Why do I need a permit?

Garage Foundation

Do I have to tell the town what I am doing?

We get the question “Why do I need a permit?” a lot from homeowners. In Massachusetts for virtually all projects (with some exceptions) you are required to have an approved building permit from the town prior to starting work on your home.

A homeowner in Rockland, MA faced consequences for ignoring zoning laws and not paying taxes. This situation serves as a reminder to always check with your town before starting any home renovations. They can help ensure your project meets all the necessary requirements.

Requirements to check:

  • Minimum lot size: This refers to the smallest allowed area of land your home can be built on.
  • Setback lines: These define the minimum distance your house must be from property boundaries (like sidewalks and streets).
  • Conservation restrictions: Some areas may have regulations protecting natural resources or historical sites, which could affect your renovations.
  • Board of Health restrictions: These ensure your project complies with health and safety regulations.

Building an Addition? Here’s somethings you should know:

1. Check your property:

  • Obtain a certified plot plan from a licensed surveyor. This confirms if your addition fits and meets setback requirements (distance from property lines).
  • Check for wetlands on your property, which may require approval from the conservation commission.

2. Consider your waste systems:

  • The Board of Health needs the number of bedrooms and rooms to ensure your septic system can handle the extra space.
  • If you have a septic system, provide them with a copy of the septic plan or Title V certificate.

3. Prepare for permit application:

  • Confirm you’re current on taxes and fees with the clerk’s office and tax collector. Back taxes can delay your permit.

Why all these requirements? These regulations exist to protect your property value and safety. They stem from past issues that led to changes in town rules.

We’re here to help! Almar can guide you through gathering the necessary information for a smooth permit application process.

If you have questions about your home improvement project or would like more information Contact Almar: https://www.almarbuilding.com (781-826-2577) and watch our videos: http://www.youtube.com/almarbuilding

Craig Guido

With 20 years of remodeling experience both in the field and working in collaboration with homeowners to develop remodeling projects designed to fit your lifestyle.