Permit Requirements

105.1 Required. It shall be unlawful to construct, reconstruct, alter, repair, remove or demolish a building or 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 an application with the building official and obtaining the required permit.

 105.2 Work Exempt from Permit. Except for activities which may require a permit pursuant to other laws, by-laws, rules and the specialized codes of M.G.L. c. 143, § 96, a building permit is not required for the following activities:

  1. One story detached accessory buildings used as tool or storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet. (10 foot by 20 foot)
  2. Fences not over 6 feet (1829 mm) high.
  3. Retaining walls which retain less than four feet of unbalanced fill.
  4. Greenhouses covered exclusively with plastic film. This exemption does not apply if the greenhouse is to be used for large assemblies of people or uses other than normally expected for this purpose
  5. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
  6. Swings and other playground equipment.
  7. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support of Groups R-3 and U occupancies.
  8. Sidewalks and driveways.

105.2.1 Emergency Repairs. Where replacements and repairs governed by this code must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day to the building official.

Note: Pursuant to the terms of the specialized codes of M.G.L. c. 143, § 96, this exemption might not apply to emergency repairs conducted under those specialized codes.

105.2.2 Repairs. Application or notice to the building official is not required for ordinary repairs to structures, A permit is required for work including but not limited to: the substantial cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load-bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements or mechanical systems or other work affecting public health or general safety under the jurisdiction of 780 CMR.