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Why Permits are Required

When a permit is issued, the holder of the permit is then given legal permission to start construction or do modification of a building in accordance with the Massachusetts State Building Code as well as all applicable local ordinances. Decisions of the D.E.P., Conservation Commission, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals shall be complied with.

We can trace permit requirements back to ancient times. Today, the construction industry standards have evolved into standards, which are minimum standards designed to protect the general public’s health, safety and welfare. The Code Official’s job is to enforce the legislatively adopted laws of the Commonwealth for the benefit of the public consumer.

No code can eliminate all risks; reducing risks to acceptable levels helps prevent most potential hazards to the building’s occupants and users. "Safe buildings for a safe tomorrow" is the ultimate goal of all codes of the built environment. The development and use of regulatory documents and the acceptance of innovative products and systems are by products of technological advances in our times.

Most individuals overlook the need of a permit until some catastrophic event occurs. We try to assure compliance with local zoning codes, with the State Building Code, with the State Wiring Code, with the State Plumbing and Gas Code and with Board of Health requirements. From zoning issues to code review, from field inspections to structural conformity, from a hole in the ground to completion, the inspector is looking out for your best interest!

No matter which area is of concern to you, all construction codes serve the same purpose: to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by requiring safe construction.

Permits are required for the following

  • Additions/Renovations/Alterations/Change of Use/Change of Occupancy
  • Fire warning and suppression systems-(AFD permit also required)
  • Re-Siding/Re-Roofing/Replacement Windows
  • Demolition/Or moving of a structure (Health Department notification for hazardous material disposal is required. Be aware of thermostat mercury, oils, lead, asbestos...etc.
  • Asbestos Removal Information and Forms
  • Electrical Systems/Telephones/Low Voltage/Burglar alarm
  • Mechanical Systems/Refrigeration/CNG
  • Fireplaces /Wood Stoves/Power Vents
  • HVAC System (heating, venting and air conditioning)
  • New Construction (residential/commercial)
  • Accessory structures
  • Plumbing systems (any installation or repair)
  • Prefabricated structures/Manufactured homes
  • Swimming pools/Fences/Decks
    • Fences are only required around in-ground pools as stated under the Massachusetts State Building Code. Fences must be four feet high and non-climbable. Fence permits are not required to be obtained for private property.  Owners must follow Massachusetts General laws.  Fences can be put up to the property line, you can not block the view of anyone pulling out of a street or driveway. If you are placing the fence along the side of your house or along the front of your house you must check with the Highway Department.
    • Sheds:  Any shed 200 square feet or less does not require a building permit as per the Massachusetts State Building Code.  Owners placing a shed on their property more than 200 square feet must contact the Building Department to make sure they are in compliance with the Zoning Bylaws. 
  • Temporary structures/Signs/Banners

Always check with us for required inspections & scheduling.