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MAIN OFFICE PHONE:  (540) 375-3032|E-MAIL:  communitydev@salemva.gov
HOURS:  M-F 8am-5pm |LOCATION:  21 South Bruffey Street, Salem, VA 24153

Permits

MAIN OFFICE PHONE:  (540) 375-3032|E-MAIL:  communitydev@salemva.gov
HOURS:  M-F 8am-5pm |LOCATION:  21 South Bruffey Street, Salem, VA 24153

PERMITS ARE ISSUED ONLY BETWEEN 8:00 a.m. AND 4:00 p.m.

NOTE: Contractors must have a valid business license in order to obtain a permit.  Please visit the City of Salem Commissioner of the Revenue site for business license requirements or call (540) 375-3019.

When is a Permit Required?

A permit is required for most new residential and commercial construction.  

  • Building plans may be required and if so, must be designed under the current building code and local design criteria.  A site-related plan may be required based on the land disturbance activity of your construction on your property.
  • Contractors must have a valid business license in order to obtain a permit.  Please contact the City of Salem Commissioner of the Revenue for license requirements at 540.375.3019.
  • Permits are issued only between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Use the list below to help you determine if your project requires a building permit.  If your project is not listed or you need help determining if a permit is required, please contact the Office of Community Development at communitydev@salemva.gov or telephone at 540.375.3032.
  • If a permit is not required, setbacks and other zoning requirements may still apply. Contact the zoning administrator at 540.375.3032, for more information regarding zoning requirements.

A Permit IS Required for….

  • New residential and commercial buildings, additions and structures
  • Interior alterations (including finished basements) except new floors, carpet, paint, trim work
  • Porches and decks (including alterations to existing)
  • New and replacement gas appliances and/or supply lines
  • New and replacement HVAC equipment
  • New plumbing fixtures
  • New electric appliances
  • Sheds and playhouses over 256 square feet
  • Swimming pools
  • Roof sheathing replacements over 256 square feet, unless decking was required at the time of original construction to be fire-retardant-treated or protected in some other way to form a fire-rated wall termination
  • New exterior stairs or stoops
  • Demolition of buildings, structures, pools, or fuel tanks
  • Sump pumps
  • Tents over 900 square feet
  • Fire Suppression equipment and lines
  • Signs – see Signs tab for more info
  • Cross connections for boilers, irrigations systems and new commercial buildings. 
  • Electric car charging equipment
  • Changes of occupancy or use group of a commercial space
  • Movement of a lot line
  • Or, any other requirements listed under Section 108.1 of the Virginia Construction Code or the Virginia Residential Code

A Permit is NOT Required for….

  • Fences except those used as a barrier around a swimming pool or required for pedestrian safety
  • Residential window or door replacements
  • Residential reroofs
  • Residential roof sheathing replacements of 256 square feet or less
  • Residential residing work
  • Low voltage (50 volts maximum) wiring systems and equipment that are not a component of any fire protection system, access control system, egress control system, located in a plenum or penetrate fire rated or smoke protected construction.
  • Gutters
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Playground equipment
  • On-grade patios (including wood patios)
  • Driveways – unless greater than 5,000 square feet in size
  • Flagpoles 30 feet or less in height
  • Temporary ramps serving residential dwellings that are no more than 30 inches high
  • Replacement of above-ground LP-gas containers which meet the following:
    • Installed in the same location
    • Capacity of the containers are the same
    • Installed by the serving gas supplier
  • Or, any other exemptions listed under Section 108.1 of the Virginia Construction Code or the Virginia Residential Code

Permit Type Requirements

Residential Building Permit New Construction

  1. Two (2) sets of plans with braced wall panels on drawing and worksheet for each panel numbered
  2. One (1) digital (pdf) copy of plans emailed to communitydev@salemva.gov or on CD
  3. Completed application
  4. Shrink-swell soil test results
  5. If located in the floodplain, preconstruction certificate of elevation*
  6. Certified plat showing all easements, existing structures, and proposed structures
  7. Erosion and sediment control permit

Residential Building Permit Existing (Addition/Alteration/Demolition)

  1. Two (2) sets of plans with braced wall panels on drawings and worksheet for each panel number
  2. Completed application
  3. If located in the floodplain, preconstruction Certificate of Elevation*
  4. Certified plat showing all easements, existing structures, and proposed structures
  5. Erosion and Sediment Control Permit from the Engineering Department

Commercial Building Permit New Construction

  1. Two (2) sets of sealed (architect or engineer) plans, including all electrical, mechanical, and plumbing drawings
  2. One (1) digital (pdf) copy of sealed (architect or engineer) plans, including all electrical, mechanical, and plumbing drawings emailed to engineering@salemva.gov or on CD
  3. Approved site plan
  4. Shrink-swell soil test results
  5. Completed application
  6. If located in the floodplain, Preconstruction Certificate of Elevation*
  7. Erosion and Sediment Control Permit from the Engineering Department

Commercial Building Permit Existing (Addition/Upfit)

  1. Two (2) sets of sealed (architect or engineer) plans, including all electrical, mechanical, and plumbing drawings
  2. One (1) digital (pdf) of sealed (architect or engineer) plans, including all electrical, mechanical, and plumbing drawings emailed to engineering@salemva.gov or on CD
  3. Completed application
  4. Approved site plan (if needed)
  5. Asbestos certification
  6. Accessibility compliance
  7. If located in the floodplain, Preconstruction Certificate of Elevation*

*Please note: If a preconstruction Certificate of Elevation is required, then before a Certificate of Occupancy is issued, we must receive a post construction Certificate of Elevation.