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Building Inspections

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Can my neighbor divert rain water from their downspout onto my property?

A. Downspouts are to be discharged at a distance of not less than eight feet from any property line measured along the path of flow.

Q. What is the footing depth in Baltimore County?

A. The footing depth in Baltimore County is 30 inches below final grade.

Q. Can you tell me if a contractor has a Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) license?

A. Information can be obtained from the MHIC at 410-230-6309, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m or you can visit the state's website.

Q. What has to be completed to receive a final inspection for a new residence (single-family dwelling)?


  • A positive grade away from the house foundation downspouts
  • Gutters and splash blocks in place
  • All necessary guard details and railings
  • Electrical and plumbing work completed 
  • A finished kitchen and bath.

Q. What size accessory structure requires a footing?  

A. Those exceeding 400 square feet require frost-line footings.

Q. How many layers of shingles can be put on a roof?

A. Two layers of shingles.

Q. What are the local building design requirements in Baltimore County?

A. The following are the local building design requirements:

  • footing depth 30 inches, pole buildings 48 inches
  • minimum ground snow load 30 PSF
  • minimum  roof live loads 30 PSF
  • design wind speed (Risk Categories I & II) 90 MPH Nominal 3 second gust (minimum design)
  • Seismic, site class B
  • tidal flood protection elevation 10.4 (NAVD 88) Back River and South; 11.2 (NAVD 88) north of Back River; in addition see FEMA maps dated May 5, 2014 for additional requirements for areas subject to wave action Zone VE and Coastal AE

For additional information, contact Permit Processing at 410-887-3900, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Your area inspector can be reached by calling 410-887-3953, Monday through Friday, between 7:30 and 8 a.m. or between 3 and 3:30 p.m.

Revised August 3, 2016         


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