Construction


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  • 703-324-1300, TTY 711
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ConstructionPermits are often required to build, clear land or dump dirt. This is intended to protect residents and neighborhoods from unsafe construction, as well as safeguard our environment.

Even if a building permit is not required, you must comply with Zoning regulations.  Please call 703-222-1082, TTY 711, to speak to a Zoning technician.

Contact the Department of Code Compliance if you see building or land clearing without a permit or if you have a complaint about an unlicensed contractor.

Unlicensed Contractors

To make a complaint about a potentially unlicensed contractor:

Before hiring a contractor, check to make sure they are licensed:

Also consider checking out contractors in the county’s consumer complaints database

Unpermitted Construction

Fairfax County requires a building permit for most new residential and commercial construction. Typical home improvement projects that require a permit include: 

Learn more about when a building permit is required, or call the Permit Application Center, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, 703-222-0801, TTY 711.

Unpermitted Land Disturbance

To clear land, dig up dirt or dump fill dirt, a county permit may be needed. A site permit, grading plan and conservation deposit are required for any project that will disturb 2,500 square feet or more of land.

When is a permit needed?

Most projects do not need permits and plans, including:

  • Gardening or landscaping at home.
  • Installing a fence, post or sign (a building permit may be required).
  • Digging for individual sewer or water connections.

Typical projects that may disturb 2,500 square feet of land include:

  • Building an addition to your home.
  • Building a large garage or carport.
  • Installing a paved driveway or in-ground swimming pool.

Clues to possible illegal land disturbance:

  • The activity takes place before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. or on weekends.
  • There is no company name on the construction vehicles or equipment.
  • There is no advertising sign for the construction company doing the work at the site.
  • The land is being cleared without surveyor’s flags on trees.
  • There is no construction entrance next to the road (eg. an area of stone and gravel placed to keep mud off of streets).

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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