Apply For A Rhode Island Building Permit

How do I get a building permit for my construction project in Rhode Island?

To get a building permit, you will need to file a completed building permit application along with any required documentation with your local town’s Building Department in Rhode Island. You will also need to pay the permit fee at the time you file your application. Documentation that may be required includes drawn schematics of the proposed construction, surveys completed by a registered surveyor, and any necessary written approvals from other city or state agencies such as the Narragansett Bay Commission, local utility departments, the fire department, and the zoning board. What documentation you need to file depends on the nature of your proposed project in Rhode Island and your city’s local building regulations.

When is a building permit required in Rhode Island?

While regulations and requirements vary, generally you will need a building permit for all projects that create a new structure or structurally modify any existing structure in Rhode Island. This includes remodeling work and exterior additions such as roofing, siding, decks, swimming pools, sheds, detached garages, and temporary structures. While ordinary repairs can normally be done without a permit, most electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work will require a special permit before it can be undertaken. It is best to check with the Rhode Island city department that processes permits to see if a building permit is required before starting any project that involves construction.

Do contractors in Rhode Island need to be licensed?

The state of Rhode Island does require some contractors to be licensed by the state such as electricians and plumbers, while general contractors or their companies do not need to be licensed but must be registered. Your local Building Department should have more information on what licenses your contractor should have and how to find licensed contractors in your area.

What building permit fees are required in Rhode Island?

Except for small projects in Rhode Island such as sign and fence permits, there is no set fee for a building permit. Instead, the total cost of your permit is normally calculated based on the cost of the construction, the finished size of the structure, or a combination of these factors. In addition to your permit fee you will also need to pay inspection fees every time your project is reviewed by the city building inspector in the Rhode Island city where you are performing construction.  


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