Building & Permits

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The City of Martinsburg Planning Department serves to protect the health and safety of our community by providing trained and certified Building Inspectors to implement the West Virginia State Building Code that has been adopted by the City.

Major duties that are part of this mission include plan reviews, issuance of permits and providing inspections.

Apply for Your Building Permit Online: 
The City of Martinsburg is pleased to announce that you can now apply and pay for your building permit online through My Government Online.  Applying online is the most expeditious method to obtain a permit.
State Building Code Requires a Building Permit:

Section 105 of the International Building Code states:

Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.

A general Building Permit is issued for structural, electrical, plumbing and/or mechanical work, both residential and commercial. There are also specific permits for fences, sheds, signs and sidewalks.

Any work not requiring a building permit performed by a contractor or individual other than the property owner and in exchange for any type of compensation, will require a Work Registration Form. These are issued at no charge from the Building Inspectors' office, which is located in the City of Martinsburg Planning Department.

The City of Martinsburg Planning Department recommends contacting a Building Inspector with any questions regarding project and permit requirements at (304) 264-2131, or visit our FAQs page.

Example of projects requiring a permit:
You must get a Building Permit from the City of Martinsburg before starting most construction projects:
  • Constructs a new building;
  • Enlarges or adds to an existing structure;
  • Changes the interior or exterior of a structure:
  • Partially or fully demolishes a structure;
  • Changes the occupancy classification of any part of a building;
  • Electrical systems;
  • Plumbing systems;
  • HVAC Systems;
  • Remodeling kitchens and/or bathrooms;
  • Installing a pool, spa or hot tub;
  • Increases the occupancy load in a space;
  • Includes major repairs that are not part of regular maintenance;
  • See Martinsburg's Homeowner's Guide to Building Permit Process for more details.

Am I required to hire a Contractor if I own and live in my home?

Homeowners are exempt from the West Virginia requirement for being a licensed contractor if the homeowner performs the work on their own house that they reside in.  Homeowners performing their own work must declare this when they apply for a building permit before work starts.  If you are not performing the work yourself (such as electrical or plumbing work) then the person performing the work must be a State of West Virginia licensed contractor.  

When is a Contractor's License required?

If work is being performed by someone other than the homeowner performing work on their own residence that they reside in, a building permit applicant must provide a licensed contractor to perform the work if the project exceeds $5,000 for work on a residential property or $25,000 for a commercial property.  Project value includes the cost of the entire construction project, including all labor and materials.