Home Improvements

Whether you plan to do your own work or hire a contractor, you should be familiar with the process for managing a home improvement project. Properly constructed improvements will add to the value of the property and increase your enjoyment of your home or office well into the future.

Hire a Licensed Contractor
If you plan to hire a contractor, check first to make sure he or she is licensed to do the work. Home improvements contractors are required to have a license, even if their work doesn’t require a building permit.
Click on "Licensed Contractors" to see whether your contractor has a valid New Castle County license.

Building Permit Requirements
You can download a document with more complete information on permit requirements and on many standard home improvement projects.Generally, permits are required for:
  • A new roof requires a permit if 25% or more of the sheathing needs to be replaced
  • Finishing the basement and adding dormers
  • Fireplaces
  • Garages
  • Home additions
  • New decks and porches
  • Sheds over 200 square feet
  • Structural changes including altering existing spaces
  • Swimming pools - both in-ground and above ground
A building permit is not required to:
  • Add a fence, sidewalks, and driveways (although a new entrance onto the roadway may require a permit from DelDOT)
  • Concrete slabs / patios (unless you plan to eventually construct a porch)
  • Replace kitchen cabinets
  • Replace roof shingles
  • Replace windows and doors (using the existing opening without adding structural framing)
If you are unsure whether a permit is required, a quick email or call to the Department of Land Use will provide you with the information.