Should I purchase the permit or let my contractor purchase it?
It is our opinion, in almost all instances, the contractor should be required to obtain the permit as part of the project agreement. This is simply because the permit holder is the party responsible for the work and complying with the codes and regulations. A reputable contractor should have no problem obtaining a permit. It is usually those with no license or outstanding violations that will ask you to purchase the permit. If an owner wishes to secure the permit, he will be required to complete an Owner Builder Affidavit which affirms that he will perform all of the construction work myself, with immediate members of his family or with W-2 employees of his company.

If the owner is not performing this work himself, with members of his immediate family or with W-2 employees of his company, the contractor actually doing the work is required to be licensed and must obtain the required permit, not the owner.

An owner wishing to do some of the work himself may qualify to be listed as a subcontractor on the permit for this portion of the work. If you decide to purchase permits yourself, you are responsible for all code requirements and if portions of the project are subcontracted, you must use licensed subcontractors and have those subcontractors properly listed on your permit.Owner/Builder Affidavit (PDF)

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1. What model codes are adopted by Virginia?
2. When is a building permit required or not required?
3. What are the permit fees?
4. Who may apply for a permit?
5. May I obtain permits by mail or phone?
6. May someone else obtain a permit for me?
7. Should I purchase the permit or let my contractor purchase it?
8. What type of permit do I need?
9. How long is a permit valid?
10. May a permit be voided?
11. May a permit be returned for a refund?