The City charges fees for all permits issued. All fees are based on the amount of work being done, either by square footage or by number of items. The City does not base any fees on the cost of the work. These fees are to cover the cost of processing, reviewing and inspecting the work to ensure compliance with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC). The fees are set by the City Council, and the full schedule of fees is part of the City code.
Fees are paid when the permit is ready to issue. No payment is necessary when submitting the application. The only exception is for large commercial jobs, over 15,000 s.f., where the estimated plan review fee of 19.5 cents per square foot is due at submission.
Fees are payable by cash, check or credit/debit cards. An additional fee of 2.95% is added to all transaction paid by card. Card payments may be made by phone by calling 703-248-5080 (TTY 711).
Estimating a permit fee by reading the fee schedule is complicated. Below are sample fees for common projects. These estimated fees include the base permit fee, the plan-review fee where applicable, the administrative and technology fees and the State levy.
The table below has a list of common project types and an estimate of the permit fee. You can also read a more complete guide to estimating fees and see the full schedule of fees in the City Code.
|Building Permits (square footage, does not include electrical, plumbing, etc)|
|Residential Deck, 200 s.f.||$256.20|
|Residential Garage, 300 s.f.||$524.60|
|Residential Remodeling, 1,000 s.f.||$872.30|
|Residential Addition, 20' x 30', two floors and basement||$2,093.52|
|Commercial Tenant Fit-Out, 2,000 s.f.||$2,061.80|
|New House, ≈ 4,500 s.f. floor area|| ≈$5,500.00|
|Electrical Permits (with a typical number of devices)|
|Temporary Power Pole||$158.60|
|Commercial Tenant Fit-Out (highly variable)||$500-$1,500|
|Replacement of Dryer, Furnace, Stove, or Water Heater||$67.10|
|Fireplace Insert, with new piping installed||$91.50|
|Ductless Heat Pump||$67.10|
|Tenant Fit-Out, one floor, ducts only||$67.10|
|Tenant Fit-Out, with equipment||$400-$600|
|Other Permit Types|
|Elevator Installation or Repair (not including separate fee paid direct to NEIS)||$268.40|
|Commercial Sign (Zoning and Building Permits)||$241.10|
Where an exact fee is given, it is the correct fee for a typical project of that type. It is always possible for a specific project to have a different fee than shown.
Use this guide only to get an idea of the general amount of a permit fee. Do not make out checks for fee amounts until the permit counter has provided an exact fee.