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Contact Information:


Building Safety/Permits


101-E Mounts Bay Rd.

Williamsburg, VA 23185

Directions - Directory


P: 757-253-6626


Hours of Operation


8 a.m. - 5 p.m.



Inspector's Hours:
7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.






Additional phone numbers,

e-mails and directions



Building Permit Procedure for Single-Family Residential & Duplex


What is a residential building permit? A residential building permit is the authorization to begin construction, alteration or demolition of any residential structure as required by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.

Where can I obtain a building permit? You may apply for a building permit at either the Building Safety and Permits Division or the Satellite Office. If a plan review is required, the Satellite Office will send the application to the Building Safety and Permits Division for review. Building Safety and Permits Division will issue the permit and return the approved permit to the Citizens' Assistance Office.

What do I need to obtain a building permit? You should provide the following information to complete the building permit application:

  • Address of the property
  • Contractor information
  • Erosion & Sediment Control Agreement
  • Erosion & Sediment Plan Review Checklist, completed
  • Owner information
  • Residential Plan Review Checklist, completed
  • Scope of work

In addition to completing a building permit application, you will need to provide the following:

  • Two sets of construction documents for the structure meeting the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.
  • Three copies of the site plan that notes the location of the structure and clearly shows distances to all property lines, structures, easements and other property characteristics. This site drawing shall include topographic contours, and limits of clearing, drainage and erosion control. The plat must be drawn to scale and include distances to streams, wetlands or other sensitive areas.
  • A copy of the soil report which indicates the potential for shrink-swell soil on this property and soil bearing capacities. An engineered foundation design is required if shrink-swell soil is found.
  • A permit to install a sewage system or modify an existing sewage system from the State Health Department.
  • Permits may be issued to owners or owner's agent. If permit is issued to someone other than a contractor, they must sign an affidavit regarding licensure as a contractor.

Is there a permit fee? Yes. The Board of Supervisors determined the fee schedule. A fee schedule is available from the Building Safety and Permits Division, the Citizens' Assistance Office, or may be found on this website.

How long will it take to process an application? If your application is complete and it meets the requirements, a review should take approximately 10-15 working days (this time may vary depending on workload).

How long are the permits valid? Permits may become void if no work is accomplished during any six month period.

What about inspections? Building Safety and Permits Division can provide you with a list of minimum required inspections.

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