Residential Building Permit

Building permits are required to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents. Failure to obtain the required permit is a violation of the law.

Some residential properties (example: apartment buildings with three or more dwelling units) are considered commercial per the Building Code and therefore require Commercial Building Permits. If you’re unsure, determine whether your project is considered Residential or Commercial before proceeding.

View exemptions in Section 108.2 of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC)

Residential building permit applications must be submitted online via Permit Arlington.

Expand the bulleted items below to view additional requirements for several common residential projects.

Learn more about the Residential Building Permit Review Process

Disclaimer: All items under each header must be met in order to satisfy requirements. 

Submission Requirements

New Residential House

All Departments

  • Minimum page size 11 in. x 17 in. and minimum scale of 1/8 in. = 1 sq. ft.; all dimensions must be shown
  • Address for the project
  • Code year used for the design
  • Name, address and occupation of the building designer. If the plans are prepared by a Virginia-registered design professional, they must bear the original signature, seal and date.
  • Demolition of an existing structure or building is a separate process from the building permit
  • Include any prior approvals from the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), County Board, Zoning Administrator or code modifications with your submission
  • Include a copy the stamped approved Certificate of Appropriateness plans from Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board, if applicable.

Department of Environmental Services (DES)

  • Environmental Permits Overview
  • All Arlington County easements must be shown on a certified plan and plat. For questions, contact the DES Permitting & Inspections Counter: 703-228-3629.
  • The Water Quality Impact Assessment Data Sheet is required if the property is within a Resource Protection Area. The Floodplain permit is required if the property is within the 100 year floodplain or County-required Flood Buffer Zone. Check the RPA map for more details.
  • A certified house location plat (to scale) showing the limits of disturbance, decks, patios, landscaping, floodplain, Resource Protection Area (RPA) and all Arlington easements.
  • A development plan is required if the total land disturbance exceeds 2,500 sq. ft. Where the disturbed area is calculated to be greater than 2,000 sq. ft., but less than 2,500 sq. ft.; the limits of disturbance must be shown with a 10 ft. buffer around the footprint of the structure, including all patios, driveways, pavers, landscaping, grading, staging, stockpiling, retaining walls, etc. in the calculations shown on the certified plat. Additionally, the physical demarcation of the disturbed area must be staked out in the field through the use of silt fence, snow fence, tree protection fencing or a comparable material and certified by a licensed professional engineer, land surveyor or architect.
  • A copy of the Land Disturbing Activity/Stormwater Management Permit (LDA/SWM) or Civil Engineering Plan (CEP) must be submitted with the building permit. Changes to the LDA/SWM or CEP require the building permit sets to be updated.
  • Sump Pump connections in the right-of-way require an Excavation Right-of-Way permit prior to installation.
  • Planter Boxes are not required on single family homes; they are one option to meet the storm water requirements. For more information, read the County Code chapter on Stormwater Management Ordinance.

Zoning

  • Provide building height by listing the information on the plans or by completing the Building Height Worksheet. Building height information for single family dwellings is located in §3.1.6 of the Zoning Ordinance.
    • §3.1.6.A.1 is specific to R districts.
  • Elevations (front, sides and rear) indicating the height of the structure. Exterior grade (both preconstruction and post construction) must be accurately shown.
  • Provide lot coverage by listing the information on the plans or by completing the Lot Coverage worksheet applicable to your Zoning District. Learn more about lot coverage (these requirements only reflect Zoning Lot Coverage).
  • A wall check must be submitted upon completion of foundation walls – but before the framing inspection takes place. For new single-family dwellings, the established first floor elevation must be shown on the wall check plat. Wall checks must be submitted as a revision through the Permit Arlington system.
  • A final survey is required for new single-family dwellings prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy.  As-built main building footprint/lot coverage certification and height certification may be requested by the reviewer as well. Submit the final surveys to contactzoning@arlingtonva.us, including the address and permit number.
  • Complete the Additional Sink Affidavit when installing an additional sink outside of the bathrooms or one kitchen, and include the approved form with your submission.

