Building Codes in Virginia

by staff on September 14, 2014

Virginia Building CodesOne of the main focuses of our own real estate business in Central Virginia is rural property.  That might mean farms … gentleman farms or working farms … and often it involves the acquisition of raw land for a variety of purposes.  A very common request comes from folks who’re looking for a great home property to fit their needs and if that home isn’t readily available, they want to consider the purchase of land with the intention of building their own homes or structures on it.   This can be a really great open-ended plan for your real estate search.

You will likely want professional help to incorporate existing building codes into your site selection.  This sounds simple.  It might be simple.  It’s often not simple.

If you decide to go it alone, below are some sites that can show you the range of codes and restrictions that exist in Virginia for new construction.  For example … depending upon where your perfect intended building is located … you could be required to have a variety of safety or parking space requirements.  Some counties limit access to highways.  Some local codes specify the measurements of your eave overhangs or sidewalk placement.  Local ordinances or deed restrictions may dictate the style or size of your structure.  It all depends on a lot of factors.

Starting with the broad picture, all structures in Virginia must comply with Virginia State Residential building code.  In addition there are Virginia county codes and here’s an example of the Albemarle County building code in Charlottesville’s own county.  And if you’re in the City of Charlottesville you would have to abide by the Charlottesville City building code as well.

This is one reason why…. even though you intend to build your own home … our services as realtors are vital to the success of your plans.  Not to toot our own horns (well a little, maybe), we can save you a lot of hassle by connecting you to the relevant information BEFORE you commit to something that could break your heart.

We do more than open doors for buyers, despite what you may have heard.  With new construction we can connect you to appropriate areas, architects, soil inspectors, surveyors, and others you’ll need along the way.  We are your advocates in meetings with builders and designers, helping you to get the best prices and to understand your choices for your Wish List.

If you choose to work directly with a builder, we can guide you to prevent losing your earnest money during your transaction, because things can fall apart due to misunderstandings.  A builder’s representative is hired to protect the financial interests of the builder, not the buyer.  We know how to assure you that customary contingencies are put in place in your contracts to protect your financial interests.  We can help you prioritize possible upgrades as far as which ones will be better for resale.  We can find out about the pricing and margins involved in the upgrades, whether from a builder or from Home Depot.

We understand your desire for autonomy and a simpler life.  But even though the tv series about The Waltons may have had its roots in scenic Central VA,  a lot has changed since the family could just go out and start banging out a new building.   Yes, even if that building is on your own land that you previously purchased for your perfect retreat.   We don’t cost you money.  We save you money.    Find a realtor that you’re comfortable with…. and then let them help you.




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