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For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 6, 2023

Spring and summer are some of the busiest months of the year at the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (DPS) as many homeowners embark on projects, such as installing a deck, fence, pool or a shed, during these warmer months.

“Montgomery County residents take pride in their homes and DPS offers several resources to help homeowners navigate the permitting process, schedule inspections, and to help make these residential projects safe, sustainable, and accessible for all ages and stages of life,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “We are committed to providing excellent customer service every day.”

DPS Director Rabbiah Sabbakhan said the first place homeowners should go for specific information about the permitting process is the DPS website at There are several queues featuring customized information about the permitting process specifically for homeowners seeking information about residential permits.

“On average, DPS issues about 40,000 permits a year,” said Director Sabbakhan. “Of that number, about 2,200 are fence permits; 1,000 are deck permits; about 300 are pool permits; and approximately 300 are shed permits. As our new tagline ‘Your Project Partner’ emphasizes, we are dedicated to helping customers achieve their goals.”

The DPS website has  a section for homeowners, titled “Who to Hire,” with links to other websites with information about new home builders, licensed sprinkler contractors, and to the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection webpage, which features more resources, including a search queue for complaints.

“Safe construction begins with hiring a licensed and experienced professional,” said Customer Support and Outreach (CSO) Division Chief Gail Lucas. “The Maryland Home Improvement Commission maintains a list of licensed contractors. It’s important to do your research and get referrals.”

Customers also will find that the DPS website includes overview information and frequently asked questions and answers sections for building permits that are popular at this time of year, including decks, fences, pools and sheds.

“Many residents may not realize that you need a building permit to construct, install or move any shed in Montgomery County,” said Director Sabbakhan. “If you are replacing an existing residential fence with the exact same fence and it already has a permit, you do not need a new one. You will find this information and more by visiting the DPS website.”

A popular service that DPS offers is free residential (and commercial) design consultations. These one-hour virtual meetings provide an opportunity for customers and their design professionals (architects, engineers) to meet with DPS code officials to learn what is required to successfully complete their project. This is a voluntary meeting to help plan and prepare projects. Visit to schedule a design consultation online.

Another section of the website to check out is titled, Residential Alterations. For those embarking on home improvements, this webpage includes information about when you do not need a permit. For instance, a permit is not required for painting, wallpapering, replacing a faucet, installing countertops, and installing hardwood floors, tile and carpeting if no structural changes are required.

While considering renovations or remodeling, take note of the Design for Life Property Tax Credit Program.

Features of this program include a no-step front door entrance, 32-inch doorways, properly installed grab bars in the shower or tub, accessibility appliances and devices, and more to help you live longer in the home you love. To find out if you qualify for this property tax credit, visit the Design for Life website.

Most DPS services are available online. Customers can apply and pay for a permit, check the status of a permit, schedule an inspection and request records by simply visiting the DPS website. Assistance also is available in person.

“Customers are encouraged to stop by DPS offices, and they do not need an appointment,” said CSO Division Chief Lucas.

If you have questions about the permitting process, contact MC 311 (240-777-0311) or visit DPS offices in Wheaton. The customer service lobby is open from 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 2425 Reedie Drive, seventh floor.

“Remember, we are here to help,” said DPS Director Sabbakhan. “Your success is our success.”

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Release ID: 23-149
Media Contact: Sonya Burke 240-777-6272