Apply For A Massachusetts Building Permit

Who issues building permits in Massachusetts?

Building permits are normally issued by the town or city government in the municipality where the property in Massachusetts is located. Proposed construction must comply with Massachusetts state building codes and local building ordinances in order for a permit to be granted. The city building division will review your application and constructions plans, after which they will either grant the permit or return the application to you for amendment before issuing the permit.

What kinds of construction projects in Massachusetts require a building permit?

While requirements may vary from city to city, generally a permit is required for any new construction or demolition of an existing building. New construction in Massachusetts includes building additions or extensions onto an existing building and structural remodeling of the interior of a building. It can also include building small structures such as decks, sheds, and detached garages. Substantial electrical, mechanical, and plumbing work will also normally require a permit.

When is a permit not required?

Usually most ordinary repairs and cosmetic work such as painting do not need a permit, however special permission may be required for these projects if the building is an historic landmark or located within a declared historic district.

What kind of building permits are needed in Massachusetts?

In addition to the general building permit, your project may require you to obtain other permits from the city before construction can begin. These include electrical permits, plumbing permits, mechanical permits, and use permits. You will also need to get zoning approval before you file your building permit application with the city in Massachusetts where the construction will take place. Once the building is complete, you will most likely need to obtain an occupancy permit before people can move into the building, whether it is a commercial or residential structure.

In Massachusetts, will my project be subject to inspection?

Most construction projects will need to undergo city inspection at least once, and larger projects will be subject to inspection several times over the course of construction. The only projects in the State of Massachusetts that are likely to not need inspection are small ones such as sheds and fences. Otherwise city building inspectors will need to examine your project to determine that it is being built to code and that it is safe for habitation once completed. If you fail inspection at any time, a stop work order may be issued until the identified problems are fixed.  


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