Are you a do-it-yourselfer? Enjoy the satisfaction of completing a project on your own?

While First State highly recommends any electrical work be completed by a licensed electrician, some jurisdictions allow homeowners to complete certain electrical projects themselves with a valid Homeowner Permit.

However, please remember that all new electrical work requires an inspection for compliance with current electrical codes. With that permit in hand, First State can accept an application for inspection. Follow the below steps:

Step 1 - PLAN REVIEW AND Permitting

Please contact your respective jurisdiction regarding permit requirements for homeowner’s self-work. In Maryland, that could be your County or local Town or City. In Delaware, that is the Board of Electrical Examiners through the Division of Professional Regulations (DPR). The Homeowner Permit page can be accessed directly here: https://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/electrician/homeowner-permit/

First State must ensure homeowners adhere to the following State requirements:

  • Work may only be performed by owner-occupants. Only the owner can complete the work firsthand and only at their primary residence.
  • Homeowner permits do not apply for homes for sale, rental units, any kind of multi-unit residential building, or buildings that will be used for some kind of commercial purpose.
  • A homeowner is not permitted to install his or her own internal wiring, electrical work, or equipment associated with a hot tub or a swimming pool.

Additionally, beginning in 2023, Delaware homeowners wishing to apply for a permit are required to submit an electrical plan/ blueprint for their project to a licensed Delaware Inspection Agency for approval prior to applying for a permit from DPR. Details on how to follow this process with First State are below:

  1. Download the DE Homeowners Plan Review Application packet
  2. Complete the first three pages - Plan Review Application and Payment Authorization Form. Please note that payment is required in advance, and will cover the initial review and one resubmission (if necessary).  Additional resubmissions will incur an additional fee per submission.
  3. Complete a plan diagram that outlines the detailed technical specifications of the project, ensuring that compliance with the current NEC is demonstrated and a plan legend is included. An example template is provided. 
  4. Submit the application, payment details, and plan documents to inspections@firststateinspection.com. 

Please allow up to 5 business days for the review to be completed. Upon plan approval, a stamped set along with an approval letter will be returned to you. DPR will require you to submit both documents with their permit application.

Once you have received your permit, you may begin work on the project and proceed to Step 2 - Inspections.

STEP 2 – Inspection Requirements & Application

Within five days of starting the work, please contact First State to have the electrical work inspected. In most cases, two inspections will be required – a rough-in inspection before drywall is installed and a final inspection before the project is considered complete.

To complete the First State application process, three documents are required:

  1. Copy of the Homeowner Permit from DPR
  2. Completed Electrical Application
  3. Payment Authorization Form

Please note that payment for services is required in advance, before an inspection is scheduled. First State accepts all major credit cards to facilitate your payment. Once an application is completed and payment made, inspections may be scheduled by phone or email. When scheduling, please verify that there will be no challenges for our inspector in gaining access to the project that day.

Should additional inspection trips be required due to failed inspections, re-inspections, consultations, or unsuccessful visit attempts, a minimum fee of $75.00 will be incurred for each additional trip.

Please understand that wiring is not a hobby. If there is any doubt in ability, understanding, or knowledge of code compliance, please hire a licensed electrician and protect everything you love and cherish.