Types of Permits for Commercial Remodeling


An important step of any Maryland commercial remodeling project is obtaining proper permits. That’s when it helps to have an experienced commercial remodeling contractor by your side to guide you through the process and make sure everything gets done on time. Obtaining permits can be time-consuming and can potentially cause delays if applications are not submitted promptly or properly. Commercial permits differ from residential ones: turning an old warehouse into an office building, for example, will require different permits than building a deck. Here are some of the common commercial remodeling permits you may need to apply for.

Building Permits

Building permits exist to ensure that your new commercial space is solid, sound and safe to use. It matters if you are just building out an office space, adding square footage or remodeling. Your new commercial space may need to comply with a variety of local and national codes depending on which aspects of the structure you are changing. These codes may include:

  • International Building Codes
  • Maryland Accessibility Code
  • Uniform Mechanical Code
  • National Electrical Code
  • National Standard Plumbing Code
  • Energy Conservation Code
  • International Fire Code
  • Local Building Ordinance

How to Apply for a Building Permit

Building permits are typically obtained from your local municipality’s building codes division. The application with all accompanying documents can be filed online, mailed or dropped off in person. Certain code requirements, such as fire safety may need to be coordinated directly with the Fire Department or another related agency. But if you are working with Northstar Commercial Construction, you don’t need to worry about any of it—we’ll take care of all the permits and will get a green light for your project.

Depending on the scope of your project, you may be required to submit such documents as:

  • Copies of construction/remodeling plans, including floor plans, proposed materials, plumbing, electrical, etc.
  • Statement of intended use
  • Completed permit application forms
  • Requested permit fees
  • Energy code compliance
  • Asbestos survey

Zoning Review

Besides the soundness of construction and compliance with codes, your commercial space also needs to pass a zoning review. During this review, it will be determined whether your facility can be used for your intended purpose. Zoning may become a problem if you are changing the use of your commercial space as you remodel it. An example would be to convert an abandoned movie theater into a restaurant or an old retail store into an office. It’s best to research the zoning requirements before you even purchase or lease your property to make sure you are allowed to do what you plan.

Food Service Facility Permit

If you plan on preparing, serving or selling food in your facility, you may need to obtain a prior approval from your local Health Department. This requirement applies to restaurants, buffets, as well as hospitals, hotels, nursing homes and similar institutions. Whether you are going to serve perishable foods, such as meats, eggs and dairy, or sell foods in sealed packages, be sure to take care of the permit before your remodeling is finished.

How Soon Can I Get These Permits?

Most commercial remodeling permits can typically be obtained within a week. When you submit your paperwork to the city, a review team consisting of subject matter experts will be appointed to your case. If they can’t sign off on your project based on your plans, they may request other documents and information that would help them make a decision. At Northstar, we aim to provide all the necessary information about the proposed structure modifications when we first apply for the permits to avoid any time wasted on back-and-forth with the municipality.

Need help coordinating your own commercial remodeling project in Maryland? Contact us today for a consultation!

Regions Served

Maryland Commercial Construction Services: Baltimore (21201), Columbia (21044), Germantown (20874), Silver Spring (20901), Waldorf (20601), Annapolis (21401), Bethesda (20810), Laurel (20723), Odenton (21113), Glen Burnie (21060), Ellicott City (21042), Towson (21022), Hunt Valley (21031), and More.