Applications for all building and land disturbance permits may be submitted through the ePlan Review portal. These include residential new construction, additions and alterations, and land disturbance.
Residential building permits may qualify for an electronic express review or a paper walk-thru review, depending on the complexity of the project. Depending on the scope of work there are different plan review times for ePlan as well as plan review times for paper plans.
There are two different options to submit building permits for residential projects, online through the ePlan Review or in person in paper. Permits may be submitted electronically through Arlington’s ePlan Review portal. Learn more about the electronic plan submission process.
The ePlan Reviews offers simultaneous review, online payment, emailed status updates and other efficiencies not possible with paper submissions. Building permits may also be submitted as paper copies in person to the Inspection Services Division (ISD), located on the 10th floor of Courthouse Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Blvd. Learn more about the paper plan submission process.
For paper submissions, residential express review is a while you wait service available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., except for the first Tuesday of the month the hours are 9 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; and the third Thursday the hours are 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The wait times vary and it can be several hours to complete the process. The process cannot always be completed the same day and the customer will have to return to the office at a later date to complete the process. Please see below for the express criteria.
Construction Document Requirements
Learn more about the construction documents and supporting information typically required for plan review of residential projects.
Please be aware that some residential properties are considered commercial per the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) and require commercial permits. Find out if your project is considered residential or commercial before proceeding.
Residential Express Review Criteria
* Residential express reviews are intended to be accomplished in a short amount of time. If the nature or complexity of the proposed work precludes a quick review, the project may be classified as a route-through review even though it meets the following criteria:
- The area of work must be less than 750 sq. ft.
- Work is limited to one story only
- Additions must be located on the ground floor or basement of the house
- Basements must have the minimum code required ceiling height for a basement
- The project does not include the replacement of all floor joists at any one story
- The project does not include the removal of load-bearing walls on a nonconforming building
- The dwelling will be habitable during the period of construction
- The house does not have more than a maximum of three toilets; including any new toilets in the proposed work; or the house must have an existing 1” water service line
- Must be less than 2,500 sq. ft. of land disturbance
- This project does not include a retaining wall that is retaining 3 ft. or more of soil
Throughout the building permit process and depending upon the extent of the work, you will be required to complete different inspections.
Call Arlington to schedule your inspection appointment 24 hours in advance:
- Automated Scheduling System (IVR): 703-228-3700(Available 24/7)
- Schedule an Inspection online
For fire alarm and sprinkler systems, please call 703-228-3846. Leave a voicemail and an Inspection Services Division (ISD) Fire Inspector will contact you within 24 hrs to schedule your inspection.
The cost for permits varies depending upon each project.
- Any permit expires 6 months after the last approved inspected activity on the site.
- If someone other than the permit holder is tasked with getting the permit from the department, they must have an Affidavit of Permit Authorization.