Old 09-16-05, 02:34 PM
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OK, I'm a newbie here so be easy on me!
I am going to be undertaking the project of finishing my basement over the next year or so. I have a good deal of experience working with electrical installations but I am not an electrician. My wife and I bought a new house a couple of years ago and I want to do most of the basement construction myself and with some friends (lets hope they stay friends!) Do I need special permits or licenses to do this kind of work inside the house? I live in Anne Arundel County in Maryland. On their website, they say that they need compliance with the 2002 NEC (there is a 2005 NEC out as well). I know someone that can do the plumbing, but I would like to do most of the electrical work myself. I don't even know where to start in terms of finding out if I need permits or not. The web-site says that it has to be done according to code. I know a lot of people in my neighborhood that pretty much hired a crew to do it and I've heard nothing from them about getting permits or licenses or anything of that kind. How do I find out for myself? Any suggestions?
Old 09-16-05, 02:57 PM
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Your city, township or county will have a building inspection office. Call them and ask. Most all of them have a basement finishing packet prepared already as it is a very common home improvement. Almost all cities and many counties require some level of permits for the type of work you're planning. If you live in rural or agricultural area, building up to code could be on the honor system.

Nationally speaking, almost everywhere allows a homeowner to do electrical, plumbing and construction work only on his or her own property assuming he gets a permit and the work passes inspection. Of course, there are always local exceptions where licenced contractors are required; the most notable are work on gas lines and sometimes electrical.
Old 09-16-05, 03:05 PM
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Well, I hope they do have a basement package available! That would make things much easier for getting things finished. I hope that it has the details necessary to complete the job. I find it odd that none of my friends or neighbors even MENTIONED this! I think a lot of people just do the jobs themselves but I heard that thic can come back to bite you when you want to sell. Thanks for the advice!
Old 09-16-05, 03:06 PM
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After deck permits, basement finish permits are probably the most commonly issued homeowner permits. They probably have some kind of process where you get an umbrella permit with subpermits for the framing, electrical, plumbing and mechanical. And as ibpooks said, many cities have some kind of handout covering the most common codes for basements (bedroom egress, combustion air for your furnace, etc.). Home Depot and similar stores usually offer classes in basement finishing. Get a lot of books--one book to cover the overall process and then specific books for each of the individual processes (framing, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, drywall, painting, flooring, tiling, lighting, etc.).
Old 09-16-05, 03:32 PM
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Some jurisdictions will not issue an electrical permit to a homeowner (non-electrician), unless you take the homeowners exam.

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