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Building Permits

Building permits are generally needed to erect, construct, renovate, alter or move a structure. This includes installation or construction of chimneys, billboards, carports, chair-lifts, elevators, swimming pools, certain fences and retaining walls, antennae and wind turbines.  Permits may also be required for installation or renovation of certain electrical and plumbing fixtures. Permits may also be needed to open a new business or expand an existing business.
Building permits are initiated within the Permits and Inspection Services office during regular office hours from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Applicants must submit two sets of structural and site plans at time of making application. The development and construction process may require review and approval by other County and State agencies such as the State Fire Marshal, Garrett County Health Department, Garrett County Public Utilities, Garrett County Department of Planning & Land Management, Garrett County Roads Department, State Highway Administration, MD Department of the Environment, and local municipalities.  A building permit or grading permit may not be issued for any parcel or lot unless final erosion and sediment control and stormwater management plans have been approved or waived by the Stormwater Management Office.
Current Building Codes
The 2015 Garrett County Building Code adopts the 2015 International Building Code, 2015 International Residential Code and 2015 Energy Conservation Code with certain modifications and amendments. Additionally, all codes adopted by the Maryland Codes Administration through the Maryland Building Performance Standards are in force in Garrett County.
Fees are set in accordance with the County code and determined by the nature of the project.  Building permit fees for single family homes and additions are typically based upon a cost per square foot of all usable, enclosed portions of the building or structure, including basements and cellars. The exterior rough dimensions are used to calculate the square footage.  There are set fees for modular homes, and double & singlewide homes.   Please click the following for a complete list of all application fees
General Applicant Information
The following information will need to be submitted before a building permit can be processed.  This information is typical to residential construction but will also suffice to initiate a commercial permit.
  1. Applicant’s full name, mailing address, and home phone number,
  2. Premise address at project location or enough information to develop a new address if one does not exist (i.e. distance to next driveway and setback distance from road).  A site plan of the property with proposed driveway and structure location will be acceptable.  If project is located in the Deep Creek Watershed or the towns of Oakland or Mt. Lake Park a surveyed site plan may be required,
  3. Tax map, parcel, grid information, and lot number - if one is assigned.
  4. If project is a new structure its intended use,
  5. Dimensions and square footage of building (building and floor plans or drawings),
  6. Type of exterior of structure  (i.e. siding, brick, stone, etc.),
  7. Contractors, Electricians and Plumbers names and license numbers, if applicable,
  8. Will structure have a basement or garage,
  9. Type of heat, air conditioning, and number of fireplaces,
  10. Number of baths, bedrooms, and water heaters,
  11. Contract price,
  12. If property has transferred ownership in the last year provide from whom and date, and
  13. Two sets of plans or drawings for the project are required to be submitted for review.
Residential Building Plan Requirements
Construction drawings are required to obtain a building permit for the following projects:
  1. Decks
  2. Additions, renovations, and remodeling require a foot print of the affected areas; to include where and how attached to the existing structure.
  • Floor plans should contain room sizes; identify the room use and locations and sizes of windows and doors.
  • Structural details shall identify all framing members along with beam, header sizes and their locations within the affected areas. This can be accomplished on the floor plan and in a cross section.
  • Drawings should be to scale whenever possible. They must contain accurate dimensions.
  • Site plan shall be provided showing where attached to dwelling and all set backs from property lines as well as all easements.
  1. New Home Plans shall include the following information:
  • Footing and foundation plan, and
  • Floor plan for all floor levels and wall locations, room sizes and window and door sizes and locations. Information identifying all structural members and locations shall be shown on the floor plan.
  1. Cross section identifying dwelling construction from footing design thru roof design.
  2. Exterior elevations identifying finishes.
  3. Site plan shall be provided showing house location on lot.
  4. Maryland Home Builder Registration Act prohibits the issuance of building permits unless the home builder is registered with the State and the builder's registration number is included on the building permit.
  5. A landowner may obtain a building permit for construction to be performed directly by the landowner, solely for the landowner's own use, that does not contain a registration number of a builder by submitting an Affirmation of Landowner stating the name(s) of primary subcontractors and the areas in which they will be providing improvements (i.e. plumbing, electrical, roofing, etc.).
Commercial Building Plan Requirements
All commercial projects are subject to a concept plan review. A concept plan review checklist is required to accompany the concept plan at initial submittal for the following projects.
  1. Commercial projects and where developments are involved (commercial, industrial, or two or more residential units) require a grading and an erosion and sediment control plan designed by an engineer or a landscape architect licensed within the State of Maryland and a certificate that all land clearing, construction, and development will be done pursuant to the said plan.
  • Engineered plans must provide erosion and sediment control during construction and address stormwater management for post construction impervious control.
  • Commercial projects with access from county roads and all other projects along state highways require an engineered access plan.
Construction must begin within twelve (12) months of approval date or the permit will be declared void. If work does not progress for six (6) months after initial construction start-up, the permit will also be declared void.  Where no work has been done under a permit issued, the holder of the permit may deliver the permit to the Department of Permits & Inspection Services and upon cancelation thereof shall be refunded 50% of the fee paid, provided that the application for the refund is made in writing and within 12 months of the issuance of the permit.