How to Apply for Fairfax County Building Permits

How to Get Fairfax County Building Permits

Fairfax County tries hard to outline the building permitting process in a detailed format and help you get a permit faster. However, the process itself is complex, involving comprehensive reviews from several county and non-county agencies, and many other steps before a project are approved. So it's highly recommended you prepare well for a construction project before applying for a building permit.

Let's talk about how to get a  and how DoNotPay can help you get yours faster. 

When Is a Building Permit Necessary in Fairfax County?

You may not require a building permit to execute some projects, but remember to observe zoning and land disturbance rules before starting any project. Here are some construction schemes that require a

  • New buildings and additional structures
  • Interior alterations, including alterations to porches and decks
  • New or replacements of gas appliances or HVAC equipment
  • New plumbing fixtures or electrical appliances
  • New exterior stairs or stoops
  • Demolition of structures and buildings

How to Get a Building Permit in Fairfax County

The building process in Fairfax County encompasses an array of activities. Following the steps outlined can help you get your project approved faster:  

ConceptBefore devising a plan, it's important to determine the project's feasibility by learning about relevant zoning laws, legal restrictions, and other project characteristics. Important site-specific information to look for include legal description, plats, easements, previous zoning actions, stormwater information, etc.
Planning and Zoning ReviewEnsure that your project complies with surrounding environmental guidelines. The Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance guides show the county's desired developments by type of use, including residential, commercial, etc, and regulations for land use and structures. They allow you to know what can or can't be done on your property and to know the feasibility of your project.
DesignTo approve your project, the respective agencies will require your design package and a set of construction documents like drawings, plats, site-related plans, etc. Your design must conform to the safety and environmental regulations in Fairfax County. The agencies may also look at additional documents such as the comprehensive plan, constructability, schedule, and costs.
Permitting and ReviewAfter finishing your planning process, it's time to apply for a permit. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Visit the Fairfax County website to download the relevant application form and fill it in appropriately.
  • Attach a copy of the VA state contractor's license if you're hiring a contractor to do the work.
  • Attach all electronic drawings as one pdf after they're sealed, signed, and dated by a registered design professional.
  • If you're sending your plan submittals, visit the PayGov website and make a non-refundable deposit of $91.80 or 25% of the estimated fee and wait for email instructions when you're done.
  • Send your application via email if the plans are less than 5 sheets long.
  • If the plans are too large, send an email to to request a link to DropBox. Upload your documents and include your address, name, and information on the type of project.

Next Steps for Getting a Building Permit in Fairfax County if You Can't Do It Yourself

The process of getting a building permit in all counties can be tedious, expensive, and takes forever to complete. But you shouldn't be tempted to start your project without a permit. Instead, try looking for an alternative solution that can help you save time and money by filing for the permit appropriately, and only for the necessary things.

Getting a Building Permit Fast in Fairfax County Using DoNotPay

If you want to file for a building permit without a hassle in Fairfax County but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has got you covered. Create your own cancellation letter in 6 easy steps:

  1. Go to the Planning Permissions product on DoNotPay.


  2. Choose one of the following options:
  • Check whether your project needs a building permit or if it's exempt
  • Generate a permission request letter to send to your HOA
  • Generate a guide on how to complete the building permit application
  1. Choose the focus of your project (new ADU, pool, shed, fence, etc.) and answer a few questions about your plans, including the size of the structure and estimated cost.


  2. Indicate whether you're hiring a contractor and include the estimated start date and timeline for the project.


  3. Indicate whether any public sidewalk/street space will be used during construction.


  4. And that's it! DoNotPay will help guide you through the building permit process by checking if your project needs a building permit, contacting any HOAs you're a part of to request building permission, or generating detailed instructions on how to start and complete your building permit application process.


What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay can help you get building permits not just in Fairfax County but also in other places like:

Getting a building permit is just one of many things DoNotPay can do. It's a popular product that helps people solve many legal issues.

Here are some related things we can help you do:

  1. Standardized Legal Documents
  2. Notarize Any Document
  3. Reducing Property Taxes
  4. Insurance Claims

With DoNotPay, you can rest assured your building permit will arrive earlier at no extra cost. Register today to start your building permit application process, and continue making plans for your construction.

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