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 a retaining wall building permit for the construction of a wall retaining more than 3 feet of earth. Fees vary depending on the scope of your project; use the online fee estimator to help determine your costs.
Follow the steps below to obtain the necessary approvals and permits for your project. Vienna and Clifton residents require additional approval from their respective towns. You may obtain the status of your permit application or obtain the status of your plan review, if applicable, at any time online.
Obtain permits online using FIDO. If you are a first-time user, you must first follow the prompts to create an account. Once you are logged into FIDO, apply for a retaining wall building permit. Additional steps are required for your ePlan upload process. Once the application is complete, you will be invited by email to upload your required documents to ProjectDox for submission to the county.
County staff from the Permit Application Center, Health Department (if on well or septic), Building Plan Review 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.
Residential Fast Track allows customers with retaining walls less than 4 feet to apply for a permit and obtain a review from county staff within 24 hours of plan acceptance.
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.
You are required to obtain 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. Ladders, scaffolds and other equipment necessary to access construction must be provided to the inspector. Schedule, cancel or modify an inspection online or the Fairfax County smartphone app.
When applying for a permit the plans must meet or show the following, if applicable:
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.
To determine your project’s impact on your property, one of the site-related plan types listed below must be submitted. To learn more, see our Site-Related Plans publication or contact the Permit Application Center.
12000 Government Center Pkwy
Fairfax, VA 22035