For Building New One & Two Family Dwellings, Additions, and Accessory Structures, and Altering/Renovating Existing Structures
This document is a summary of helpful information about residential construction requirements and policies of the current Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (Va. USBC), and of the County of Henrico Department of Building Construction and Inspections. Our goal is to help permit holders better understand the inspection process and some specific requirements of each type of inspection, and thereby optimize this experience.
This summary is intended to educate and inform building permit holders about:
- General requirements and policies.
- How to request inspections.
- The types of residential building inspections.
- Expectations and specific requirements for each type of inspection.
The current Va. USBC adopts and amends the 2000 International Residential Code as “the Building Code” for one and two family dwellings and their accessory structures throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. The summary herein presented is not intended to be a replacement for this code, nor is it intended to be inclusive of all building code requirements. Since the permit holder is responsible for meeting all code requirements, it is recommended that they familiarize themselves with this code or have the work done by someone with appropriate qualifications, experience and licensing. Our staff is available to answer questions regarding the building code during normal business hours. You may also e-mail questions to our staff, but please include a telephone number where you may be reached for clarification during normal business hours.
A copy of the 2009 International Residential Code can be obtained from:
lnternational Code Council (ICC), 4051 West Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, Illinois 60478-5795. Telephone (800) 786-4452 or visit the ICC web site store at http://shop.iccsafe.org to order. Reference copies of this code may be available in many of the branches of the Henrico County Public Library.
General Requirements & Policies
The building permit and house numbers (or lot & block for new subdivisions) shall be posted in front of the site or house and be visible from the main road or entrance. The permit shall be protected from the weather.
It is the responsibility of the permit holder to request the appropriate inspections in a timely manner and to insure that the work to be inspected is complete and ready for inspection prior to requesting the inspection.
All building inspections require that the approved permit plan set be on site for the inspector’s use. This requirement is clarified further in this document in the specific requirements for each inspection. Failure to have plans available on site when required will result in rejection of the inspection and no inspection will be performed.
If any changes or deviations (e.g. adding a deck, changing a beam or joist size, changing location on property, etc.) are made from the approved permit plans, the plans must be revised and resubmitted for approval of our plans review staff before the appropriate inspection is requested. The desired changes must be clearly designated. If engineering details are required to abate a code violation, these details are to be submitted for plan review approval.
If the project is not ready for the inspection requested when the inspector arrives on the job site, the inspection will be rejected. If an inspection is rejected twice, a re-inspection fee of $25.00 must be paid at the Building Inspections office before a third inspection request will be scheduled.
Property owners may apply for any permit (building, electrical, plumbing or mechanical) required for work done on their property. Property owners may also authorize agents (contractors) to apply for permits for which they are qualified. For information on requirements for licensing of contractors, contact the Contractor’s Board for the Commonwealth of Virginia at (804) 367-8511.
Soils evaluations are required for construction of new residences where the presence of soils with high potential for shrink-swell activity is indicated by the “Soil Survey of Henrico County.” The current soils policy requires soils evaluation just for new residences and generally not for additions to existing residences. The geotechnical report for the site must be submitted before issuance of the building permit for the new residence and must include a suitable foundation design bearing the stamp and seal of a Professional Engineer licensed by the state of Virginia. For further information on our soils policy please click here to read the policy or contact our staff.
How to Request Inspections
Inspections are requested through the use of our web site or Automated Permit System (APS). For the convenience of our customers, these systems allow you to schedule inspections twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Please go to http://www.co.henrico.va.us/bldg/insp or call (804) 755-4300 to request your inspection.
In addition to building permit inspections, plumbing, mechanical and electrical inspections can also be scheduled through this system.
Inspections may be requested at any time prior to 7:00 A.M. on the day you desire the inspection to be made. Inspections requested after 7:00 A.M. will automatically be scheduled for the following day.
To request and inspection, please follow the instructions for the Automated Permit System (APS).
Types of Residential Building Inspections
Although there are many types of inspections, very few projects require all of these inspections. Generally, by reading the specific requirements for each type of inspection as presented in the following list, you can determine which inspections are required for your project. If you have questions about what inspections are required, contact a member of our residential inspection or plan review staff for clarification before the inspection in question would be required.
|Code Number||Inspection Type*|
* Click on the inspection name to view requirements for that specific inspection type.
ALL FINAL INSPECTIONS MUST BE APPROVED BEFORE THE STRUCTURE IS OCCUPIED OR USED. VIOLATIONS OF THE VIRGINIA UNIFORM STATEWIDE BUILDING CODE ARE A MISDEMEANOR AND ARE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN $2500.00 AND (1) YEAR IN JAIL FOR EACH VIOLATION.