Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

"Why should I get a permit?"

Working without a permit can be putting your family and others at risk and will result in fines of hundreds, if not thousands of dollars if caught performing work without one. In addition with current real estate disclosure laws this can also lead to delays in transferring properties or in getting loans for the purchase or refinancing of a property. In some cases insurance companies may not cover damage claims for non-permitted work.

"Who should be listed on my permit as the contractor?"

The listed contractor will be responsible for code complying construction and must hold a MD State registration license for new home construction, Maryland Home Improvement Commission license for home improvements (MHIC) or MD State contractor’s license for commercial work. If a property owner or tenant wishes to be listed as the contractor, a license is not required; however, you will be solely held responsible for code complying construction. The property owner must be personally listed as the primary owner of the property per state assessment records in order to perform work or authorize work completed by a tenant.   

"Do I need a Building Permit to replace my deck boards or railing on my existing deck?"

If any structural members, guardrails or stairs are to be replaced, a permit is required. Replacement of only the deck boards does not require a permit, but it is recommended that you follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

"Do I need a permit to install a fence?"

A permit is not required however fences that exceed 10 feet in height would require a review of the design by the permits office prior to installation. Fences shall be kept out of any County easements  and back from the roadway's edge to ensure site distance for motorists thereby allowing them to safely navigate and enter the roadway. For information regarding the location of road, utility and drainage easements please refer to your plot plan or contact the Bureau of Development Review here

If you are located within a municipality, please contact them directly for any specific requirements within their town’s limits.

"Does a pre-built shed that is delivered to my property need a Building Permit?"

One story detached accessory structures on skids and movable, used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and other similar uses, provided the floor area is not greater than 150 square feet, do not require a permit. However, contact Zoning and Health Department for setback information from property lines, easements and well/septic systems. A permit is required for pre-fab sheds greater than 150 square feet.

"Do I need a permit for an inflatable pool?"

Storable swimming or wading pool-those that are constructed on or above ground and are capable of holding water to a maximum of forty-two inches, with non-metallic, molded polymer walls of inflatable fabric, regardless of dimension are exempt from permits. This does not exempt the pool from the safety barrier requirements.

"What type of permit is needed for a new or existing driveway entrance apron?"

If you plan to install a new entrance onto a County roadway, a permit is required and shall be installed per the Carroll County Department of Public Works Requirements. Plates 8 and 9 are typical for most county roadways outside municipalities. A $700.00 bond is required to be posted before the building permit can be issued and will be refunded upon completion of the entrance.

For existing entrances being newly paved or repaved be sure to follow the following installation requirements. Plates 8 and 9 are typical for most county roadways outside municipalities. For general questions or site specific requirements contact the Bureau of Roads at 410-386-6717.

"Do I need a permit to install new siding, windows, doors or new roof?"

No, unless construction or repairs involving structural elements is needed to enlarge openings or to repair structural damage. Bedroom windows are required to meet the emergency egress opening requirements to the maximum extent feasible within the current opening and tempered glass in the proper locations as outlined in the code.

"What type of plumbing work needs a plumbing permit?"

All plumbing work requires a permit. A permit is also required for the replacement of shower and tub diverters, tub or shower units, and for complete kitchen and bathroom remodeling. 

A permit is not required for the following: 
Replacement of existing sink faucets, garbage disposals, dishwashers, toilets, electric hot water heaters, and shower heads.

"What type of gas installation requires a gas permit?"

All gas installations require a permit with the exception of replacing a gas fireplace, range or generator, which will be replaced in the same location.

"What type of electric work needs an electrical permit?"

All electrical work requires a permit except for the replacement of existing fixtures (fans, switches, receptacles and lighting) and low voltage wiring of 50 volts or less.

"When is an automatic fire sprinkler system required to be installed?"

All new one and two family residential homes and rebuilt homes after 2006 and dwellings where the accumulated refurbishment, renovation, or alteration affects more than 50% of the structure’s total area, in which case the refurbished, renovated, or altered portion of the structure shall also have sprinklers.

"How do I obtain permit history information for a particular property?"

Please check Carroll’s Permitting, Plan Review, and Licensing (CPPL) Portal before filing a Public Information Act Request.

  1. Permit data in the PORTAL from 2019 to date will include ALL documents related to the permit file. No PIA’s for this data will be accepted or processed since the information is accessible through the PORTAL. When using the portal simply enter the house # and street name for information.
  2. Permit data in the PORTAL from 1988 to 2018 will include basic permit information such as permit number, address, and work description. Should the supporting documents related to these permits be needed a PIA request can be submitted here.
  3. Any Permits prior to 1988 will require a PIA request by clicking here.
  4. You may want to start by visiting the state assessment website, this will assist you in determining when the primary structure was constructed to help you better determine the timeframe for the information you are seeking.
"Can I apply for and perform my own electrical and plumbing work?"

Yes, a homeowner can apply for the permit provided the property is personally occupied by the owner as listed on the State Assessment website. See the Carroll County, MD Code of Ordinances reference below.

D. Homeowner's Registration. A homeowner registration shall authorize an individual homeowner to submit a permit application to perform minor electrical wiring (excluding service and solar connections) in his or her own home (excluding rental units), provided the individual homeowner applies for the required permit and signs an affidavit that acknowledges (1) the individual homeowner owns and resides in the property to be subject to minor electrical wiring by the individual homeowner, (2) that the property is not used for any commercial or public purpose, and (3) if the work is deemed to be substantially non-compliant, the County reserves the right to require a licensed electrical contractor to complete the installation. "Minor" is defined as not more than twenty (20) devices (lights, receptacle, switches, and appliances) and a maximum of 20 amps for circuits of 120 volts or a maximum of 30 amps for circuits of 240 volts.