Building Inspections

The Building Inspections Department is following current CDC guidelines when performing its duties (both in the office and in the field). Note the following procedural changes:

Email/Phone Communication Only: All communication will primarily occur by phone or via email until further notice.  Meetings that take place must follow CDC recommendations and face coverings are required.

Submittal via Drop-Off Box: There is a drop-off box located just outside of our office where permit applications, amendments, and other paperwork can be submitted. Please leave any and all information that you feel necessary with applications. Fees will be calculated at a later date (you will be contacted with the required fee amount and procedures for payment) or feel free to call for an amount prior to submittal. A valid email address is necessary on all permits to receive a response. If there is not a line for an email address, please leave one at the bottom of the application. Note that items left in the drop box (and any mail received) will not be handled until the next business day. To expedite review, certain materials may be submitted electronically (for an initial review).

Proffer Payments: To avoid any delays in issuance of a C.O., cash proffer amounts should be requested at least five (5) days prior to the request for a final inspection. Checks will not be handled until the next business day (and cannot be cashed until final inspections are passed), so payment should be submitted as soon as possible.

Inspections: Inspectors may refuse to inspect portions of buildings occupied by individuals diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, exposed to others with the virus, or display symptoms of illness. Anyone on an inspection site is asked to stay at least ten (6) feet away from County staff and have limited communication with them while they are on site. Virtual inspections are now available. Any inspection that required interior access of an occupied structure will need to be performed via a Zoom meeting or postponed until further notice.

Third Party Inspections: Anyone wishing to have inspections performed in the event that Powhatan County has to close for an extended period will need to have their preferred inspection agency approved prior to any closing. Please forward this information, in email, to the Building Official at Powhatan County Community Development Department expects to remain open as long as possible during this pandemic.

Thank you for working with us during this unique situation, so that we can continue to provide services and ensure the safety of staff and the public. Please check back frequently to view any updates that may take place to ensure the protection of County staff.

Powhatan County's requirement to enforce the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code and the Statewide Fire Prevention Code is to ensure safe, code compliant buildings that will protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public. Both codes reference the International Codes as administered by the International Code Council (ICC).

Scheduling Inspections

Powhatan County Building Inspections Office currently schedules inspections by telephone or in person.
  • Inspections requested by 3 p.m. will be performed the following day.
  • Inspections scheduled by 3 p.m. on Friday or the day before scheduled dates County offices are closed will be performed the following business day.


Applications for permits will only be processed if received between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. For a list of exemptions to obtaining a permit, view our Permit Exemptions (PDF) document.

Payment Methods

We only accept checks and cash for permit fees.

Lighting Requirements for New Construction

Section 83-469(d) of the Zoning Ordinance requires all lighting for new construction use fully shielded lighting fixtures. While commercial projects will generally include a lighting plan for review, single-family homes typically have no such plan, thus it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure installed fixtures meet the requirements of the ordinance. Fixtures will be inspected prior to issuing a Certificate of Occupancy. The Exterior Lighting Brochure provides additional information as well as some examples of light fixtures that do and do not comply.