check to see if the contractor has a reputable business establishment. Confirm the physical address and local phone number of his/her office.
- Inquire about employees and sub-contractors who will be working on your project. Ask for a list of their names.
- Ask for references. Contact referrals whose projects are similar to yours. Ask specific questions regarding timeliness, response to concerns and requests, clean up and overall job quality. Ask the referral if you can visit the completed job, as your idea of a great job and someone else's idea may be different.
- Have the contractor provide a contract. Read the fine print. Do not assume anything. The contract should include a set of plans, which will help identify the details of your project. The contract should also spell out:
- The name and address of the contractor,
- The contractor's license number, expiration date, license class and any specialty license information,
- A detailed scope of work,
- The price of the job, (preferably broken out into specific tasks or subcomponents of the project (including taxes, and contractor fees), and then tallied into a total price),
- The time frame in which the project will be completed: start date, any milestones which might be important, and completion date,
- Payment schedule, (example: 10% down - due within 7 days after signing contract, 40% to be paid within a week after passing the rough framing inspection, the 50% to be paid before the certificate of occupancy is issued),
- Who will obtain the permit,
- Cancellation rights of both parties,
- Penalties for non-performance (if any),
- The warranty, etc.
- Any special materials or finishes.
Auxiliary Application Requirements
No plans are required for any and all residential auxiliary work - boiler, mechanical, electrical, gas, mechanical and plumbing. tThe requirements listed below apply to permit application submittal for any and all auxiliary work, including:
- 1 copy of the Client Registration Form (PDF) - required if the contractor has never performed work in Chesterfield County before
- 1 copy of the electrical permit application (PDF)
- Payment of permit fees, state levy and other related fees - Residential Fee Schedule (PDF). Cash, checks, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express cards are accepted
- No plans required
Construction Documents Checklists
This section provides, by type of construction project, a listing of the plans and other documents typically required to apply for a permit. It also provides the requirements for what the plans must contain. Review these items and ensure that your plans are complete prior to submission.
- Renovations, Repairs, and Alterations
- Carport or Enclosing Carport
- Finishing an Attic or Basement
- Fire Damage Repair
- Florida Room
- Garage (attached) – see Addition (PDF)
- Garage (detached) and Tool Shed
- Handicap Ramp
- Mobile Home
- Modular/Manufactured Home
- New House
- Renovations/Repairs and Alterations
- Retaining Wall
- Swimming Pool
- Residential Building Permit Application - to request a building permit
- Electrical Permit Application - for all electrical work
- Elevator or Conveyance Equipment Permit Application and Registration
- Fire Permit Application - for any work dealing with a fire sprinkler system
- Mechanical/Boiler Permit Application - for all mechanical work
- Multi-Unit Application - for improvement work on townhouses and condos
- Plumbing/Gas Permit Application - for all plumbing and gas related work
- Residential Amendment - required for changes other than structural components
- Residential Master Plan Application - if the same construction documents are going to be reused for multiple different sites
- Residential Swimming Pool and Barrier Permit Application
- Agreement in Lieu of Erosion and Sediment Control Plan
- Asbestos and Demolition Certification Form - for use when a structure is going to be razed and a new structure is not going to replace it
- Certified Responsible Land Disturber (CRLD) - required of the responsible person who will be in charge of the erosion, sediment and dust control plan.
- Client Registration Form - for new contractors to Chesterfield County
- Credit Card Authorization Form – American Express, Discover, Master Card and Visa
- Footing Inspection and Concrete Placement Report
- Freedom of Information Act Request
- Mechanics Lien Agent Form
- Refund Request - form to request a refund
- Residential Plans Review Delivery Form - to accompany any building permit application