Why do I even need a permit?

The permit process allows the Building Official to review the plans being submitted to ensure that the work meets the minimum standards set forth in the Massachusetts State Building Code and other applicable codes. These codes determine minimum safety standards for all aspects of building construction - fire-rating, structural, living environment, safe egress, plumbing, electrical and mechanical. After reviewing the plans, it is then the job of the inspector to inspect the work being performed to make sure that it was installed in accordance with applicable codes.

People who perform work without the proper permits may install something that does not meet the minimum standards such as a beam to support a floor or install something incorrectly which may cause a fire. Over time, doing work without permits could lead to an unsafe living environment for you, as well as guests that visit your home or perhaps your place of business.

These minimum safety codes ensure: the conservation of energy, the economic well-being of the community by reducing the potential spread of fire, your personal safety in your own home and reasonable assurances for future home buyers that the home that they'll be living in will be safe.

Show All Answers

1. I would like to have some work done on my home. Do I need a building permit?
2. What if I’m just re-shingling my roof, installing new replacement windows and/or re-siding my home; do I still need a building permit?
3. Why do I even need a permit?
4. What information do I need to submit to the building inspector to allow me to do work on my home?
5. You said I needed to submit a certified plot plan with my permit application. What is that, why do I need this and where do I get one?
6. At the closing, the bank gave me a mortgage inspection plot plan. Can I use that?
7. How much does a permit cost?
8. How long does it take to issue a permit?
9. What happens if I don’t pull a building permit?
10. I’d like to install a swimming pool on my property. What do I need to do?
11. I’d like to install a shed/detached garage on my property. What do I need to do?
12. I need to get an inspection for the work that was performed on my property. How do I schedule an inspection?
13. I own my own home. Can I pull my own permits or do I need a licensed contractor?
14. Do I need a permit to have a yard sale on my property?
15. Can I put up signs advertising my yard sale?
16. My parents are starting to need constant care. Can I add an in-law or accessory apartment to my single-family home?
17. I’m thinking about building an addition onto my house or maybe a detached accessory garage. How close can I go to my property lines?
18. I have a boat that I need to store for the winter. Can I store it on my property?
19. I have a recreational trailer that I need to store for the winter. Can I store it on my property?
20. Can I store my unregistered vehicle on my property?
21. I’m thinking about starting my own business and working out of my home. Is this allowed?
22. The company I work for let’s me take the company vehicle home with me. Am I allowed to park this commercial vehicle in the driveway of my single-family home?