Inspection Services Division (ISD)

  • Scaled and dimensioned floor plans with all room names labeled, doors and windows shown, and special features clearly noted.
  • List of design load criteria: live load, dead load, snow load, wind speed, soil bearing capacity and lateral earth pressure
  • Foundation plan.
  • Footing details (minimum footing depth is 24 in.).
  • Fire separation distances and rated walls if any are required. For two-family residences, duplexes and townhouses, indicate rated walls, provide a copy of the testing agency design details on the drawings and show compliance with other required dwelling unit separation provisions.
  • Indicate stair dimensions, tread and riser dimensions, handrail and guardrail information.
  • Door and window sizes for emergency escape and rescue openings in sleeping rooms and basement.
  • Ceiling height for each level of the house and within the stairway.
  • Structural framing plans for each level and roof, accurately detailing all members, sizes, span lengths, and spacing.
  • List of material specifications including, but not limited to; grade and species of lumber as well as concrete and steel strength.
  • Structural details of connections.
  • Evaluation service and load calculations for all adjustable columns.
  • Insulation R-values and U-factors.
  • Wall bracing, including location of all braced wall lines and braced wall panels, method(s) and any other special requirements. Proprietary products require an evaluation report from an approved listing agency. Designs that do not follow the prescriptive methods of the Building Code or that are designed as shear walls require the submission of design calculations (signed and sealed by a registered design professional).
  • Wall bracing plans must include connections, details and nailing schedule.
  • Typical wall section with sheathing thickness and type.
  • Building cross sections with all posts, joists and beams labeled, including floor-to-floor heights dimensions.
  • Location of safety glazing.
  • Locations of smoke alarms.
  • Manufacturer’s design specifications for prefabricated fireplaces.
  • Whirlpool / Jacuzzi / over-sized tub manufacturers information showing structural loading requirements, if applicable.
  • Mechanics lien information, if applicable.
  • Read about stormwater planter boxes and how to comply with Building Code requirements. Be aware that stormwater planter boxes must also meet DES and Zoning Ordinance.

ISD Mechanical

  • Name, address and license of the HVAC contractor. If the plans are prepared by a Virginia-registered design professional, they must bear the original signature, seal and date.
  • Complete mechanical layout and equipment list. 
  • Exhaust system for kitchen, baths and dryer, venting systems and fuel-burning appliances. 
  • Submit legible scaled electronic drawings with a minimum scale of 1/8” per foot on minimum 11 x 17 page.  Submitted mechanical drawings must include ductwork layout, duct, and register size and cfm at each register. Drawings must also include outside air duct connection, vent and combustion air connections for fuel-fired appliances and condensate drain and discharge location.
  • For each HVAC unit, provide equipment schedule to include make and model number, heating input and output rating, cooling capacity to include sensible cooling and total cooling capacity, fan size.  Indicate type of fuel (gas, electric, oil, water source),
  •  Mechanical plans are required for any addition that exceeds 500 square feet to an existing single-family dwelling, or a new home on an existing foundation, new homes, and newly installed HVAC system.
  • (2018) M1504.3 Exhaust openings.
    • Air exhaust openings shall terminate as follows:
      • Not less than 3 feet (914 mm) from property lines.
      • Not less than 3 feet (914 mm) from gravity air intake openings, operable windows, and doors.
      • Not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from mechanical air intake openings except where the exhaust opening is located not less than 3 feet (914 mm) above the air intake opening. Openings shall comply with Sections R303.5.2 and R303.6. 
  • Exhaust openings shall not penetrate the roof within four feet of the party wall of a townhouse without a parapet R302.2.2.
  • For kitchen exhaust more than 400 CFM, provide make-up air (M1503.4) and (1503.4.1) show the make-up air location.
  • Dryer Duct length (M1502.4.4): When dryer vent exceeds 35’ maximum, provide manufacturer cut sheet for longer lengths.
  • Return air location: (M1602) return air cannot be taken from prohibited sources listed under M1602.2.
  • Appliance access: Access to appliances must comply with section (M1305).
  • Manual J, D, or S (N1103.6, and M1401.3). Heating and cooling system must comply with the energy code by verifying location and square footage. The proposed mechanical equipment must match the plans. Confirm the calculations, sizing, and constructions of ducts is in accordance with the ACCA or other approved calculation methods.
  • Whole house ventilation (M1507.3) provides the total airflow in CFM required based on table M1507.3.3(1) and the rate factor based on table M1507.3.3(2). Provide the location and CFM of the vent(s) for the whole-house mechanical ventilation system. Do not only quote code sections or copy table on to the plans.
  • The Manual J can be a multi-page file, each mechanical plan shall be submitted as individual PDF’s
  • Any exterior unit locations should be identified on the civil plans, per the Zoning Ordinance. 

