Apply For A Maryland Building Permit

Who is responsible for issuing building permits in Maryland?

In Maryland, the main source of building permits will be the county where the property in question is located. Some counties such as Baltimore and Kent County have departments dedicated solely to building permits while other counties like Anne Arundel County issue building permits out of their general permit office. Normally only county permits are required for construction projects, but some towns and cities may also require that you receive a local permit from them before construction begins.

When is a building permit not required in Maryland?

Building permits are generally not required for basic repair work if it does not involve structural changes to the building and for cosmetic work such as interior or exterior painting. If you are remodeling your house in Maryland, but the plans do not involve any structural changes to the existing structure, such as moving walls or creating new windows, you probably will not need a building permit. However, remodeling work that involves substantial electrical, mechanical, or plumbing work will need a permit. Also, because building regulations are mostly set by the county, requirements and regulations can vary in Maryland from county to county. This means that while one county would not require a permit for your work, the county you are actually located in might.

Does my contractor need to be licensed in Maryland to get a building permit?

General contractors do not need to be licensed to work in Maryland, but many specialized subcontractors do. For example, electricians must be licensed by the state through the Maryland Board of Master Electricians in order to legally work on a project in Maryland. Other contractors that need to be licensed include plumbers, HVAC contractors, and home improvement contractors. Your county will have more information on when a license is required. The Maryland Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing also has a program where you can check online to see if a specific contractor or company is licensed.

How long does it take to get a building permit in Maryland?

The processing time for your permit application depends on the size and complexity of your proposed construction as well as on which county you apply in. For example Kent County and Anne Arundel County both estimate a waiting time of two weeks after the application is submitted while Baltimore County admits that it may take longer. Large projects will usually require the approval of several government offices and agencies, make the processing time longer the bigger the project is. Oftentimes counties have same day services available for small projects where the application can be reviewed and the permit issued over the counter while you wait.  


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