Building Services

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Building permits - commercial or residential
See Fee Schedules (PDF) for permit fees. A permit is generally needed to:
  • Construct or alter a structure
  • Demolish or move a structure
  • Install or alter any equipment regulated by the Harford County Code
  • Change a use
  • Place a structure
Application can be made at the Harford County Administrative Office Building, Permit Center, 220 S. Main Street (1st floor), Bel Air, Maryland or download the application for a permit(PDF). Call 410-638-3122 for more information.

Construction must begin within twelve months of approval date. If work does not progress for six months after initial construction start-up, the permit is declared invalid.  A request for permit extension may be requested here.

More information about building permits and scheduling inspections can be found here.

New commercial construction (additions included):
An approved site plan or site plan application waiver is required.  The requirements of the site plan approval must be satisfied prior to permit application.

  • Submit two copies of an accurate, scaled property survey/site plan showing all existing and proposed building locations, driveway entrance and parking areas.
  • Submit two full sets of detailed construction plans and two additional copies of the floor plan, drawn to scale.  For projects requiring a demolition permit, the demolition plans must be separate from the detailed construction plans.
  • Construction value more than $5,000, or a change of use, requires the plans to be signed and sealed by an appropriate design professional registered in the State of Maryland.  Projects less than $5,000 require an executed copy of the Licensed Design Professional Exemption Form.
  • If the property has transferred ownership within the past two months, please bring a copy of the signed deed to prove the ownership change.
Permit fees will be required to be paid at the time of application.

*Note:  New tenant/interior renovations/change of use (with and without modifications) do not require a site plan at the time of permit application.  A Site Plan Application Waiver may be required.

Residential building plan review requirements

Residential building plan review requires the following (construction drawings are required to obtain a building permit for the following projects):
  • Decks - The information and deck fill in the blank form provided at this website are adequate
  • Additions, renovations, and remodeling (projects require a footprint of the affected area, including where and how they will be attached to the existing structure)
    • Floor plans should contain room sizes, identify the room use and locations 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 setbacks from property lines as well as all easements
  • New home plans 
    • Footing and foundation plan
    • Floor plan for all floor levels and wall locations, room sizes and window and door locations (information identifying all structural members and locations shall be shown on the floor plan)
  • Cross section identifying dwelling construction from footing design through roof design
  • Exterior elevations identifying finishes
  • Site plan shall be provided showing house location on lot

MHIC contractors

Licensed contractors applying for a building permit under 600 square feet will be required to answer questions during a counter review. It is suggested drawings be available at this time.

Manufactured housing or mobile home building permit - Please call 410-638-3385 for more information (also see Fee Schedules (PDF) for permit fees).

Abandoned buildings/unsafe structures - Please call 410-638-3385.

Landlord/tenant complaint - Within a mobile home park, please call 410-638-3385. If a rental property, contact the Housing Agency at 410-638-3045.

Refunds

Where no work has been done under a permit issued, the holder of the permit may deliver the permit to the Permit Center, 220 S. Main Street (1st floor), Bel Air, Maryland, and upon cancellation thereof, shall be refunded 50% of the fee paid provided that application for the refund is made within six months of the issuance of the permit.

Please call 410-638-3122 for more information relative to building permits. Application can be made at the Harford County Administrative Office Building, Permit Center, 220 S. Main Street (1st floor), Bel Air, Maryland. Call 410-638-3122 for more information.