Skip to main content
Trish Sweeney
301-379-3800

Please enter a search value.


The basics of obtaining a build permit

by Patricia Sweeney 09/21/2022

Most major construction or renovation projects require obtaining a building permit. However, because not every project requires a permit, it can be difficult to know if your particular plans require one. Here is a simple guide to help you determine if you need a permit:

You will likely need a building permit for:

  • Demolishing any walls or structures. This includes interior and exterior walls, as well as separate structures like free-standing garages.
  • Changing or replacing the pipes in your home. Building permits are required for major plumbing projects to ensure the work is done correctly and safely.
  • Re-roofing your house.
  • Converting a garage into a living room or similar projects. Changing the major use of a room often requires changes to plumbing and electrical systems, which always requires a building permit.

You don’t usually need a permit for:

  • Repainting the outside of your house.
  • Replacing minor kitchen appliances.
  • Replacing kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
  • Installing new flooring.
  • Building a small fence in your yard.

How to get a build permit

There are multiple steps to obtain a building permit for any of the above scenarios. Here is a basic guide to the permit process:

  1. Download or obtain a permit application from the local permit office for the specific project you’re planning.
  2. Prepare a site plan. You may need an architect or other contractor to help you draw the plans.
  3. Schedule an appointment for plan approval. The timing for this part of the process can vary depending on the extent and type of your project.
  4. Once you obtain your permit, you’ll need to schedule one or more inspections during the process. These inspections make sure you’re following the agreed-upon project plan.
  5. Once your project is completed, all that’s left is to get final city approval.

This is only a basic guide to building permits for major home projects. For a thorough list of the proper permits, consult a contractor or construction professional for details regarding your specific project and plans.

shadow