ISD Plumbing

  • All projects must show plumbing fixture layouts as part of the architectural plans.
  • New houses must show the water service location and pipe size on the site / grading plan.
  • See Drainage Fixture Units (DFU) fees required by DES.
  • Plumbing riser diagrams are not required, except for unusual features such as solar water heating systems.

ISD Electrical

  • Electrical compliance with the Building Code is by field inspection only. Electrical plans are not required or reviewed through plan review.
  • Only the electrical panel location, smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector locations are required on the floor plan.
  • When adding or replacing exterior appliances, changes should be identified on the civil plans. They must clearly indicate the location of the new or replacement appliances.


Residential Addition to an Existing Building

Exterior alterations are considered additions for permit application and fee purposes.

All Departments

  • Minimum page size 11 in. x 17 in. and minimum scale of 1/8 in. = 1 sq. ft.; all dimensions must be shown
  • Address for the project
  • Code year used for the design
  • Name, address and occupation of the building designer. If the plans are prepared by a Virginia-registered design professional, they must bear the original signature, seal and date.
  • Demolition of an existing structure or building is a separate process from the building permit
  • Include any prior approvals from the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), County Board, Zoning Administrator or code modifications with your submission
  • Include a copy of the stamped approved Certificate of Appropriateness plans from Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board, if applicable.
  • Any alterations or additions to existing structures require the applicant to complete the Asbestos Inspection and Awareness Form.

Department of Environmental Services (DES)

  • Environmental Permits Overview
  • All Arlington County easements must be shown on a certified plan and plat. For questions, contact the Department of Environmental Services (DES) Permitting & Inspections Counter: 703-228-3629.
  • The Water Quality Impact Assessment Data Sheet is required if the property is within a Resource Protection Area. The Floodplain permit is required if the property is within the 100 year floodplain or County-required Flood Buffer Zone. Check the RPA map for more details.
  • A certified house location plat (to scale) showing the limits of disturbance, decks, patios, landscaping, floodplain, Resource Protection Area (RPA) and all Arlington easements.
  • A development plan is required if the total land disturbance exceeds 2,500 sq. ft. Where the disturbed area is calculated to be greater than 2,000 sq. ft., but less than 2,500 sq. ft.; the limits of disturbance must be shown with a 10 ft. buffer around the footprint of the addition, including all patios, driveways, pavers, landscaping, grading, staging, stockpiling, retaining walls, etc. in the calculations shown on the certified plat. Additionally, the physical demarcation of the disturbed area must be staked out in the field through the use of silt fence, snow fence, tree protection fencing or a comparable material and certified by a licensed professional engineer, land surveyor or architect.
  • A copy of the Land Disturbing Activity / Stormwater Management Permit (LDA/SWM) or Civil Engineering Plan (CEP) must be submitted with the building permit. Changes to the LDA/SWM or CEP require the building permit sets to be updated.
  • Sump Pump connections in the right-of-way require an Excavation Right-of-Way permit prior to installation.
  •  
  • Planter Boxes are not required on single family homes; they are one option to meet the storm water requirements. For more information, read the County Code chapter on Stormwater Management Ordinance.
    • The Stormwater Guidance webpage contains DES requirements for a stormwater planter box (also known as Urban Bioretention).
    • Details for stormwater planter boxes can also be found under drawing #5.
    • Be aware that stormwater planter boxes must also meeting Zoning Ordinance and building code requirements (guidance on compliance)

Zoning

  • Provide building height by listing the information on the plans or by completing the Building Height Worksheet. Building height information for single family dwellings is located in §3.1.6 of the Zoning Ordinance.
    • §3.1.6.A.1 is specific to R districts.
  • Elevations (front, sides and rear) indicating the height of the structure. Exterior grade (both preconstruction and post construction) must be accurately shown.
  • Provide lot coverage by listing the information on the plans or by completing the Lot Coverage worksheet applicable to your Zoning District. Learn more about lot coverage (these requirements only reflect Zoning Lot Coverage).
  • A wall check must be submitted upon completion of foundation walls – but before the framing inspection takes place. For new single-family dwellings, the established first floor elevation must be shown on the wall check plat. Wall checks must be submitted as a revision through the Permit Arlington system.
  • A final survey is required for new single-family dwellings prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy.  As-built main building footprint/lot coverage certification and height certification may be requested by the reviewer as well. Submit the final surveys to contactzoning@arlingtonva.us, including the address and permit number.
  • When installing an additional sink outside of the bathrooms or one kitchen, complete the Additional Sink Affidavit form and include the approved form with your submission.
  • The Zoning Ordinance provides requirements for where different types of structures can be placed on a lot, called setbacks. This means any structure has to be a certain distance from front, side and rear lot lines, as well as from the street.
  • Stormwater Planter Boxes must meet Zoning Ordinance requirements
  • If the one- or two-family dwelling does not meet Zoning Ordinance standards, your dwelling may be nonconforming, which is anything legally built, established and/or created but is no longer in compliance with the current Zoning Ordinance.
  • If an LDA permit or Civil Engineering Plan (CEP) is not required, provide a scaled plat that shows all existing and proposed structures, setbacks and public easements.
  • Both existing and proposed floor plans for the areas of work (scaled and dimensioned),  with all room names labeled, doors and windows shown, and special features clearly noted.

Inspection Services Division (ISD)

  • List of design load criteria: live load, dead load, snow load, wind speed, soil bearing capacity and lateral earth pressure
  • Foundation plan.
  • Footing details (minimum footing depth is 24 in.).
  • Fire separation distances and rated walls if any are required. For two-family residences, duplexes and townhouses, indicate rated walls, provide a copy of the testing agency design details on the drawings and show compliance with other required dwelling unit separation provisions.
  • Indicate stair dimensions, tread and riser dimensions, handrail and guardrail information.
  • Door and window sizes for emergency escape and rescue openings in sleeping rooms and basement.
  • Ceiling height for each level of the house and within the stairway.
  • Structural framing plans for each level and roof, accurately detailing all members, sizes, span lengths, and spacing.
  • List of material specifications including, but not limited to; grade and species of lumber as well as concrete and steel strength.
  • Structural details of connections.
  • Evaluation service and load calculations for all adjustable columns.
  • Insulation R-values and U-factors.
  • Wall bracing, including location of all braced wall lines and braced wall panels, method(s) and any other special requirements. Proprietary products require an evaluation report from an approved listing agency. Designs that do not follow the prescriptive methods of the Building Code or that are designed as shear walls require the submission of design calculations (signed and sealed by a registered design professional).
  • Wall bracing plans must include connections, details and nailing schedule.
  • Typical wall section with sheathing thickness and type.
  • Building cross sections with all posts, joists and beams labeled, including floor-to-floor heights dimensions.
  • Location of safety glazing.
  • Locations of smoke alarms.
  • Manufacturer’s design specifications for prefabricated fireplaces.
  • Whirlpool / Jacuzzi / over-sized tub manufacturers information showing structural loading requirements, if applicable.
  • Mechanics lien information, if applicable.
  • Read about stormwater planter boxes and how to comply with Building Code requirements. Be aware that stormwater planter boxes must also meet DES and Zoning Ordinance.

ISD Mechanical

  • Name, address and license of the HVAC contractor. If the plans are prepared by a Virginia-registered design professional, they must bear the original signature, seal and date.
  • Complete mechanical layout and equipment list. 
  • Exhaust system for kitchen, baths and dryer, venting systems and fuel-burning appliances.
  • Submit legible scaled electronic drawings with a minimum scale of 1/8” per foot on minimum 11 x 17 page.  Submitted mechanical drawings must include ductwork layout, duct, and register size and cfm at each register. Drawings must also include outside air duct connection, vent and combustion air connections for fuel-fired appliances and condensate drain and discharge location.
  • For each HVAC unit, provide equipment schedule to include make and model number, heating input and output rating, cooling capacity to include sensible cooling and total cooling capacity, fan size.  Indicate type of fuel (gas, electric, oil, water source),
  •  Mechanical plans are required for any addition that exceeds 500 square feet to an existing single-family dwelling, or a new home on an existing foundation, new homes, and newly installed HVAC system.
  • (2018) M1504.3 Exhaust openings.
    • Air exhaust openings shall terminate as follows:
      • Not less than 3 feet (914 mm) from property lines.
      • Not less than 3 feet (914 mm) from gravity air intake openings, operable windows, and doors.
      • Not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from mechanical air intake openings except where the exhaust opening is located not less than 3 feet (914 mm) above the air intake opening. Openings shall comply with Sections R303.5.2 and R303.6. 
  • Exhaust openings shall not penetrate the roof within four feet of the party wall of a townhouse without a parapet R302.2.2.
  • For kitchen exhaust more than 400 CFM, provide make-up air (M1503.4) and (1503.4.1) show the make-up air location.
  • Dryer Duct length (M1502.4.4): When dryer vent exceeds 35’ maximum, provide manufacturer cut sheet for longer lengths.
  • Return air location: (M1602) return air cannot be taken from prohibited sources listed under M1602.2.
  • Appliance access: Access to appliances must comply with section (M1305).
  • Manual J, D, or S (N1103.6, and M1401.3). Heating and cooling system must comply with the energy code by verifying location and square footage. The proposed mechanical equipment must match the plans. Confirm the calculations, sizing, and constructions of ducts is in accordance with the ACCA or other approved calculation methods.
  • Whole house ventilation (M1507.3) provides the total airflow in CFM required based on table M1507.3.3(1) and the rate factor based on table M1507.3.3(2). Provide the location and CFM of the vent(s) for the whole-house mechanical ventilation system. Do not only quote code sections or copy table on to the plans.
  • The Manual J can be a multi-page file, each mechanical plan shall be submitted as individual PDF’s
  • If adding or replacing exterior units, a scaled, certified plat is required, clearly indicating the location of units.
  • Mechanical plans are required for any new HVAC systems or any addition greater than 500 sq. ft. Smaller additions and replacements or extensions of existing systems can provide mechanical plans or use the Mechanical Plan Review Waiver.

ISD Plumbing

  • All projects must show plumbing fixture layouts as part of the architectural plans.
  • See Drainage Fixture Units (DFU) fees required by DES.
  • Plumbing riser diagrams are not required, except for unusual features such as solar water heating systems.
  • Provide a list of the plumbing fixtures in the house on each floor. If this project results in more than 3 bathrooms, you may be required to have a 1 in. water service.
  • Show the water service location and pipe size on the site / grading plan.

ISD Electrical

  • Electrical compliance with the Building Code is by field inspection only. Electrical plans are not required or reviewed through plan review.
  • Only the electrical panel location, smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector locations are required on the floor plan.
  • When adding or replacing exterior appliances, changes should be identified on the civil plans. They must clearly indicate the location of the new or replacement appliances.

 

 

Residential Interior Alteration

If you’re planning to alter your kitchen or bathroom and you’re only replacing cabinets or appliances (as long as they’re not fueled by gas or oil), or fixtures (without relocating any pipes or dry wall), in the exact same location, there are no permits required and you may begin work immediately.

Alterations that involve exterior work, such as modifications to a deck or adding a window well for egress are considered additions.

All Departments

  • Minimum page size 11 in. x 17 in. and minimum scale of 1/8 in. = 1 sq. ft.; all dimensions must be shown
  • Address for the project
  • Name, address and occupation of the building designer. If the plans are prepared by a Virginia-registered design professional, they must bear the original signature, seal and date.
  • Include a copy of the stamped approved Certificate of Appropriateness plans from Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board, if applicable.
  • Any alterations or additions to existing structures require the applicant to complete the Asbestos Inspection and Awareness Form.
  • Both existing and proposed floor plans for the area(s) of work that are to scale and dimensioned.
  • If your residential project is not located in R-20, R-10, R-8, R-6, R-5 and R2-7 districts, a scaled plat that shows all structures and setbacks is required for the interior alteration. You can find out your zone using our GIS maps.
  • If the one- or two-family dwelling does not meet the current the Zoning Ordinance, your dwelling may be nonconforming contact Zoning Division at 703-228-3883
  • nonconformity is anything that was legally built, established, and/or created but is no longer in compliance with the current zoning regulations.
  • All room names labeled; doors and windows shown; special features clearly noted; and indicate the level(s) of the house the area(s) of work is located on
  • For new stairs, indicate stair dimensions, tread and riser dimensions, handrail and guardrail information, and clearance from the edge of the nosing to the ceiling.
  • For new sleeping rooms and alterations in a basement, provide door and window sizes and indicate emergency escape and rescue opening(s) as required. Be aware if you are adding a new window well or renovating an existing one, this project is an addition, follow the addition construction document requirements.
  • Ceiling height areas that are altered
  • For converting non-habitable spaces to habitable space, provide the insulation R-values and U-factors
  • Typical wall section if adding walls to the interior
  • Manufacturer’s design specifications for pre-fabricated fireplaces
  • Whirlpool/Jacuzzi/over-sized tub manufacturer’s information showing structural loading requirements

