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Residential Building

Stafford County seeks to simplify a complicated subject such as building construction with online resources and devoted staff - To ensure citizens are provided with safe and code compliant structures - Staff is prepared to address the most difficult code topics with contractors, tradesmen and homeowners with equal diligence. 

Codes and Standards
The Commonwealth of Virginia adopted the 2009 Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC), which went into effect on March 1, 2011. The USBC allows applicants to use the 2006 code until March 1, 2012.

The USBC references the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) as the official residential building code for Virginia. In turn, the 2009 IRC references the 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC) for all electrical issues. Some residential issues not addressed in the IRC will have to be constructed under the applicable International Building Code reference, approved referenced standard or Stafford County policy for the proposed work. Stafford County policies are not created to supercede the above referenced codes, but are intended to clarify and illustrate the existing adopted model codes.


  • These codes are the minimum allowable standards, the homeowner or contractor may build to higher performance standards.
  • While all municipalities abide by the same codes, the requirements in one jurisdiction may differ from those in another municipality. For example wind conditions in coastal localities are different than here in the Stafford area and would likely mandate different wall bracing requirements.
  • Within these references there are referenced standards that may only be available for purchase. 

The state of Virginia has coordinated with the International Code Council (ICC) to create a combined book with both the 2006 Virginia Construction Code changes with the 2006 IRC entitled 2006 Virginia Residential Code (VRC). The VRC can be purchased at the online store.