When is a permit not required?

Common exemptions that do not require a permit are as follows:

  • Detached accessory structures (under 256 square feet) used for storage/utility purposes, not classified as group F1 or H occupancy. (However, an electrical permit is required if electrical wiring is installed)
  • Electrical equipment that operates at less than 50 volts (except for smoke/fire systems)
  • Fences and privacy walls that are not part of a building, structure, or swimming pool barrier. Exempt walls must be under six feet in height.
  • Replacement of existing above ground LP - Gas containers of the same capacity in the same location and associated regulators when installed by the servicing gas supplier.
  • Retaining walls supporting less than three feet of unbalanced fill (soil)
  • Swimming Pools that have a surface area less than 150 square feet, under 5,000 gallons and are less than 24 inches deep.
  • Tents under 900 square feet with occupant loads under 50 people
  • When ordinary repairs are made such as:
    • Installation or replacement of floor finishings, cabinetry, paint, or wall paper
    • Replacement of electrical switches, dimmers, 15 or 20 amp 125 volt receptacles, lighting outlets, and ceiling (paddle) fans in Single Family Dwellings
    • Replacement of mechanical appliances that are not fueled by gas or oil
    • Replacement of plumbing fixtures without alterations or relocation
    • Replacement of roof coverings or siding in Single Family Dwellings
    • Replacement of windows and doors (same size) in Single Family Dwellings


If you require clarification if concerning work requiring a building permit, please contact the Franklin County Building Inspections Department between 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday at 540-483-3047.

Show All Answers

1. When is a permit required?
2. When is a permit not required?
3. What are penalties if I do not apply for a permit?
4. What types of permits are issued?
5. What is required for a permit?
6. What are some building requirements specific to the county?
7. Who may apply for a building permit?
8. What are hours of operation?
9. What forms of payment are acceptable?
10. When are requested inspections scheduled?
11. What are the fees associated with permits?
12. Do I need to be present for the inspection?
13. When is the best time to speak with an inspector?
14. What do I need when scheduling an inspection?
15. What inspections are required on my permit?
16. Where can I access a code book?
17. What codes are adopted in Virginia?
18. What is a manufactured home and differences between them and modular/stick built homes?
19. What steps are involved in obtaining a manufactured home permit?
20. What are recommendations made to the Franklin County Building Inspection Department?