Land Development Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our offices are open to the public by appointment only from 9 a.m. - noon. 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.

703-324-1780
TTY 711

12055 Government Center Pkwy
Fairfax, VA 22035

Bill Hicks,
Director

New Homes

New Homes

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. For more specific information or questions, contact the Permit Application Center at 703-222-0801, TTY 711.

Permits

You must obtain permits for your new home. Listed below are the types of permits required depending on your project’s site conditions.

  • New single-family dwelling building permit.
  • Mechanical permit.
  • Electrical permit.
  • Plumbing permit (including gas installations).
  • VDOT permit when your property is accessed from a state road.
  • Health permit for properties with wells and/or septic systems.

FEES, BONDS & DEPOSITS

Fees vary depending on the scope of your project; listed below are the potential fees and deposits.

  • Building, mechanical, electrical and plumbing permit fees for building plan review and building inspections; use the online fee estimator to help determine these costs.
  • Site-related fee for grading plan review and site inspections.
  • Pro-Rata Share Assessment for watershed improvements and maintenance. The cost is based on your project’s impervious area.
  • Conservation Deposit associated with the conservation agreement; learn more.
  • Stormwater fees.
  • VDOT Permit and bond if you have a new entrance to a state-maintained road.
  • Water and sewer tap fees.
  • Health Department fees if your property is or will be served by a septic system or well.

Documents Required

When applying for a permit online, you must upload building plans, grading plan, Property Ownership Form (when property ownership must be verified), Permit Authorization Form (when the applicant is neither the owner nor a contractor) and Owner/Developer Affidavit (when there is no contractor and the owner is performing or supervising construction of their own home).

Permit Process

Follow the steps below to obtain the necessary approvals and permits for your project. Vienna and Clifton residents require additional approvals from their respective towns.

  • Step 1) Permit Application

    Permit Application

    Begin your permit application process online using FIDO. Follow the prompts to create your account, apply for your new single-family dwelling building permit and pay the appropriate fees. Once complete,  you will be invited by email to upload your required documents to ProjectDox for submission to the county.

     
  • Step 2) County Review

    County Review

    County staff from the Permit Application Center, Health Department (if on well or septic), Building Plan Review, Site Review, VDOT (if on a state-maintained road) and Zoning will review your package for completeness and compliance with the building code and county ordinances. You will be notified of any deficiencies. Plan corrections, resubmission fees and additional supporting documents may be required. The status of your submissions are available online for permit application, building plans and grading plan.

    Building plans cannot be approved until Zoning approval has been obtained and the grading plan is approved.

    Expedited Building Plan Review Program

    Any building type, size or occupancy is eligible to take advantage of the expedited program. The program provides expedited reviews through the county process provided a pre-review has been conducted by county-approved private peer reviewers that have been hired by the owner.

     
  • Step 3) Permit Issuance

    Permit Issuance

    Once all county reviews are approved and outstanding fees have been paid, you can access your approved plans in ProjectDox and permit in FIDO. The permit must be printed and posted at the job site, and the approved plans must be printed in full-size and available to the inspector.

     
  • Step 4) Trade Permits

    Trade Permits

    Mechanical, electrical and plumbing permits can be pulled online only after the building permit has been issued. Input the building permit number issued in Step 3) when prompted for the “associated building permit number” in FIDO. Plans are not required for electrical and plumbing permits. However, the mechanical permit will require you to upload a Residential HVAC Certification during online permit application and obtain county-approval prior to permit issuance.

     

MASTERFILE PROGRAM

The Countywide Masterfile Program allows approved plans to be used throughout the county for each model house type. Transferring approved masterfile plans to new lots and subdivisions only requires a review for site-specific conditions. Masterfile plans are valid until the code they were designed under goes out-of-date. See the Masterfile web page for more information.

BUILDING INSPECTIONS

You are required to obtain building-related inspections from the county for your project. The county must be notified when the stages of construction are reached that require an inspection; see the table below. The rows of the table list the sequence of inspections required for a new home. Approval for an inspection must be obtained prior to proceeding with the next inspection.

Ladders, scaffolds and other equipment necessary to access construction must be provided to the inspector. Schedule, cancel or modify an inspection online or with the Fairfax County smartphone app.

Inspection

Permit(s)

Requirements

Footing

Building

  • Footing trench/formwork ready for concrete; bottom of trench on solid soil.

Tap

Plumbing

  • Piping in place; county inspector must witness the connection to the public sewer.

Combined inspection:

  • Water service
  • Sanitary sewer

(well, septic must be inspected by the Health Department)

Plumbing

  • Sewer lateral installed.
  • Sewer lateral piping flow tested; to be witnessed by county inspector.
  • Water pipe installed.
  • Water pipe pressure tested; to be witnessed by county inspector.

Residential wall (masonry or concrete foundation wall)

Building

  • Forms ready for concrete with reinforcing steel in place.
  • Masonry ready for grout with reinforcing steel in place.

