Permits you need to remodel a Maryland house

A man holding a hammer, pliers, paint roller, bag, screwdriver, and hand saw

If planning to remodel a Maryland house before selling it or after moving in, you should know that permits are required. We should warn you right away that the repercussions of remodeling without the building department issuing building permits aren’t just a fairytale. For instance, they have the power to fine you, or even worse, make you undo renovations. That’s right! However, we know you’re conscious enough not to remodel without obtaining the necessary permits first. In the end, you wouldn’t be here, listening to what we have to say if it was the other way around. Now, let’s get down to business!

First things first

Before organizing a full home renovation and getting started, be sure you get that permit. Whether it’s a DYI home remodeling project or a contractor is the one rolling up the sleeves, the case is the same. On no account should you start with the project before getting a permit. 

When do I need permits to remodel a Maryland house?

When tackling a project requires permits? Not every home remodeling project requires a permit. If opting for simple home improvements for every budget, such as painting the walls, changing a bit of this and a bit of that, doesn’t require a permit. On the other hand, if your project will affect the home’s structure, get in touch with the local building apartment. It’s necessary that you explain thoroughly what your project implies, what parts of the house you want to change, and how. Furthermore, you need to apply for a building permit when making changes around a house, such as placing a fence over four feet high or erecting a gazebo.

A man painting a cottage
To best way to find out if you need a permit is to
contact your local building department.

If you’re not sure whether you need a permit to remodel a Maryland house, contact your local inspector and check with him. Better safe than sorry, right? A broad term as it is, Maryland has differences on the inside. Permit requirements vary from one place to another, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if a neighboring town or city had different rules than yours. 

Which remodeling projects usually require a permit

Here’s the list of remodeling projects that require a permit in most cases; however, contacting the local building department is the best way to find out:

  • running new electric cable or electric to an outbuilding
  • adding electrical subpanel or new circuits
  • installing a new furnace, air conditioner, or water heater
  • moving plumbing pipes
  • installing new windows or doors
  • changing the roof, extending the roofline, or installing a skyline
  • installing a fireplace
  • adding new room/s or garage
  • changing a garage into a room
  • adding or tearing down the wall/s
  • making bathroom in basement
  • building a new deck
  • installing a pool

Should you need creative ideas on home improvements along with tips and tricks, pricehomeimprovements.com has proved to be one of the best sites for getting inspiration and learning the ropes.

How to get a permit to remodel a Maryland house?

The application process for remodeling your house in Maryland functions in the following way:

  • Contacting and discussing the project with the building department
  • Filling in the application meaning:
  • Determining the type of permits you need (carpentry, electrical plumbing, etc.) and
  • Drawing up plans required by the building department
  • Submitting the application along with applicable fees
A man drawing up a plan on a piece of paper
To remodel a house in Maryland, you need to take care
of the paperwork and get a permit first.

Movers can help during the home renovation process after receiving a permit. Surrounding yourself with a team of professionals before starting with renovations of a Maryland home will save you a lot of time, money, and hassle.

Interestingly enough, you can clear out the way first with the right assistance as well. Junk removal service is a way to go if your house is ‘overcrowded’ with stuff, esp. heavy items.

Paying the fees

The bigger the project, the bigger the fees. That’s the rule. Installing a fence, for instance, can cost you $50. When it comes to room addition to your Maryland house, they’ll charge you several hundred dollars.

Getting approval, fingers crossed

In general, it takes them a few days to review your plans whit bigger projects. With smaller, you’ll get a permit in the twinkling of an eye. However, not all projects are approved. The bottom line is you won’t be kept in suspense for too long. You can also make changes to your project and get to remodel your property in Maryland after all. 

A man with a blue tie inspecting a piece of paper with his full attention, which can be taken as the process of getting approval to remodel a Maryland house.
Whether you will get a permit to remodel a Maryland
house or not depends on the decision of the local
building department. Examining your document
shouldn’t last more than a week.

What comes after you get to remodel a Maryland house?

After your project is approved, the house is decluttered, and Excalibur Moving and Storage provided you with storage space for your belongings, you can start building. However, this can’t go without an inspector coming to check whether there are no deviations. Inspections happen often, can be a drag, but you’ll get used to it. Meeting codes for footing depth, railing spacing, and the rest is what got your approval. Our advice – stick to the plan. Even the smallest changes made can backfire, resulting in shutting down the project. It’s advisable that you post a paper obtained from the building apartment somewhere where it’s visible.

What happens if I fail to meet regulations and codes?

If you don’t pass, don’t worry because you still get to remodel a Maryland house. Everyone gets a second chance or a redo if you like. Yes, it means additional expenses, but in the end, you’ll raise the value of the house (that’s what investment is all about) or bring your living space to perfection. In either case, it’s worth it.

We hope that our guide on the permits you need to remodel a Maryland house has helped you understand your obligations better so your renovation can go smoothly. Good luck!


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Home Improvements That Require Permits

Home improvements that require permits are major changes that involve structural work, electrical, heating, and plumbing.

Home improvements that require permits are major changes that involve structural work, electrical, heating, and plumbing.
Home Improvements That Require Permits

For the DIY remodeler, obtaining permits is expensive, time-consuming and sometimes frustrating, but for many home renovations it’s necessary and required.  Home improvements that require permits are major changes that involve structural work, electrical, heating, and plumbing.

