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.

703-324-1780
TTY 711

12055 Government Center Pkwy
Fairfax, VA 22035

Bill Hicks,
Director

Third-Party Inspections Program

The Third-Party Inspections Program, authorized through the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, provides for private-sector inspections firms to perform inspections of residential or commercial projects that would otherwise be conducted by the county.

Project Qualifications

Qualifying projects may be residential or commercial conventional building construction. This program does not apply to:

  • Special inspections
  • Group H occupancies
  • Elevator inspections
  • Any inspections conducted by other Fairfax County agencies.

The complete project or only portions thereof may be third-party inspected. The proposed scope of inspections must be approved by the building official on a project-by-project basis prior to conducting inspections.

Request approval from the building official for third-party inspection services. The building official’s approval will include the appropriate county contact person for the life of the project.

Inspections Firm Qualifications

Listed below are the qualifications of the inspections firms RDP of responsible charge and their associated field staff.

  • Inspections firms must be employed directly by the project owner, be independent of project contractors and have no personal financial interest in the project.
  • Both the inspections firm and its personnel must be pre-approved by the building official on a project-by-project basis.
  • Inspections must be conducted under the direct supervision of, and certified by, an RDP.
  • For fire protection systems, this link provides a list of acceptable RDP’s
  • The responsible RDP and their field personnel shall possess and maintain throughout the life of the project the certifications listed below from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
    Exception: The RDP and their field personnel shall be permitted to obtain the required DHCD certifications within one-year of entering the Third-Party Inspections Program provided evidence of passing the corresponding exams listed below from either the International Code Council (ICC) or National Certification Program for Construction Code Inspectors (NCPCCI) is provided to the building official prior to conducting inspections.

1Energy conservation certifications are offered solely by ICC
2Fire Prevention Inspector certifications are offered solely by NCPCCI

  • To become an approved third-party inspections firm in Fairfax County, please submit the application or call 703-631-5101, TTY 711. For fire protection systems, please contact the Office of the Marshal by email at fire.acceptancetesting@fairfaxcounty.gov.  You will need to provide the following documentation for county review in order to qualify for the program:
    • The name of the responsible RDP and their credentials to include resume and certifications.
    • The names of field personnel, their assigned inspection types and their credentials to include resume and certifications.
  • If the RDP or their field personnel are to be replaced, the replacement personnel shall also require prior approval by the building official.
  • Any personnel from an inspections firm approving work not in conformance with this policy, county-approved plans and the applicable codes and standards will lose their ability to perform future inspections.

Qualifying Inspections

Listed below are the construction types eligible to be inspected in the program up to and including final inspection. Other inspections may be requested but are subject to authorization by the building official.

Inspections for New Construction

  • Building inspections of:
    • Footings, foundations, and slabs on grade, when not on problem soils or controlled fill, and for which a geotechnical report is not required
    • Walls, columns, floors, roofs, floor/ceiling assemblies, and roof/ceiling assemblies
  • Mechanical inspections of:
    • Insulation and energy conservation material
    • Ductwork
    • HVAC appliances and equipment (new or replacement)
  • Electrical inspections of:
    • Electrical systems, materials and installations
    • Reconnection of electrical services in buildings where the power company has disconnected power because of vacancy
  • Plumbing inspections of:
    • Groundwork
    • Plumbing drain, waste and vent systems
    • Water distribution systems
    • Gas piping
    • Plumbing equipment and appliance installations
  • Sprinkler system inspections:
    • Underground fire line
    • Piping and attached appurtances
  • Fire alarm inspections:
    • Fire alarm devices
    • System components
    • Control equipment
  • Special Hazard Systems

Inspections for Tenant Spaces

  • Building inspections of walls, columns, floors, roofs, floor/ceiling assemblies, and roof/ceiling assemblies
  • Mechanical inspections of:
    • Insulation and energy conservation material
    • Ductwork
    • HVAC appliances and equipment (new or replacement)
  • Electrical inspections of:
    • Electrical systems, materials and installations
    • Reconnection of electrical services, in tenant spaces where the power company has disconnected power because of vacancy
  • Plumbing inspections of:
    • Groundwork
    • Plumbing drain, waste and vent systems
    • Water distribution systems
    • Gas piping
    • Plumbing equipment and appliance installations
  • Sprinkler system inspections:
    • Underground fire line
    • Piping and attached appurtances
  • Fire alarm inspections:
    • Fire alarm devices
    • System components
    • Control equipment
  • Special Hazard Systems

Inspections for the Following Construction

  • Satellite dishes (free-standing, roof-mounted or wall-mounted)
  • Antennas and associated equipment
  • Signs (free-standing, roof-mounted or wall-mounted)
  • Systems furniture
  • Temporary structures (erected for a period of less than 180 days) such as, but not limited to, tents, bleachers and grandstands
  • Accessory buildings and structures in Group U, including but not limited to sound/screen walls, fences and sheds
  • Industrialized buildings, trailers and modular construction
  • Demolition of buildings and structures
  • Reroofing of buildings
  • Asbestos abatement
  • Outside air balancing
  • Water disinfecting
  • Smoke alarms and heat detectors, annual reinspection
  • Commercial swimming pools annual electrical reinspection
  • Medical gas certification

Inspections Process

Inspections shall not be conducted until third-party personnel have been approved by the building official or designee, construction permits have been issued and county-approved documents are available on the job site.

Inspections, as required by the Virginia Construction Code, shall be performed at appropriate times prior to concealment of work. The contractor shall provide notice to the inspectors when the construction is ready for inspection.

Third-party inspectors shall annotate and sign the county-approved construction documents on the job site to identify the areas/locations/floors inspected, inspection date, type of inspection and the results of inspection.

Inspection reports shall include the following:

  • Street address to include floor and/or suite number when applicable.
  • The building, mechanical, electrical or plumbing permit number(s) as appropriate.
  • A description of the area inspected.
  • Inspection results (approved or rejected). If the inspection is rejected, deficiencies and the corresponding code sections violated shall be included.
  • Where appropriate, photographs should be attached.
  • A statement issued, digitally signed and sealed by the responsible RDP, which indicates the inspected item(s), in their opinion and to the best of their knowledge, complies with the county-approved documents and the requirements of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.

Construction elements rejected or any code violations discovered by a third-party inspector shall be corrected by the contractor and reinspected prior to proceeding with work.

Inspection reports shall be processed as follows:

  • The inspector shall provide a copy of the inspection report on the job site at the time of inspection.
  • A copy of the inspection report, digitally signed and sealed by the responsible RDP, shall be uploaded to the Third-Party Inspections Program Submittal Portal by close of business on the date of the inspection.
  • When login and access credential are provided by the Building Division, results of the inspection shall also be entered into the county inspections database by close of business.

At the end of construction, the RDP shall submit a certified completion statement for review and approval by the Building Division or Office of the Fire Marshal. Approval of the completion statement is required prior to occupancy.

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