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Are there any exceptions from permitting?
There are exceptions, such as ordinary repairs, which do not require a building permit. The term ordinary repairs means replacement of materials with like materials, including but not limited to:
• Construction of a one-story accessory structure with a total height of 14 feet or less, a wall height of 8-1/2 feet or less, and with a total area not to exceed 256 square feet on a single-family lot does not require a building permit, but its location is restricted in accordance with setback requirements for each of the three residential zones and residential lot coverage limits;
• Some interior work within single-family dwellings: cabinets, doors, except those in fire-rated wall assemblies or exits, floor coverings and porch flooring, painting, repairs to plaster, interior tile work, and other wall coverings.
• Some exterior work to single-family dwellings: windows when they are replaced in exactly the same size and location.
• Note: Properties within the Windover Heights Historic District require a certificate of appropriateness from the Windover Heights Board of Review for exterior modifications not categorized as regular repair and replacement in-kind, including paint color changes. Contact the Department of Planning and Zoning for more information:

Contact Fairfax County if you are unsure if a building permit is required (
Fairfax County Building Permit Information

Planning and Zoning

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1. When am I required to get a Building Permit?
2. What do I need to do to get a Building Permit?
3. When am I required to get a Zoning Permit?
4. Are there any exceptions from permitting?
5. What zone is my property in?
6. What are my setbacks?
7. How do I report a possible zoning violation?