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Building Permit

Building permits are regulated and enforced under Title 3, Subtitle 1, Section 3.100 of the Howard County Code for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare. 

 

PERMITTING AGENCY DEPARTMENT OF INSPECTIONS, LICENSES AND PERMITS 

3430 COURTHOUSE DRIVE
ELLICOTT CITY, MARYLAND 21043
PHONE 410-313-2455

 

 

 

WHEN IS A BUILDING PERMIT REQUIRED

A building permit is required prior to starting construction. If the project requires plumbing, electrical, grading, fire protection or HVAC (residential only), a separate permit is required for each.

Building permits are required for, but not limited to: 

 

New buildings Larger than 200 sq. ft. Fire Places 
Additions Decks
Renovations Swimming Pools and Fences
Demolitions Garages
Temporary buildings Mobile Home Installations
Prefabricated structures with permanent foundations Retaining walls

 

Building permits are not required for residential work such as: 

 

Painting Routine Maintenance
Carpeting Cosmetic Changes
Interior Decorating Farm buildings Zoned Agricultural
Siding  

 

 

HOW TO APPLY AND WHAT TO EXPECT

Building permit applications are accepted by the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits, 3430 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, Maryland, 21043. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The applicant for a building permit must be the property owner or authorized agent of the owner. Home improvement contractors must be licensed by the State of Maryland and homebuilders must be registered with the State of Maryland, Office of the Attorney General.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Requirements for detached one and two-family dwellings, alterations, minor additions, and miscellaneous structures are as follows:

  • Two sets of construction documents drawn to scale with sufficient clarity and detail to show the nature and character of the work to be performed, including, but not limited to:
    • Plans of each floor level, 4 elevations and typical cross section.
    • Seven copies of plot plans and 2 copies of the approved site development plan as required by the Howard County Subdivision Regulations.
     

New buildings, additions and alterations to buildings other than detached one and two family dwellings require 3 complete sets of architectural, structural, mechanical (heating, ventilation, air conditioning-hvac), plumbing and electrical construction documents, drawn to scale with sufficient clarity and detail to show the nature and character of work to be performed. The documents shall be prepared in compliance with this code, and shall bear the seal and signature of the appropriate Maryland State Professional Engineer or Architect, affixed to all sheets of all sets, at least one set of which shall bear the original (not reproduced) seal and signature.

Note: For more specific and detailed submission requirement information, please refer to the residential and commercial checklists available in the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits.

TIME LIMITATION OF APPLICATION

A building permit application shall be deemed to have been abandoned six months after the date of filing, unless such application has been renewed or a permit issued. Upon written request the Code Official may grant one or more extensions of time for additional periods not exceeding 90 days each, if there is reasonable cause.

WHO REVIEWS THE APPLICATION AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE

Building permit applications and plans are reviewed by one or more of these Departments:

  • Department of Planning and Zoning
  • Health Department
  • Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits

Permit processing time for small additions such as sheds, decks, chimneys, etc., is approximately 3 business days. More detailed or complex permits are circulated for review immediately and the estimated processing time is 5 to 10 business days. Permits can take longer when special approvals or appeals are required.

Note: Permits for finished basements for property on public water and sewer are, as a rule, eligible for immediate issuance.

RESIDENTIAL “WALK-THROUGH” BUILDING PERMIT PROCESS

This process enables the applicant to obtain “same day” issuance of their permits on “walk-through days” which are every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The residential “walk-through” building permit process applies to small projects such as decks, pools, and garages and additions that are less than 600 square feet in area. Please phone 410-313-2455 for additional information.

CAUTIONS AND CONCERNS WHEN APPLYING FOR A PERMIT FOR A COMPLEX PROJECT

There are many local, state and federal laws that may impact these projects, for example:

  • Handicapped accessibility requirements
  • Fire sprinkler requirements
  • Health Department requirements for food service equipment
  • Plot plans and building plans may be required depending upon the complexity of the project

Please call the Plan Review Division at 410-313-2436 for specific information regarding complex projects.

THE INSPECTION AND APPROVAL PROCESS

Included with each building permit issued is an inspection information guide outlining the steps required to obtain the necessary inspections and approvals. Please follow the instructions carefully for prompt inspection service.

TIME LIMITATION OF BUILDING PERMIT

Once a building permit is issued, it will become invalid if the authorized work is not inspected within 180 days, or if the authorized work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days after the work has begun. The Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits may grant up to a 180 day extension, if requested in writing by the applicant, prior to the permit expiring. Please refer to the fee schedule for extension fees.

WHO TO CALL FOR ASSISTANCE

  • Automated Inspection and Permit Request and Information
    410-313-3800 (Dial-up System)
  • General Information regarding Issuance of Building Permits
    410-313-2455 (Licenses and Permits)
  • Code Compliance and Plan Review
    410-313-2436 (Plan Review)
  • General Information for Inspections and Enforcement
    410-313-1823 (Inspections and Enforcement)
  • Fax 410-313-3322
  • TTY 410-313-2323
  • BGE (New or Relocation of Gas or Electric Service Connections)
    410-850-4620, 1-800-233-1854 or BGE