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Community Development

Posted on: April 15, 2019

Shrink-Swell Soil Report Requirement for Building Permit Submittal - Effective : June 3, 2019

Effective June 3, 2019 - A shrink-swell soil report will be required at permit submittal for the following types of permits:

  • All new single-family dwellings, duplexes and townhomes
  • Residential attached structures (including but not limited to additions, screen porches, sunrooms, or any expansion to the footprint of the existing structure)
  • Residential detached structures exceeding 400 square feet in area
  • All commercial construction

***Construction of a residential deck or pool does not require a shrink swell report***

The shrink-swell soil report shall:

  • Be completed by a registered Professional Engineer or Certified Professional Soil Scientist or Certified Professional Geologist in the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Include samples from the area within the footprint of the proposed structure. Note that general soil testing during subdivision review will not be accepted as a site-specific shrink/swell report.
  • Be submitted with the building permit application, two stamped copies are required

When a soil report confirms the presence of shrink/swell soils, the permit applicant shall then be responsible for providing the Department of Building Inspection with a site-specific footing /foundation plan designed by a registered Commonwealth of Virginia professional engineer or architect to overcome the limitations presented by the soils. The footing/foundation plan shall be submitted with the building permit application.   

The Department of Building Inspection will review stamped third-party reports to ensure that the approved footing and foundation plan has been constructed as per the county approved drawings. 

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