Inspections are required under the provisions of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC). The required inspections for buildings are listed below. James City County Building Safety and Permits Division operates a 24-hour a day, 7 days a week call-in line to schedule inspections. Visit PermitLink to schedule an inspection.
- The cutoff time for next day inspections is 11 p.m. Any inspection requested after that time will be done the following business day.
- If work is not complete and/or exposed for inspection, it may be subject to disapproval and require re-inspection. When work is disapproved by an inspector, a $52.50 re-inspection fee will be charged.
Once a permit has been issued, you have the authority to commence work. The approved construction documents returned with the permit, shall be retained at the job site and be available for inspectors on request. It shall be the applicant's responsibility to perform all work in accordance with the Virginia USBC, and within the scope of what was authorized under the permit. All changes to the approved plans must be resubmitted for approval by the Building Safety and Permits Division. Prior to requesting an inspection for this work, your permit placard must be placed in a prominent location which is visible from the street. If there are multiple buildings on the same site, please display the placard or permit number at each building location.
Separate permits are required for building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical and gas work. no requested inspections are performed unless a valid permit has been issued for that work. Work performed without a permit, when a permit is required, is a violation of law! If you have any questions about when a permit is required, call the Department of the Building Safety and Permits Division at 757-253-6620 or email.
Note: When scheduling inspections on the new PermitLink website please remember the following:
- We will not conduct a final building inspection until all trade inspections have passed. Trade inspections will not be done concurrently with the final building inspection. Final building inspections scheduled without all other trades passed will automatically be canceled.
- Please remember to schedule a concrete encased electrode inspection when a footing inspection has been scheduled for a new building.
- Job site safety and portable toilets for construction workers are regulated by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, Occupational Safety Office. Their phone number is 757-455-0891, ext. 132.
To reach one of our inspectors, please call 757-253-6626 and follow the instructions.
- Office hours: 7-8 a.m. and 3-3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
- Field hours: 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
The Building Safety and Permits Division is not responsible for job site safety for construction workers. The Building Safety and Permits Division is responsible for job site safety of the County Building Inspectors who visit job sites to conduct inspections. The inspectors have been instructed to reject inspections on job sites that do not have certain minimum safety provisions. These include the following.
- Fall Protection: Open sided stairs, balconies, and other similar arrangements must have guard rails.
- Ladders: Section 113.1.one of the Uniform Statewide Building Code says: "Equipment Required. Any ladder, scaffolding or test equipment necessary to conduct or witness a requested inspection shall be provided by the permit holder." Ladders provided for the inspectors must be in good condition and must be tall enough. For instance, a 5-foot step ladder will not suffice for accessing a scuttle hole in an 8-foot ceiling.
- Debris: When inspections are requested for a structure, that building and the area around it should be reasonably free of hazardous debris. The inspection will be terminated and rejected if rooms are full of construction debris. Also, nails protruding through discarded lumber without being bent down will be reason to terminate inspections.
- Floor Joists Inspections: Inspectors are not allowed to walk open joists. It is the responsibility of the contractor to provide secure walkboards or scaffolding to allow a complete inspection of joists which cannot be properly inspected from grade.
- Electrical: Bare ended hot wires, or bare ended wires that might be hot, will be reason for immediate termination of an inspection. Code Compliance may request Dominion Energy to remove the electric meter from any house where a contractor is found using homemade extension cords with stripped conductors stuck directly into an electrical outlet.
- Gas: Gas fueled mechanical equipment which has been activated in an unsafe manner will result in the termination of any inspection being conducted in that structure and a request to VNG to remove the gas meter.