Residential: Building A Retaining Wall
Select a link below to learn more about the permits, process, and inspections required to build a retaining wall.
- Do I Need a Permit?
- Who Should Apply?
- Payment and Fees
- Typical Inspections
Do I Need A Permit?
If you are doing any of the following you will need a Building Permit …
(This is not an all-inclusive list. If you have a question as to whether you need a permit please call 540-772-2065)
- Any wall that retains 3 feet or more of unbalanced fill
Who Applies for the Permit?
- Applying for a permit as a homeowner is an important decision because the permit holder(s) bears the ultimate responsibility that the work will comply with the code.
- The homeowner is highly encouraged to have a licensed contractor apply for the permits, however, the homeowner may do so.
- Residential Application
- Owner Affidavit - Complete if you are an owner, doing work to your primary residence. This must be notarized or signed in front of a Permit Tech in the Building Department
- Plot Plan Template - Shows the proposed retaining wall location on the property. A survey plat with the retaining wall location or a hand sketch showing the location with respect to the property lines and the house is acceptable
- Retaining Wall Guidelines for Accompanying Paperwork
- Fill out the application document and include the building plan.
- Retaining walls from 4 ft. to 6 ft. will require a plan. Standard manufacturer designs are acceptable.
- Retaining walls from 6 ft. to 10 ft. require a plan. This must bear the stamp of a Virginia Design Professional.
- Retaining wall over 10 ft. in height or unbalanced fill are required to meet the requirements of the Special Inspections Program.
(See the Retaining Wall Guidelines under Documents to see Minimum Design Plan Information)
- Email documents to firstname.lastname@example.org or bring to the Roanoke County Administration Building, 2nd floor.
- A Permit Tech will verify all paperwork for completeness and collect payment.
- If the wall is 3 ft. to 4 ft. without a plan, the permit will be issued the same day. If the wall is over 4 ft., the plans will be submitted for a review. Once submitted, the review time is 7 working days. You will be contacted by email or phone for any review comments or when the permit is approved.
- Once the plan is Approved, the Permit and the Inspection Card to post, will be returned to the applicant.
- Post the Inspection Card at the site. This should be visible for the inspector and available for inspectors approval or denial signatures. Approved Building plans should also be on site if applicable.
- Call for Inspections.
- Verify Permit Inspections are complete and Permit is closed.
Payment and Fees
Accepted payment methods:
- Check (made out to the County of Roanoke)
- Credit card (MasterCard, Visa)
For an estimate on your Permit cost use our FEE ESTIMATOR for New Residential Structures or Alterations to Existing Structures.
All Building Permits are also subject to a State Levy Fee of 2% and a Technology Fee of 5% also shown on the last field on the FEE ESTIMATOR.
Call 540-772-2065 when ready for inspections.
Information needed to request for an Inspection...
- Application Number (Found on the Issued Permit)
- Address of the job
Typical Inspections for Retaining Wall Permits …
- Final Building
**Inspections may vary due to type of project.
**Always call before covering work.