Plumbing groundwork

Plumbing

  • Under-slab sewer and water pipe in place.

Waterproofing

Building

  • Parging and waterproofing installed.

Slab

Building

  • Slab area prepared for concrete with gravel, vapor barrier and reinforcing steel in place.
  • Drain tile in place, properly sloped and tied to proper outfall.

Temp to Perm

Electrical

  • House weather-tight.
  • Service accessible.
  • Service entrance cable installed into panel.
  • Service equipment properly grounded.

Combined inspection:

  • Building framing
  • Mechanical concealment
  • Plumbing concealment
  • Electrical concealment

Building

Mechanical

Plumbing

Electrical

  • Vents and gas, sewer and/or water pipe installed and pressure tested.
  • Electrical wiring and boxes installed.
  • Ductwork installed.
  • Platform for HVAC equipment installed.
  • Sill plates secured to the foundation.
  • Stairways in place and secured.
  • Sub-flooring installed.
  • House weather-tight.
  • Wall and roof sheathing installed.
  • Windows and doors installed.

Insulation

Building

  • Wall, ceiling and crawl space insulation in place.

Combined inspection:

  • Building final
  • Mechanical final
  • Plumbing final
  • Electrical final

Building

Mechanical

Plumbing

Electrical

  • Plumbing fixtures and piping installed.
  • Roughed-in plumbing fixtures permanently capped.
  • Health Department approval obtained for well, septic.
  • Meter set by water authority.
  • Appliances, fixtures, outlets, panels, switches, etc. installed.
  • Panel box index completed.
  • HVAC equipment operating properly.
  • Compliant street address attached to house.
  • Final site grading complete.
  • Attic, basement and/or crawl space insulation in place.
  • House is ready for occupancy and use.

Occupancy

(conducted by site inspectors; see below)

Residential use permit (RUP), Certificate of Occupancy

  • Sodding/seeding, landscaping and screening in place unless winter waiver has been granted.
  • Street, curb/gutter, storm sewers, sidewalks and street signs installed, if applicable.
  • Fire hydrant operational, if applicable.
  • Geotechnical certifications available, if applicable.
  • Applicable proffered conditions satisfied.

Building Plans

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

  • Completed Building Plan Review Cover Sheet.
  • Minimum scale of ¼ inch = 1 foot; fully dimensioned.
  • Minimum sheet size: 11 x 17 inches.
  • Name, address and occupation of the designer.
  • If prepared by a Virginia registered design professional, show the electronic signature, seal and date.
  • Code year and local design criteria used for the design.
  • Live load and dead load.
  • List of materials used, including strength, wood species, grade.
  • Foundation plan, footing details.
  • Basement wall design.
  • Floor plans of all levels with all room functions labeled.
  • Location of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Structural framing plans for each level identifying all members, sizes, span lengths and spacing.
  • Manufacturer’s name, series number, depth and spacing of all manufactured wood products.
  • Structural details of connections.
  • Load calculations for all adjustable columns.
  • Typical wall section to include sheathing thickness and type.
  • Wall bracing. For more information, see our wall bracing publications.
  • Insulation R-values and U-factors. See our Energy Conservation website for specific requirements.
  • Roof framing plan indicating the size and spacing of the following: trusses, rafters, ceiling joists/ rafter ties, ridge board and/or ridge beam.
  • Exterior elevations (front, side and rear) noting window and door dimensions and locations.
  • Building cross sections with all posts, joists and beams labeled.
  • Building height (see below).
  • Jacuzzi/whirlpool tub manufacturer’s information showing loading requirements must be attached to the plans.
  • Location of safety glazing.
  • Manufacturer’s design specifications for pre-fabricated fireplaces must be attached to the plans.
  • Garage separation requirements.
  • Design of fire-resistance wall between townhouses.
  • Sprinkler system design for four story townhouses.
  • For masterfile houses, show the following:
    • Each design option.
    • Noise attenuation (for lots near highways or Dulles Airport).
    • Proffered or special architectural conditions.
  • Thickness of slab-on-grade, gravel base and vapor barrier.
  • Garage slab slope toward garage door.
  • Crawl space vent and access locations.
  • Location of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • For garages, ½-inch drywall applied to the walls and 5/8-inch, Type-X applied to ceilings.
  • 20-minute fire-rated door between an attached garage and house.
  • If detached garages are within 3 feet of the existing house, show drywall and fire-rated door equivalent to attached garages.
  • Manufacturer’s design specifications of pre-fabricated fireplaces.
  • Manufacturer’s name, series number and depth of all manufactured wood products.

Truss Shop Drawings

Roof or floor truss shop drawings are required to be reviewed by the county and can be submitted after the permit has been issued but before erection. Submit online.

 

 

Using a unique material or product?

You must reference its evaluation report from a nationally recognized listing agency, such as ICC-ES, certifying it meets the requirements of the building code. This is required for products such as pre-made sunrooms, EIFS, adjustable columns and plastic composites.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant