Top Five Building Permits Roundup

Are you planning projects for your home in the new year? Whether you construct, reconstruct, enlarge, alter, or demolish a structure, a permit may be required prior to starting the work. The Department of Development Services manages building permit applications for all residential and commercial building projects in Stafford County. Staff is here to guide you through the permit process to make sure your structure is as safe and successful as possible.

The following are some of the most common residential projects that require a building permit:

  1. Garages provide a multi-purpose space to store cars, tools and other equipment. A permit is required for building an attached or detached garage or carport, converting a garage to a habitable space or enclosing a carport.
  2. Outdoor living spaces such as a porch, screened porch, deck, pergola, portico or gazebo are growing in popularity. They offer a comfortable place for relaxing, reading a book, grilling, gardening, exercising, dining, playing with pets and children and entertaining outside.
  3. If you enjoy fixing things and do-it-yourself projects, you may need a designated work space. Tool sheds over 256 square feet in area require a building permit. In addition, all sheds, regardless of size, require a zoning permit.
  4. If you need another habitable room in the house, perhaps for a family member moving in, you may need to finish off an unfinished attic, basement or room over the garage. Building permits are required for all of these types of renovations.
  5. Backyard pools are the perfect reprieve in summer and a great way to spend time with family and friends. Building permits are required when installing a pool, hot tub or spa greater than 150 square feet, 5000 gallons, OR 24" deep.

Landscaping and other outdoor projects may also require a permit if you disturb an area of land 2,500 square feet or greater. Land disturbance includes clearing, digging, grading, adding or removing dirt, paving and spreading asphalt millings. Contact the Department of Development Services’ Environmental Division at (540) 658-8830 before you begin any work that could be considered a land disturbance.

Visit Stafford County’s website to apply for a building permit. However, if you are unsure if your project requires a permit, please contact the Department of Development Services’ Community Development Service Center at (540) 658-8650.