Do I Need a License To Remodel My House?

If you’re a DIY-er and have some remodeling skills, you’re at a big advantage over others who may have to pay full price to make any kind of improvement to their home. But before you start your next remodeling process, make sure you have the proper credentials.

We asked a panel of experts to weigh in about which projects do and don’t require a license. Some of these are state specific, so make sure to contact your local governing organization if you have any further questions about complying with licensing standards in your area.

Teris Pantazes

Teris Pantazes

Teris Pantazes owns Settle Rite. He has 20+ years of experience in construction and helps home sellers make upgrades for market prep and repair inspection items during the sales process. Settle Rite provides upfront work with payments deferred until settlement.

Here in Maryland and Washington D.C., a license is not required if a homeowner is working on their own home or the home of any relative/friend of the homeowner as long as no compensation is being provided. However, this does not include various tasks when working in around public utilities such as the water main, electric meter, sewer hookup.

Any job related to those items requires a licensed professional, typically someone who is specifically licensed with the utility itself, not just the local municipality. The other exception is gas. Many municipalities require a license to work on gas no matter what the task is.

It depends on the extent of remodeling. If you are replacing fixtures in kind yourself, like a toilet or faucet, licensing is not required. For more extensive remodeling where skilled trades are needed, licensing is required on any project over $500. In California, workers’ compensation and bonding are required as part of a contractor’s license.

Gregg Cantor

Gregg Cantor

CEO and President

Gregg began working for Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel in 1977, completing job site clean up. After spending a year as a carpenter’s helper in 1978, Gregg concentrated on his education, majoring in business.

David Reischer

David Reischer

Attorney & CEO

David Reischer is a practicing attorney in New York City in the areas of civil litigation, commercial litigation, real estate law, and business law. David is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of online legal services website LegalAdvice.com.

A homeowner usually needs a permit or a license for remodeling projects that affect public and personal safety. Typically, plumbing, electrical, and alteration of load bearing walls will require a permit or license from the municipality. With changing safety codes and a need for greater revenue, most cities and counties will nowadays require a permit or license for even moderate remodeling changes to a house.

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