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All work to construct, repair, renovate or demolish a structure requires a building permit. This includes major construction as well as smaller projects, including but not limited to:
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As a homeowner or contractor, there may be times when you are uncertain whether it is necessary to secure a building permit. The following guidelines should be used:
Work Requiring a Permit: (The following list is not meant to be exclusive, if you are in doubt as to whether the work you are considering needs a permit, please call the Building Inspector.)
A permit is not necessary for ordinary repairs: "Any maintenance which does not affect the structure, egress, fire protection systems, fire ratings, energy conservation provisions, plumbing, sanitary, gas, electrical or other utilities."
Because it is the law. Massachusetts Building Code (780CMR 5110.1.0) states: "It shall be unlawful to construct, reconstruct, alter, repair, remove or demolish a building or structure... without first filing a written application with the building official and obtaining the required permit therefor." In addition, a building permit is for your own protection. The building inspector will require the work performed to meet the standards of the Mass Building Code, which translates into your security. Insurance companies may require a Certificate of Occupancy or approval of the building official for certain work. If you are a licensed contractor, failure to secure a building permit could result in the loss of your license.
No. Work cannot proceed until the permit has been issued.
The Building Department has a maximum of 30 days in which to issue or deny a building permit. The actual time can vary from one day up to the maximum 30 day limit, depending on the number of applications ahead of yours, and the scope of the work.
Pricing of a building permit is contingent upon the type of work being done and/or square footage of new construction. It is important to note that if electrical and/or plumbing and/or gas work is being done in connection with building changes, these permits must be obtained separately. (Please refer also to subheading "Permit Fee Schedule.")
Section 114.3 of the State Building Code states that “any permit issued shall be deemed abandoned and invalid unless the work authorized by it shall have commenced within 6 months after its issuance.” Extensions may be granted if necessary, if such requests for extensions are submitted in writing. Once the work has commenced, and if inspections are being requested on a regular basis, there is no restriction on the amount of time given to complete a project.
All final inspections must be performed in order for a certificate of occupancy/completion to be issued. Final electrical, gas and plumbing inspections must be set up, performed and signed off. A final walk through and sign-off by the Fire Department must also be completed. Once these are complete, call the Building Department to set up the final building inspection. Your certificate of occupancy / completion will be issued, contingent upon passing all final inspections, within 30 days of the final building inspection.