Permits Not Required

A building permit is not required for the following activities:

NOTE: The below activities do not require a building permit but please contact our zoning staff to check if a zoning permit is required.

  1. Installation of wiring and equipment that operates at less than 50 volts, provided the installation is not located in a plenum or penetrating an assembly required to have a smoke or a fire-resistance rating or if it is part of the following; fire alarm, fire detection, fire suppression, fire protection supervisory, elevator control, access control, fire damper or door control system.
  2. One-story detached structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses or similar uses, provided the building area does not exceed 256 square feet of building area and 120 inches in wall height and the structure is not classified as Group F-1 or H.
  3. Detached prefabricated buildings housing the equipment of a publicly regulated utility service, provided the floor area does not exceed 150 square feet and located on property by established rights.
  4. Tents or air-supported structures that cover an area of 900 square feet or less, including within that area all connecting areas or spaces with a common means of egress or entrance, and provided such tents or structures have an occupant load of 50 or less persons.
  5. Fences of any height unless required for pedestrian safety OR used for the barrier for a swimming pool.  However, a Zoning Fence Permit is required through the Zoning Dept.  Please click here for more information:  http://www.winchesterva.gov/planning/fence-requirements
  6. Concrete or masonry walls, provided such walls do not exceed 6 feet in height above the finished grade.
  7. Retaining walls supporting less than 3 feet of unbalanced fill that are not constructed for the purpose of impounding Class I, II, or III-A liquids or supporting a surcharge other than ordinary unbalanced fill.
  8. Swimming pools that have a surface area not greater than 150 square feet, do not exceed 5,000 gallons, AND are less than 24 inches deep.
  9. Signs under the conditions in Section H101.2 of Appendix H.
    • Painted non-illuminated signs.
    • Temporary signs announcing the sale or rent of property.
    • Signs erected by transportation authorities.
    • Projecting signs not exceeding 2.5 square feet.
    • The changing of movable parts of an approved sign that is designed for such changes, or the repainting or repositioning of display matter shall not be deemed an alteration.
  10. Replacement of above-ground existing LP-gas containers of the same capacity, in the same location, and associated regulators when installed by the servicing gas supplier.
  11. Flagpoles 30 feet or less in height.
  12. Temporary ramps serving dwelling units in Group R-3 and R-5 occupancies where the height of the entrance served by the ramp is no more than 30 inches above ground.
  13. Construction work deemed by the building official to be minor and ordinary and which does not adversely affect public health or general safety.
  14. Ordinary repairs that include the following:
    • Replacement of windows and doors with windows and doors of similar operation and opening dimensions that do not require changes to the existing framed opening and that are not required to be fire rated in Group R-2 where serving a single dwelling unit and in Groups R-3, R-4, and R-5.
    • Replacement of plumbing fixtures and well pumps in all groups without alteration of the water supply and distribution systems, sanitary drainage systems or vent systems.
    • Replacement of general snap switches, dimmer and control switches, 125 volt-15 or 20 ampere receptacles, luminaries (lighting fixtures), and ceiling (paddle) fans in Group R-2 where serving a single dwelling unit and in Groups R-3, R-4, and R-5.
    • Replacement of mechanical appliances provided such equipment is not fueled by gas or oil in Group R-2 where serving a single-family dwelling and in Groups R-3, R-4, and R-5.
    • Replacement of an unlimited amount of roof covering (like for like) or siding in Groups R-3, R-4, or R-5 provided the building or structure is not located in the historic or corridor enhancement district.
    • Replacement of 100 square feet or less of roof decking in Groups R-3, R-4, or R-5 unless the decking to be replaced was required at the time of original construction to be fire-retardant-treated or protected in some other way to form a fire-rated wall termination.
    • Installation or replacement of floor finishes in all occupancies.
    • Replacement of Class C interior wall or ceiling finishes installed in Groups A, E, and I and replacement of all classes of interior wall or ceiling finishes in other groups.
    • Installation or replacement of cabinetry or trim.
    • Application of paint or wallpaper.
    • Other repair work deemed by the building official to be minor and ordinary which does not adversely affect public health or general safety.
  15. Crypts, mausoleums, and columbaria structures not exceeding 1,500 square feet in area if the building or structure is not for occupancy and used solely for the interment of human or animal remains and is not subject to special inspections.

EXCEPTION:

Application for a permit may be required by the building official for the installation of replacement siding, roofing and windows in buildings within a historic district designated by a locality pursuant to Section 15.2-2306 of the Code of Virginia.

ALL OTHER ACTIVITIES SHALL REQUIRE A PERMIT.