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Building Permits
Requirements
The Town of Vienna requires home owners, renters, business owners and tenants to obtain a building permit whenever they wish to make improvements to their property.

Types of Improvements Requiring a Permit
A permit is required before any of the following improvements may commence:
  • Constructing, enlarging, altering, repairing or demolishing any part of a building or structure - This includes but is not limited to erection of a storage shed or other accessory structure, finishing a basement, and construction of new facilities such as retaining walls, fences, hot tubs, pools, driveways, satellite antennas and building additions.
  • Changing the use of a building - This includes changes either within the same use group or to a different use group when the new use requires more structural strength, fire protection, exits, or sanitary provisions.
  • Removing or disturbing any asbestos-containing materials
  • Additions, alterations, replacement or relocation of any plumbing, mechanical or electrical systems

Note: Buildings and structures, with the exception of single-family detached dwellings, may require additional approvals from the Board of Architectural Review for exterior work. 

Exceptions
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: 
  • cabinets installed in residential dwellings
  • 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
  • windows when they are replaced in exactly the same size and location.

Notable Exception
Another notable exception is 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. Installation of such a structure does not require a building permit, but its location is restricted in accordance with setback requirements for each of the three residential zones. 

Building Permit Application
The Town of Vienna uses the same building permit application as Fairfax County. After the Town has reviewed and signed off on the application, you will be required to submit it to Fairfax County for review and permit issuance. Please see the Permit Application for more details.

Single-Family Dwelling Building Guide
Please review our Single-Family Dwelling Building Guide for more information on building a new home in the Town of Vienna.

Deck, Pool, and Patio Guide
Please review our Deck, Pool, and Patio Guide for more information on installing these amenities in the Town of Vienna.

Tree Preservation
Redevelopment of any single-family residential lot through removal and replacement of a dwelling or addition to an existing dwelling that results in an area of disturbed soil exceeding 2,500 square feet shall be subject to tree canopy requirements. For more information, please contact the Department of Parks & Recreation and see the Tree Preservation & Planting Specifications Manual.

For More Information

If you have questions, please call the Planning and Zoning Department at (703) 255-6341.