When Do You Need a License for Home Improvement Projects?

March 18, 2022

If you’re about to embark on a home improvement project, you may be wondering if you need licenses or permits from municipal or state governments to do the project. It’s not always completely clear when you do and when you don’t. You will need a license to perform any work the state considers to be home improvement.

Here are some guidelines on when you need a license to do home improvement projects in Maryland.


Surprisingly, demolition and cleanup work aren’t considered within the definition of home improvement work by the state; therefore, you’re not required to hold a license to do demolition work on your home.

Home theaters

Many people like to mount their televisions for a better viewing angle or to keep the device away from children and pets. This is not considered a home improvement project under state law, and you’re not required to hold any kind of license to mount a TV.

Chimney sweeping

The state Department of Labor doesn’t regulate cleaning chimneys or chimney sweeps. A license isn’t required for this work; however, if this contractor does additional work like building or reinforcing the chimney or cleaning the chimney cap, then they would require a home improvement license.

Central vacuum systems

Installing a central vacuum system to an existing property requires a Maryland Home Improvement Commission license if the installation is permanently affixed to the home or property. For this work, you want to hire a licensed professional.

Patios and retaining walls

You are required to have a license to install patios or retaining walls. The state’s definition of home improvement includes any improvement to land adjacent to the home as well as to the home itself.


If the shed is going to be a permanent feature on land adjacent to the home, then a license is required. If the contractor sells and delivers the shed, which is just placed on the ground, or if the shed is on a temporary foundation like cinder blocks, then the contractor isn’t required to have a license.

Solar panels

Regardless of where the solar panels are installed on a property, it’s required for the contractor to possess a home improvement license. A licensed electrician is also required to connect the panels to the electric system.

Driveway seal coating

Here’s where you definitely want to hire a licensed professional. The state reports that driveway seal coating is a prevalent scam in Maryland, with unlicensed contractors duping unsuspecting homeowners into forking over thousands of dollars for subpar work. Find a trusted professional to repair or reseal your driveway.

Gravel driveways

For all driveway work, it’s required that the contractor have a home improvement license from the state. This includes gravel driveways.

Whether you need asphalt seal coating or new driveway installation, Maryland Asphalt LLC is here to help. We have the experience and expertise to handle every residential and commercial asphalt paving job from ground preparation through striping and marking. Contact us today to find out more and get a free quote.

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