How to Apply for a Massachusetts Building Permit
Are you seeking to construct, renovate, remodel, or demolish your Massachusetts home or commercial structure? If so, you first need to obtain a , as stipulated by Section 110.0 of the Massachusetts State Building Code (780 CMR). This is the official state code that governs all construction projects within the Commonwealth and provides specific rules on applying for a building permit.
The process of obtaining a building permit can be confusing at times. It's essential to understand what documents are required when they must be submitted, and how long it will take to arrive at the local Building Department. The following guide will help you navigate the maze of permits and regulations to help you get your project underway quickly and trouble-free.
When Is a Building Permit Necessary in Massachusetts?
In general, you'll need a if:
- You plan to build or alter any new structure or make major additions to an existing one.
- Your project involves the demolition of a previously-constructed structure.
- You plan to install a sign with a height greater than 4 feet.
- You want to do work on a property that's not your own.
- You plan to use heavy equipment such as cranes, bulldozers, excavators, etc.
- You want to add parking spaces to an existing structure.
In addition, other activities also require a building permit, including:
- Removing trees or shrubs from public lands
- Building fences or walls along private property boundaries
- Constructing a fence around a swimming pool
- Altering a driveway or road
- Adding a deck or patio to a house
- Installing a mailbox
- Installing a septic tank
- Converting a garage into a living area
Why Should You Get a Building Permit in Massachusetts?
Getting a permit ensures that you comply with all relevant Mass building permit laws and codes. These include local zoning ordinances, building codes, fire safety requirements, and more. By getting a permit, you can avoid fines and penalties. You may even have to pay back taxes and fees.
A building permit is also necessary before you start working on your project. For example, you cannot begin digging up the ground until you've obtained a permit. Likewise, you cannot remove a tree without having a permit.
Getting a permit protects both you and your neighbors. How so? A properly constructed building will provide adequate protection against fires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. It also eliminates any chance of your neighbor suing you if they suffer injuries from a poorly built structure.
Finally, a building permit helps ensure that your project meets the standards set forth by the local authorities. They can inspect your plans and determine whether they meet these standards. If they don't, you could face fines or worse.
How to Get a Building Permit in Massachusetts
The following three-part section gives conclusive insights into how to get a building permit in Massachusetts:
What Are the Required Documents for Permit?
Here's a quick list of documents you'll need to present to your local building department:
- Your application form. ie., information about you, your business, and what you're planning to build.
- Any drawings or blueprints showing how the proposed work will be done.
- Copies of any permits you already hold.
- Proof of insurance.
- If you plan to hire someone else to help you complete the construction, then you'll need proof that they have liability insurance.
You'll also need to submit the following additional documents as part of the application:
- A copy of your local zoning ordinance.
- A map showing where your property is located.
- A description of the property.
- A list of all structures currently on your property.
- A statement describing why you want to change the existing structure.
Who Do I Contact to Get a Building Permit?
Contacting the local Building Department is usually the best way to obtain a Building Permit. In some cases, however, you may need to contact the state's Department of Environmental Protection. Contact MassDEP at 1-617-292-5500 or visit their contacts service center.
What Does the Process Look Like for Getting a Permit?
As a rule of thumb, the first step is to obtain an application form plus the supporting documentation, fill out the application, then submit it to your local Building Department or the state's Department of Environmental Protection.
Once you've submitted your application and supporting documentation, the building inspector will review it and make a recommendation. They will then give you an estimate of the time it would take to issue the permit.
After receiving approval from the building inspector, you'll receive a letter stating that the permit has been issued. You'll also receive a stamped copy of the permit.
How to Apply for a Building Permit Quickly and Easily With the Help of DoNotPay
Evidently, taking the DIY route is task-demanding, error-prone, and time-consuming, wouldn't you agree? So what if we told you that you can complete the entire process of applying for a building permit at the comfort of your home? That's right! With DoNotPay, you can bypass the hassles and frustration of manual application with these six simple steps:
- Go to the Planning Permissions product on DoNotPay.
- Choose one of the following options:
- Check whether your project needs a building permit or if it's exempt
- Generate a permission request letter to send to your HOA
- Generate a guide on how to complete the building permit application
- Choose the focus of your project (new ADU, pool, shed, fence, etc.) and answer a few questions about your plans, including the size of the structure and estimated cost.
- Indicate whether you're hiring a contractor and include the estimated start date and the timeline for the project.
- Indicate whether any public sidewalk/street space will be used during construction.
- And that's it! DoNotPay will help guide you through the building permit process by checking if your project needs a building permit, contacting any HOAs you're a part of to request building permission, or generating detailed instructions on how to start and complete your building permit application process.
Why Use DoNotPay to Apply for a Massachusetts Building Permit?
DoNotPay is a digital alternative to applying for a building permit manually, so it guarantees the following advantages:
|Fast||Don't spend hours trying to get a building permit when you can realize the same feat in minutes using DoNotPay.|
|Easy||DoNotPay's automated system eliminates the hassle of filling out tedious forms and following up on your submission.|
|Success||You can rest assured knowing we'll make the best submission for you.|
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
Massachusetts building permit application is just one of the many ways that DoNotPay can come to your rescue. DoNotPay can also help you get building permits in other places like:
Here are a few more:
- Filing insurance claims
- Reducing property taxes
- Standardized legal documents
- Notarizing any document
So there you go! Hopefully, this guide was insightful, and you grasped critical details about applying for a building permit in Massachusetts. If you wish to learn more about how DoNotPay can automate the process for you, !