Building Inspections


The Building Department is following current CDC guidelines when performing both office and field duties. All meetings will be postponed until further notice. All communication shall be performed through phone or email until further notice. We have placed a drop off box outside of our office for permits, amendments, and other paperwork. Please leave any and all information that you feel necessary when leaving paperwork. Fee’s will be calculated at a later date and we will contact you with the amounts and how payment will be accepted.  A valid email address is necessary on all permits for us to respond, please be sure it is legible on any paperwork that you leave. If there is not a line for an email address please leave one at the bottom of the application. Items left in the drop box, including re-inspect fees, will be reviewed after THREE days from the day they were dropped off. This procedure will be followed for anything received by mail as well. Proffer amounts should be requested 5 days prior to request of a final inspection to allow time for our 3 day processing and issuance of C.O. upon the completed final inspections. We ask that everyone work together through this unique period and that all parties remain outside of our office so that the services that we provide can continue. 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 maintain a minimum 10 feet distance from County staff and have limited communication with them while they are on site. We will begin to experiment with video type call appointments for some of the smaller inspections. Any inspection that required interior access of an occupied structure will need to be postponed until further notice. Please check back frequently to view any updates that may take place to ensure the protection of County staff.

Thank you for your cooperation!

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 

We expect to remain open as long as possible throughout this pandemic.
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.