Land Development Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Regular hours for calls and emails are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9:15 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Friday.

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Pkwy
Fairfax, VA 22035

Bill Hicks,

Finished Basements

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

This information is the most common for how to obtain the necessary permits for your project and is not representative of all the conditions you may encounter.


You will be required to obtain an interior alteration residential building permit and an electrical permit.  If you are installing or modifying plumbing, for example to install a bath or bar sink, you will be required to obtain a plumbing permit. A mechanical permit is not required for extending ducts in a basement.  If using as an Accessory Dwelling Unit/Accessory Living Unit, please fill out this form.

Fees vary depending on the scope of your project; use the online fee estimator to help determine your costs.

Typical Finished Basement Details

Standard finished basement plans are available from Fairfax County that can be used in lieu of a plan submission during permit application if you agree to finish your basement in strict conformance to the standard plans.

Building Plans

When applying for a permit, the plans must meet or show the following, if applicable:

  • Minimum scale of ¼ inch = 1 foot; fully dimensioned.
  • Minimum sheet size: 8 ½ x 11 inches.
  • Code year used for the design.
  • Name, address and occupation of the designer.
  • Layout of the finished basement showing rooms and their functions, dimensions, stairs, furnace, water heater and electrical panel.
  • Location of bathroom exhaust, smoke alarms and/or carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Ceiling heights.
  • Emergency escape and rescue opening location meeting the following requirements:
    • Width ≥ 20 inches.
    • Height ≥ 24 inches.
    • Area ≥ 5.7 square feet.
    • Floor to window sill ≤ 44 inches.
  • Location and size of window well serving the emergency escape and rescue opening (minimum 36 inches by 36 inches).
  • Fixed ladder into window well when deeper than 44 inches. Manufacturer’s specifications for prefabricated window wells.
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