Building Permit Instruction Sheet


Permit.  An official document or certificate issued by the authority having jurisdiction which authorizes performance of a specified activity.

When Required

780 CMR Section 105, "Permits"

When Permit Is Required:
  It shall be unlawful 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 this code without first filing a written application with the building official and obtaining the required permit therefore.


  1. Must be signed by the owner of the building at which work is to be performed.
  2. Must include contractor's signature and Massachusetts Construction Supervisors License number, or a Home Owner's Exemption Form or Registration number of the architect or engineer in charge of the job under "Controlled Construction".
  3. Must Contain the Registration Number For The Home Improvement Contractor (for residential projects from 1 - 4 units) Or Exemption Affidavit.
  4. Download the Building Permit Application form here

Required Plans

Application shall be accompanied by one (1) set of working drawings and one (1) CD (in combined and scrollable PDF format) of said plan after the Fire Department has reviewed and stamped the plans. All plans are required to be drawn to scale with sufficient clarity and detail to show the nature of work and compliance with Massachusetts State Building Code. Plans for buildings more than 35,000 cubic feet of area must be stamped by a registered architect or engineer. All plans shall include but not be limited to;

  1. Floor Plans showing location and dimensions of the area, means of egress, uses of area, method and amount of ventilation, fire stopping and finish schedule.
  2. Framing Plans showing spans, bearing walls, type and size of materials, foundations and footings.
  3. Elevations showing facade, window sizes, building height and dimensions, railing heights, crawl space, roof venting and fire separation walls and floors.
  4. If Applicable, approved drainage plan stamped, signed and approved by the Engineering Department.
  5. Plot Plan must be provided for any and all protrusions beyond legal, existing rooflines, additions or accessory buildings, showing all dimensions and setback distances from overhangs.  Plot Plan shall also include Floor Area Ratio, lot coverage, average grade, building height, 1/2 story calculations for attic renovations, and open space percentages and must be stamped, signed and dated by a registered Land Surveyor.  Upon completion of work, a Surveyor's Affidavit or a certified "As Built" plan by the surveyor must be filed prior to final inspection and occupancy.
  6. Independent Structural Engineer Review required for buildings over 400,000 sq. ft. or five (5) stories in height.
  7. Stamped Structural Drawings as required by Massachusetts State Building Code.

Attachments - If Applicable

  1. Historical Approval for any exterior alterations in Historical Districts, or demolition of any building or part thereof, fifty (50) years or older.
  2. Fire Department review and approval, required for all plans. Three (3) set of plans are to be submitted to the Fire Department, Fire Prevention Bureau for their review. Plans must be approved by the Fire Department before being submitted to Inspectional Services for review and approval.
  3. Variances and Special Permits: Work being done pursuant to Zoning Board of Appeals Decisions and Special Permit Board Orders must have all necessary signatures, show proof of recording with the registry of Deeds and show all conditions have been met which were required prior to the issuance of a building permit.
  4. Conservation Commission approval required if the building is within or near Floodplain Districts as determined by said commission.
  5. Health Department approval required for a house on a septic system if adding bedrooms, remodel of kitchen and/or bath, expansion of footprint or installing swimming pool, or as otherwise applicable.
  6. Demolition Permits will not be issued for buildings and structures fifty (50) years old or older unless the Historic Commission has reviewed and approved said demolition.  No building permit of any type shall be issued for any work on a property where demolition was carried out without the required review and approval of the Historic Commission for a period of two (2) years from the date of such demolition.
  7. Condominium Permission Form shall apply whenever any buildings or units are owned separately under the requirements of MGL Chapter 183A.
  8. Certificate of Insurance.

Minimum Required Inspections

(prior to issuance of Certificate of Occupancy)

  1. Excavation/Soils Inspection BEFORE concrete, structural fill or stone are placed.
  2. Foundation prior to backfill.
  3. Surveyors Affidavit when forms are in place or otherwise ordered by the building official (As Built Foundation Plan).
  4. Rough Electrical Inspection.
  5. Rough Plumbing and Gas fitting Inspections.
  6. Rough Framing Inspections - AFTER firestopping is complete and BEFORE insulation is installed.
  7. Insulation Inspection, unless otherwise ordered by the building official.
  8. Final Electrical Inspection.
  9. Final Plumbing and Gas fitting Inspections.
  10. Final Fire Department Inspection/Smoke Detectors Certificate submitted to the Inspectional Services Department.
  11. Final Building Inspection.

Certificate Of Occupancy

Written application must be made for a Certificate of Occupancy.  Work being done pursuant to Zoning Board of Appeals Decisions and Special Permit Board Orders must show that all conditions have been complied with prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.

Additional information and inspections may be required as the Building Official deems necessary.

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