ISD Mechanical

  • Name, address and license of the HVAC contractor. If the plans are prepared by a Virginia-registered design professional, they must bear the original signature, seal and date.
  • Complete mechanical layout and equipment list. 
  • Exhaust system for kitchen, baths and dryer, venting systems and fuel-burning appliances.
  • Submit legible scaled electronic drawings with a minimum scale of 1/8” per foot on minimum 11 x 17 page.  Submitted mechanical drawings must include ductwork layout, duct, and register size and cfm at each register. Drawings must also include outside air duct connection, vent and combustion air connections for fuel-fired appliances and condensate drain and discharge location.
  • For each HVAC unit, provide equipment schedule to include make and model number, heating input and output rating, cooling capacity to include sensible cooling and total cooling capacity, fan size.  Indicate type of fuel (gas, electric, oil, water source),
  •  Mechanical plans are required for any addition that exceeds 500 square feet to an existing single-family dwelling, or a new home on an existing foundation, new homes, and newly installed HVAC system.
  • (2018) M1504.3 Exhaust openings.
    • Air exhaust openings shall terminate as follows:
      • Not less than 3 feet (914 mm) from property lines.
      • Not less than 3 feet (914 mm) from gravity air intake openings, operable windows, and doors.
      • Not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from mechanical air intake openings except where the exhaust opening is located not less than 3 feet (914 mm) above the air intake opening. Openings shall comply with Sections R303.5.2 and R303.6. 
  • Exhaust openings shall not penetrate the roof within four feet of the party wall of a townhouse without a parapet R302.2.2.
  • For kitchen exhaust more than 400 CFM, provide make-up air (M1503.4) and (1503.4.1) show the make-up air location.
  • Dryer Duct length (M1502.4.4): When dryer vent exceeds 35’ maximum, provide manufacturer cut sheet for longer lengths.
  • Return air location: (M1602) return air cannot be taken from prohibited sources listed under M1602.2.
  • Appliance access: Access to appliances must comply with section (M1305).
  • Manual J, D, or S (N1103.6, and M1401.3). Heating and cooling system must comply with the energy code by verifying location and square footage. The proposed mechanical equipment must match the plans. Confirm the calculations, sizing, and constructions of ducts is in accordance with the ACCA or other approved calculation methods.
  • Whole house ventilation (M1507.3) provides the total airflow in CFM required based on table M1507.3.3(1) and the rate factor based on table M1507.3.3(2). Provide the location and CFM of the vent(s) for the whole-house mechanical ventilation system. Do not only quote code sections or copy table on to the plans.
  • The Manual J can be a multi-page file, each mechanical plan shall be submitted as individual PDF’s
  • If adding or replacing exterior units, a scaled, certified plat is required, clearly indicating the location of units.
  • Mechanical plans are required for any new HVAC systems. Replacements or extensions of existing systems can provide mechanical plans or a Mechanical Plan Review Waiver

ISD Plumbing

  • All projects must show plumbing fixture layouts as part of the architectural plans.
  • See Drainage Fixture Units (DFU) fees required by DES.
  • Sump Pump connections in the right-of-way require a Excavation Right-of-Way permit prior to installation.
  • Plumbing riser diagrams are not required, except for unusual features such as solar water heating systems.
  • Provide a list of the plumbing fixtures in the house on each floor. If this project results in more than 3 bathrooms, you may be required to have a 1 in. water service. Contact the Department of Environmental Services for any questions.
  • If you are upgrading the water service as part of this project, provide the new water service location and pipe size on the plans.

ISD Electrical

  • Electrical compliance with the Building Code is by field inspection only. Electrical plans are not required or reviewed through plan review.
  • Only the electrical panel location, smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector locations are required on the floor plan.
  • When adding or replacing exterior appliances, changes should be identified on the civil plans. They must clearly indicate the location of the new or replacement appliances.

 

 

Residential Deck

All Departments

Note: Some home center stores offer deck design services. These plans are generally not acceptable for submission to the County during permit application.

  • Minimum page size 11 in. x 17 in. and minimum scale of 1/8 in. = 1 sq. ft.; all dimensions must be shown.
  • Address for the project
  • Code year used for the design
  • Name, address and occupation of the building designer. If the plans are prepared by a Virginia-registered design professional, they must bear the original signature, seal and date.
  • A scaled plat depicting all structures and public easements, with the deck shown to scale on the plat, including setbacks. §3.2.6 of the Zoning Ordinance provides requirements about where different types of dwellings can be placed on a lot. These requirements are called setbacks, which regulate that a deck has to be a certain distance from front, side and rear lot lines, as well as from the street.
  • If the deck is greater than four (4) ft. in height, the elevation drawings (all sides of proposed decks) and lot coverage must be provided by listing the information on the plans or by completing the Lot Coverage worksheet applicable to your Zoning District. Learn more about lot coverage.
  • If you’re following the deck detail package, the information below is required on construction documents:
    • Size, spacing and length of all posts, joists and beams shown on a framing plan (bird’s eye view) with dimensions
    • Identify if the deck is freestanding or attached to the house; if attached, indicate ledger board and existing house construction, such as existing band board.
    • Footing details: minimum footing depth of 24 in., and footings within 5 ft. of existing foundation walls must bear at the same level as the foundation wall.
    • Hot tub manufacturer’s information showing structural loading requirements, if applicable
  • Details must be provided for the elements that do not follow the deck detail package.
  • Include a copy of the stamped approved Certificate of Appropriateness plans from the Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board, if applicable.
  • Any alterations or additions to existing structures require the applicant to complete the Asbestos Inspection and Awareness Form.

