Do I Need A Building Permit

By Robert Robillard on Home Repairs And Remodeling


Building Permit Considerations

A frequent question often asked is “should I get a building permit?”
Building codes have been established by most cities and towns and can vary considerably from one jurisdiction to another.
A building permit is a document issued by a city or town building department to insure changes to structures are completed according to established building code and to regulate the safety and purpose of buildings.

When do You Need A Permit?

Generally a permit is required whenever structural work is involved or when the basic living area of the home is to be changed.
A construction permit is needed for all new construction. In many cases, a permit is needed for repair or replacement of existing fixtures, such as replacing windows.
Other, separate permits for plumbing, electrical or mechanical work maybe needed for any addition or changes to a building’s existing system; for example, moving or adding an electrical outlet requires a permit.
Do I Need A Building Permit?  Not sure, then ask a contractor who works in your city or town if you need a permit – they will know to local requirements or check here.
If your hiring a licensed contractor it is their responsibility to obtain a permit.
  • Residential and commercial construction fees:  $10.00 per $1,000
  • Minimum fee and re-inspection fee:  $30.00
  • Replacement of lost permit card:  $30.00
  • Certificate of Occupancy:  (when not in conjunction with a building permit)
  • $30.00
  • Six month extension of existing building permit:  One or more extensions may be granted by the Building Official upon request of the owner.
  • $30.00
~ a concord carpenter
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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a general contractor, carpenter and operates a remodeling company located in Concord, MA. He is the editor of and ToolBoxBuzz, and a has a weekly column in the Sunday Boston Globe. Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals, he hosts the Concord Carpenter Cable TV Show, offering advice on home repairs and maintenance. On his website, Rob uses his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. His motto: “Well done is better than well said!”. Contact Rob at:

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