The Community Development and the Building Inspections Offices work hard to make sure our city is safe, smart, and well-built. We are here and happy to help with the first step in all your building projects; no matter how big or small! 


PHONE (540) 261-8635 OR (540) 784-8878, OR BY EMAIL: INSPECTOR@BVCITY.ORG



Building Permits

For downloadable building permit PDF forms, see the Forms and Permits page.

For questions about building permits and building regulations, please contact Alan McMahan, Building Official, at or (540) 261-8635.

New buildings and additions to existing buildings require a Zoning Construction Permit before obtaining a Building Permit. Commercial buildings and large developments may require a Site Plan and/or and Erosion and Sediment Control Plan. See the Planning & Zoning web page.

Department of Housing and Community Development Division of Building and Fire Regulations

Current Building Code

IMPORTANT:  Section 108.1 of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC) requires that an application for a permit shall be made to the building official and a permit shall be obtained prior to the commencement of any of the following activities, except that applications for emergency construction, alterations or equipment replacement shall be submitted by the end of the first working day that follows the day such work commences.  In addition, the building official may authorize work to commence pending the receipt of an application or the issuance of a permit.

  1. Construction or demolition of a building or structure.  Installations or alterations involving (i) the removal or addition of any wall, partition or portion thereof, (ii) any structural component, (iii) the repair or replacement of any required component of a fire or smoke rated assembly, (iv) the alteration of any required means of egress system, (v) water supply and distribution system, sanitary drainage system or vent system, (vi) electric wiring, (vii) fire protection system, mechanical systems, or fuel supply systems, or (viii) any equipment regulated by the USBC.
  2. For change of occupancy, application for a permit shall be made when a new certificate of occupancy is required by the VEBC (Virginia Existing Building Code).
  3. Movement of a lot line that increases the hazard to or decreases the level of safety of an existing building or structure in comparison to the building code under which such building or structure was constructed.
  4. Removal or disturbing of any asbestos containing materials during the construction or demolition of a building or structure, including additions.

Residential Rental

Residential rental, including apartments and detached houses, is an important part of the City’s housing. In addition to land use regulations that apply to all buildings, the City has established a Rental Inspection Program to ensure minimum health and safety conditions in residential rental units in some parts of the city.

Rental Inspection Program - Program Guide

Rental Inspection Regulations

Department Announcements

With summer upon us, Buena Vista’s Building Inspections Office wants you to be aware that the Va. Statewide Building Code requires a building permit for the construction or installation of an above-ground or in-ground swimming pool which has a surface area greater than 150 square feet, has more than 5,000 gallons of water, and is greater than 24” deep.

In other words, you would not have to get building permit for a swimming pool if the pool was less than 150 square feet of surface area, required less than 5,000 gallons of water, and was less than 24” deep.

You can go to: for all applicable code requirements related to the construction of above-ground and in-ground swimming pools. Also, Chapter 42 of the 2015 Virginia Residential Code has the electrical requirements for swimming pools (

Please contact the Buena Vista Building Inspections Office at (540) 261-8635 or with any questions.