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07/07/2020

2020 Prince William County VA Building Permits & Fees

The following simple guide outlines every Prince William County VA permit you could possibly need if you're planning to start a building, remodeling, or refinishing project this 2020. We've included all of the relevant fees and links to the forms for each permit.

Will you need a permit in Prince William County?

The Prince William County government website provides a full list of situations and circumstances outlining when and if you'll need a permit before starting a new project. We've broken down some of the most common.

You'll need a permit if you're:

  • Building a porch or deck where the floor is 16.5 inches or more above the finished grade
  • Making an addition to your home
  • Building a garage
  • Installing a prefabricated fireplace, insert, or wood stove
  • Installing/replacing doors and/or windows when structural alterations are made
  • Installing a new electrical circuit, fixture, or receptacle (unless the total voltage required is under 50 volts)

You won't need a permit if you're:

  • Building a storage shed (accessory building) one story and 256 square feet or less in the area
  • Building a fence (you'll need a permit for fences used as a swimming pool barrier)
  • Re-roofing or fixing your current siding
  • Pouring a new concrete patio slab, provided it's not meant to support a future building addition
  • Replacing windows and doors with windows and doors of similar operating and opening dimensions that do not require changes to the existing framed opening
  • Re-glazing windows (glass replacement)
  • Installing/replacing cabinetry, trim, or floor finishes
  • Painting the interior or exterior of your home or wallpapering
  • Replacing gutters or downspouts
  • Replacing plumbing fixtures (water closets, tubs, sinks, garbage disposals) where no alteration to the supply or drain/waste/vent systems are involved
  • Installing low-voltage wiring (as mentioned earlier, it has to be under 50 volts)
  • Replacing light-fixtures, electrical appliances, electrical water heater, electric furnace, heat pump, or air conditioning condensing unit, air-conditioners or furnaces

You can see the full list here.

If you've checked over the list and identified you'll need a permit, your next step involves submitting a building permit application.

Prince William County VA Building, Electrical, Mechanical, & Plumbing Permits & Fees

Submitting a permit application is free, but you'll definitely have some fees to pay for if you need a permit. On top of all fees is a 2% fee levy used to support the activities of the Prince William County Code Academy, a 14% technology surcharge (which often changes each year), and a 10% indirect costs surcharge (which also changes every year). Each of the fees below take all of the surcharges into account i.e., they're the total cost.

Note: you'll have to submit a separate application if you need a permit for anything electrical, mechanical, or plumbing related.

Building Permit Fees:

  • Residential New Construction/Additions
    • Fee per square foot of the gross floor area, to include basements and garages: $0.1344
    • Minimum fee for new dwelling units, garages, carports, additions, breezeways, gazebos, open porches with roofs, decks greater than 250 square feet, and detached sheds greater than 256 sf: $233.04
    • Minimum fee (decks and detached sheds 250 sq. ft or less): $93.85

  • Non- Residential Structures:
    • fee per square foot of gross floor area: $0.2559
    • Minimum fee per structure or tenant space: $312.44
    • Framing and Rough-in Permit: $312.44

  • Repairs and Alterations
    • Residential: $93.85
    • Non-residential Structures: $0.0115

  • Finished Residential Basements
    • Fee per square foot of gross floor area: $0.2685

  • Other Misc Fees:
    • Private residential swimming pool: $155.35
    • Building demolition: $155.35
    • Retaining walls: $155.35
      • Retaining walls with less than 8 ft of backfill: $0.5205
      • Retaining walls with 8 ft or more of backfill: $0.6244
    • Outdoor sign (per sign): $155.35

Electrical Permit Fees:

  • Residential
    • New residential
      • New construction of dwelling units, fee per square foot (includes basement/floor area): $0.1064
      • Minimum fee: $93.85
      • Temporary service: $139.20

    • Existing dwellings (additions, remodeling, and repairs)
      • Base fee, plus additional items (listed here, under the "Electrical Fees" section): $46.92
      • Service connection: $93.85
      • Swimming pools: $93.85

    • Non-residential
      • Base fee: $155.35
      • Appliances and stationary equipment (includes, but not limited to, bathroom exhaust fans, dishwasher, disposal, dryer, water heater, kitchen range, car charging station and solar panel)
        • For the first 25 pieces of equipment, each: $13.96
        • For each additional piece of equipment: $1.38
      • Circuits (new, extensions, and feeders): $3.51
      • Duct Heaters
        • For first unit: $50.62
        • For additional units, each: $27.93

There's quite a bit more on this list, so check the official form covering each fee if you're uncertain about something.

Mechanical Permit Fees:

  • Residential:
    • Duct work only
      • One zone fee plus: $192.41
      • Each additional zone: $121.97

    • A/C equipment replacement
      • Indoor or outdoor: $93.85
      • Both: $139.20

    • Furnace replacement, each: $93.85

    • Wood stoves, gas logs, each: $93.85

Plumbing Permit Fees:

  • Residential
    • New residential
      • Base fee: $93.85
      • Each fixture and appliance, which includes floor drains, ice makers, hose bibbs, potable water connections to boilers or other nonpotable tanks or equipments, and roughed-in fixtures: $7.82
    • Additions/remodeling
      • Base fee: $93.85
      • Each fixture and appliance (same as above): $7.82
    • Water service (per service when new, repaired, or replaced): $93.85

If you're planning any sort of non-residential or commercial project, your fees will be substantially different (and much larger). The government fee schedule form covers everything you'll need to know if so.

Future Blog Updates

This list is current based on 2020 figures. The government will undoubtedly increase the fees in 2021 (the Prince William County fee schedule document already lists potential changes for 2021), at which point we'll update this blog post (or make a new one). Let us know in the comments below if we missed anything or if there's any other information you'd like to see here!

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