Anyone who has applied for a building permit elsewhere is in for a pleasant surprise when they get to Floyd County, Virginia.
Jimmy Whitten and his staff are a huge asset to Floyd homeowners dealing with the myriad requirements that come with building or remodeling a home. When you apply for a building permit in Floyd, you know immediately that these people are here to help you!
The helpful attitude of the Floyd County Building Inspection Department is evident from the minute that you walk in the door and meet Dawn Underwood. She is the person you meet first and she is a huge help in navigating the many details that have to be handled.
Jimmy is the Building Official responsible for the Building Inspection Department. He is certified to do electrical, plumbing, and mechanical inspections and has been doing inspections for most of his adult life. A Building Official generally oversees Building Inspectors, but in Floyd County, Jimmy Whitten does it all.
He has an open door policy from 8 to 9 in the morning when people can come in and ask questions or discuss problems.
This is especially valuable for the do-it-yourself homebuilder, but I had a experienced contractor working on my house who spoke approvingly of this practice because he said this enabled him to keep up with changes to the building codes and figure out a solution to any problem.
Jimmy also does house plan reviews in which he goes over the house plans with customers. Other places offer plan reviews, but they are done when the customer is not present.
For example, someone wishing to build a straw bale home would find that there is nothing in the code for a straw bale home but there is provision for alternate building methods. Working with Jimmy Whitten, a builder of such a home would find that there are approved ways to meet all requirements using performance-based building codes.
There are all sorts of alternative methods available for home construction including cord and cob houses. Whether it is an original architectural design or a plan from purchased over the Internet, Jimmy, as the Building Official, makes sure that the final result is a strong, safe and waterproof home that meets the codes in every respect.
Jimmy has also made sure that the current building codes are kept on file in the Jessie Peterman Library so that anyone who wants the information can go to the Library.
If someone wants to build in Floyd County, they can find the entire permit application on the County web page http://www.floydcova.org/ and can download it and fill it out before submitting it. The application includes vital information on recent code changes, what the building inspection will cover and how to get electric service from AEP..
In addition, the County web site refers customers to www.iccsafe.org, the website of the International Code Council which is a master reference for all aspects of the International Codes, including performance-based building codes which deal with alternative materials, design and methods of construction.