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How to Obtain a Building Permit

This information is intended to help our customers obtain building permits. Sections describing the required steps in the building permit process and required reviews from other agencies are included to assist you in preparing your building plans and other required submittal documents. Our goal is to make your visits the Permit Center (PAC) of the Department of Inspections and Permits as efficient as possible.
Summary of the Building Permit Process
There are two basic phases to the building permit process, plan review and construction inspection. During plan review county staff reviews the permit application and building plans for compliance with the building codes. Plan review must be completed prior to the issuance of a building permit. Construction inspection takes place after a building permit has been issued. A Building Inspector approves each part of the project as it progresses, checking to see that the work is done safely and in accordance with the approved plans and codes.
Building permits can be processed either as a “regular permit” where the plans are submitted for review, or as a “walk through permit” where the plans are reviewed at the PAC counter.
Regular Permits - After building plans are submitted, the initial plan review takes approximately three weeks for residential projects. If we can’t approve your permit, you will receive a “comment letter” stating what is wrong or missing in the application documents. Subsequent reviews will also take approximately three weeks, so please make sure your initial submittal is complete and accurate.
Walk Through Permits - Walk Through Permits can be processed with an on-the-spot plan check while you wait. If the plans are approved a walk through permit can be issued in a single visit. If another agency is required to provide their approval, then a return trip will be required. If the property is in the critical area or has a septic system and/or well, it cannot be processed as a walk through permit.
Walk through permits that are likely to receive an on-the-spot plan review are:
  • Electrical, plumbing, mechanical permits
  • Patios, decks swimming pools
  • Single-story room additions less that 500 sq. ft.
  • Patio enclosures less than 500 sq ft
  • Residential garage conversions less than 500 sq. ft.
  • Carports, re-roofs
  • Residential attached or detached garages less than 1,000 sq. ft.
Codes and Ordinances
The purpose of the County Building Codes is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life, health, property and the public welfare by regulating the design, construction, quality of materials and use of all building and structures and to protect our environment. For questions about a particular code, please refer to the applicable code or ordinance for more detailed and accurate information.
Basic Steps in the Permit Process
The following steps must be completed before a permit can be issued. We have identified the party responsible for each step in CAPITAL LETTERS.
  1. Obtain evidence of a legally owned and platted lot. CUSTOMER
  2. Determine zoning and setback requirements. CUSTOMER
  3. Complete application and submit plans to County. CUSTOMER
  4. Submit grading plan if grading permit is required. CUSTOMER
  5. Pay appropriate fees. CUSTOMER
  6. Plans are reviewed. COUNTY
  7. Correct all noted deficiencies. CUSTOMER
  8. Return plans and other requested documents to County for review. CUSTOMER
  9. Review plans and other documents and mail comment letter. COUNTY
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until all corrections are approved. COUNTY
  11. Prepare any required agreements, if applicable. BOTH
  12. Record signed and notarized agreements at County Courthouse. CUSTOMER
  13. Pay fees, receive permit and approved plans. CUSTOMER
  14. Post permit where work is being performed. CUSTOMER

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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000