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Building Permit - FAQs

When is a Building Permit Required ?
Per the Massachusetts State Building Code, a building permit is required to construct, reconstruct, alter, repair, remove or demolish a structure; or to change the use or occupancy of a building or structure; or to install or alter any equipment for which provision is made or the installation of which is regulated by the code. This includes, but is not limited to, new structures, additions, dormers, chimneys, woodstoves, decks, roofing, siding, windows, swimming pools, and antennas.
 
What other types of permits are there ?
Other than general building permits, the department also has fence permits, demolition permits, duct work permits, solid fuel burning appliance permits, gas permits, electrical permits, plumbing permits, sign permits, and homeowner license exemption permits.
 
Who fills out the Building Permit ?
Either the contractor or the homeowner can complete the building permit.
 
Where do I apply for a Permit ?
A homeowner or contractor has three options for filling out any of the permits available. They can come directly to the Building Department; print out the forms located here and fill them out by hand, or can fill in the PDF file here and print out the completed form.
 
What is a Homeowner exemption Permit ?
A homeowners license exemption permit is required for work on a single or two family residence if:
 
1. The contractor does not have a State Construction Supervisors License, OR
2. The homeowner is seeking the building permit, not the contractor
3. When a contractor is unregistered, they do not have access to the guaranty fund (as set forth in MGL c.124A)
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