 

Residential Fence or Retaining Wall

Retaining walls that are part of a larger project, such as a new residential house or an addition, can be included within the building permit and should be included in the description of work on the application.

Retaining walls that are not included with the building permit application and submission or are not part of a larger project should be submitted as a Fence or Retaining Wall permit, it should not be submitted as a building permit.

Accessory Dwelling

Submission requirements depend on the form of accessory dwelling:

Pool

All Departments

Permits

Submission Requirements

Inspections

Fees

 

 

Waterproofing a Basement

All Departments

  • Minimum page size 11″ x 17″ and minimum scale of 1/8 inch = 1 square foot; all dimensions must be shown.
  • Address for the project
  • Code year used for the design
  • Name, address and occupation of the building designer. If the plans are prepared by a Virginia-registered design professional, they must bear the original signature, seal and date.
  • Include any prior approvals from the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), County Board or Zoning Administrator, or any code modifications with your submission.
  • Any alterations or additions to existing structures require the applicant to complete the Asbestos Inspection and Awareness Form.

Department of Environmental Services (DES)

  • Environmental Permits Overview
  • Provide a certified plat of the property.
  • A development plan is required if the total land disturbance exceeds 2,500 sq. ft. Where the disturbed area is calculated to be greater than 2,000 sq. ft., but less than 2,500 sq. ft, the limits of disturbance must be shown with a 10-foot buffer around the footprint of the structure and include all patios, driveways, pavers, landscaping, grading, staging, stockpiling, retaining walls, etc., in the calculations shown on a certified plat. Additionally, the physical demarcation of the disturbed area must be staked out in the field through the use of silt fence, snow fence, tree protection fencing or a comparable material and certified by a licensed professional engineer, land surveyor or architect.
  • Sump pump discharge location
  • Sump pump connections in the right-of-way require an application for a Excavation Right-of-Way Permit prior to installation.

Zoning

  • If a Land Disturbing Activity (LDA) permit or Civil Engineering Plan (CEP) is not required, provide a scaled plat that shows all existing and proposed structures, setbacks and public easements.
  • The Zoning Ordinance provides requirements for where structures can be placed on a lot. These placement requirements are called setbacks. This means any structure has to be a certain distance from front, side and rear lot lines, as well as from the street.
  • If your one- or two-family dwelling does not meet Zoning Ordinance standards, your dwelling may be nonconforming. A nonconformity is anything that was legally built, established and/or created but is no longer in compliance with the current Zoning Ordinance.

Inspection Services Division (ISD)

  • An existing floor plan of the basement
    • Label all areas and rooms within the basement.
    • Show egress within the basement to the exterior.
    • Show ceiling height, to include the locations and heights under dropped ducts and beams.
    • Show windows and all interior and exterior doors and walls.
    • Show the area where waterproofing is being installed.
  • Specifications for waterproofing materials and installation from the certified technicians/contractors doing the install

ISD Plumbing

  • Sump pump location and if it is existing or new
  • Plumbing riser diagrams are not required, except for unusual features such as solar water heating systems.

 

Fees

Fee Schedules provide the range of fees charged for each type of application or activity related to land development in Arlington. Fees cover permitting, plan review, enforcement, inspection, service delivery, performance agreements and conditions. There are separate fee schedules for Inspection Services Division (ISD), Zoning and the Department of Environmental Services (DES). Some permits involve fees from more than one schedule.