Before you buy: building permits for Waynesboro, VA

If you aren’t directly involved with the building and construction industry, this tends to be an overwhelming subject. All this business of filling out the right paperwork, coordinating everything with the builder or delivery guys, and paying permit fees can be a major headache. It’s no longer just the decision of which gazebo, pergola, pavilion, shed or garage to buy, but the process of figuring what you can or can’t do.

After years in this industry, we get it, so we gave city Building & Zoning office in Waynesboro a call to see what it takes. There are a few steps involved, but it turns out to be less complicated than it sounds. Check out the overview and details of the specs below.

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Shed Permit signs

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Shed Permit Requirements for Waynesboro, VA

The 10-second version:

  • Accessory permits: any building under 256 sq. ft. can be delivered/built with an accessory permit.
  • Building permits: any building over 265 sq. ft. will need a building permit.
  • Options such as heating and electrical require separate and specific permits.
  • For zoning: building must be installed more than 5’ from property line. The exception to this is corner lots, those need to be at least 9′ from property line.

Let’s hit the “fun” details.

Accessory & Building Permits

The first step is figuring out whether you will need a building or accessory permit. According to the Building & Zoning office in Waynesboro it’s really a simple answer: is the building under or over 265 sq. ft? If it is under 256 sq. ft you will need an accessory permit, and if it is over that size you will need to apply for a building permit.

For example, to find the square footage of the building you would like to purchase, multiply the ‘length x width’ of the building, or simply ask a sales reps for help.

Examples for common sizes of buildings under 256 ft2 are: 12×20, or 14×18.

Checklist for Accessory permit (- 265)

Checklist for Building permit (+ 265)  

Exceptions for buildings under 256 sq. ft. that will need additional permits

  • Electricity: building wired for electricity require a separate electrical permit.
  • Heating: buildings to have heat installed will need a separate permit, unless you are planning to use a space heater.
  • Foundation: if you’re pouring in a concrete foundation you will automatically need to apply for a building permit, regardless of size. If the building is below the 256 sq ft and you have plans to set it on gravel only the accessory permit is required.

Advice from Bylers: we suggest that if you need a building permit, you should still bring in a drawing for the Building & Zoning Office to stamp and give back to you so you have a copy of the approval. Should you choose Byler’s your sales rep should be able to give you that drawing.

Buildings under 256 sq. ft. must still be built to code for adequate snow load, wind resistance, etc. Some manufacturers such as Byler Barns, already submit building plans to permit and zoning offices to verify that they are up to common code – some manufacturers don’t so each home or business owner is responsible to check into and see what is needed.

The advantage of Bylers is that the entire process should go faster, and there’s little chance of inspection failure. As one Building and Zoning officer said, “You all have done a lot of work – it takes the guess work out of it.”

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Zoning Permit or Permissions

Zoning permits are all about concern for where the building is placed. This is about three primary issues.

  1. Utilities. This concerns the electricity, water, sewer, electricity and gas companies. If your gas company comes to check out a leak and your new shed or gazebo happens to be sitting on top of where the leak could be, it’s a fairly sure bet the gas company will win on whether or not the building gets moved.
  1. Easements. This looks similar to the utilities questions. Easements is the land you may own and pay taxes on, but land utility companies can still dig up as they please.
  2. Setbacks. This is the distance your building sits from a property line. In Waynesboro the minimum setback is 5’, or on a corner lot 9’.

This is something that should be paid attention to, because confirming that it’s ok to set a building or outdoor structure somewhere could save you a bucketload of trouble down the road. The city doesn’t want to have to tell you to move a building, so make sure to check with the Building & Zoning office first for any applicable permits or permissions for your specific location.

That wraps up our ‘Permits in Waynesboro’ guide. If you have any questions feel free to contact the Building & Zoning office directly at: 540- 942-6628, or check in with Byler’s for specs about ordering a building.

Thanks for stopping by!

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As of  November 2016 this information was accurate. And the links worked! Please — let us know if anything needs to be corrected, updated, or expanded.