You need permits for many different types of home repair and improvement jobs. Simple repairs usually don’t call for permits, but major changes usually demand that you get the appropriate permits from the local building department.

Renovation permit cost

Local municipalities issue building permits based on city ordinances. Since there are no federal or state standards, building codes vary from city to city. Some municipalities charge 1% of the total construction costs to issue the permit and may take up to six weeks to complete the inspections. The only way to know if your city requires a permit for a remodeling job is to go to its website or call. If you hire a licensed contractor, he or she will know if the job requires a permit. As the homeowner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that all remodeling is completed lawfully. Don’t assume the permits were handled by the contractor.

According to the National Association of Realtors, failing to obtain the proper remodel permit process may complicate or cancel the sale of your home. During the home inspection or appraisal process, homeowners may have to show that the proper permits are on file. If the lending bank learns that remodeling work was done without securing permits, it will likely not make the loan.

For most permits, you must pay fees, typically based on the value of the project. Don’t overestimate the value of the work because it will cost you more in permit fees.

When do you need a permit to work on your house?

When it’s time to make improvements to your home, you may wonder whether you need a permit. For many projects, having a permit from the city government is crucial! Because, the changes to your home go on record with the city, and it ensures inspectors will check.

For example, if you rewire your home incorrectly, there could be exposed wires, potential for short circuiting and electrocution. This could lead to extensive repairs like wiring your home again, which could cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Also, when you try to sell or refinance your home, buyers and lenders want to know that your remodels comply with building codes, so you need to have proof via the permits from the city. So, if you are doing work without a permit you might have a big problems lately and you will have to pay much more money.

For many different types of home repair and improvement jobs, permits are required. Simple repairs like painting don’t need permits but, for major work like a plumbing you need to get permits.

Building Codes & Permits

Ask the building department to send you printed information about the ordinances that apply to your remodel and the various types of permits you will need.

Be aware that only certified electricians or plumbers are legally allowed to install or upgrade wiring and pipes in some regions. Check with your local building department before doing any of this work yourself.

Prepare for inspections. Read pertinent sections of the building code so you will know exactly what things the inspector will be looking for. If you hire subcontractors, ask them to be present when their work is inspected.

When do you need a permit to work on your house?
For many projects, having a permit from the city government is crucial!

How Do I Get a Permit?

Apply for the permit through your local municipal government office. Depending on the complexity of the project, some permits are issued immediately, while others may require home inspection for the plans.

Renovation requires inspections of the work. For projects involving home additions, multiple inspections may be required. When you complete the work, a final inspection issue the permit.

Can i get a permit after remodeling? If building officials discover you are working without a permit, you could be legally in obligation to redo the work, before they will give it a completion or occupancy approval.

You probably won’t need a permit if you plan to:

  • Install new floor coverings
  • Replace doors or windows without altering the structure
  • Change a countertop
  • Replace a faucet
  • Painting or wallpapering
  • Installing hardwood floors or carpeting
  • Minor electrical repairs that do not involve new service or moving existing service

Home Improvements That Require Permits

Fences

Not all fences require a permit, but municipalities often place height restrictions on non-permitted fences. The city of Chicago, for example, requires a permit on a fence five feet or higher, while other cities allow for higher structures.

Footprint Changes

Any alteration to the footprint of your home requires a permit. This includes bedrooms, room additions, most decks, garages and some sheds.

Do i need a permit to replace windows?

Replacing an existing window doesn’t require a permit, but cutting a hole for a new window generally does. This includes skylights and new doors.

Plumbing/Electrical

If you’re installing new or removing existing plumbing, a permit is probably required. Any job that includes installing new electrical service to your home will also require a permit. Even something as simple as moving an outlet requires a permit.

Structural Changes

Any project involving changes to the support system of the home requires a permit. This may include changes to load-bearing walls, decks, balconies and porches.

Siding

Most municipalities require a permit for siding projects.

Water Heater

If you want to replace your water heater, you will need a permit. You may also need a permit for ventilation system changes.

Additions and Remodels

Do you need permits to remodel a bathroom? How much kitchen remodel permit cost? Additions, new construction, remodels, repairs, replacements, upgrades and any other additions and remodeling projects totaling $5,000 or more will require a permit. This will include detached structures like garages, sheds and platforms. Exceptions to this rule include construction that’s less than 200 square feet, as well as painting, carpeting and wallpaper.

Exterior work may not require a permit

Adding a deck, cutting down trees and building new fences or retaining walls are all elements that may or may not require a permit depending on design, location and the extent of the work.

Exterior work on your home, like repairing siding and repainting, may or may not require a permit. It depends of the rules in your community.

Building codes ensure that your home will be safe for your family and any future families who live there. If you do work without a permit and building officials discovers later,  they may require that you bring the work up to permit standard. Or, even dismantle and redo the work, before they will give it a completion or occupancy approval. A permit will also help you avoid headaches in the future. If building officials discover you have done work without a permit, you will be in obligation to disclose that you have remodeling without a permit, and the buyer could demand that you bring work up to code.