Building Permits - When Are They Required?

When Is a Permit Required?

Building permits are regulated by the Massachusetts State Building Code 780CMR, which is available online on the Massachusetts State Building Code website. In general, a permit is required to construct, reconstruct, alter, repair, remove or demolish a building or structure: or to change the use or occupancy of a building or structure.


  • Ordinary repairs as defined in 780 CMR 2.
  • Fences six feet in height or less.
  • Retaining walls less than four feet high.
  • One story detached sheds, playhouses, etc. less than 10’x12’. (Zoning By-Laws require front setbacks of at least 30’, and side and rear yard setbacks of at least 10’)

Required Paperwork for Building Permit

  • Apply for Permit Online (Visit the Online Building Permit Link which will bring you directly to Viewpoint)
  • Certified Plot Plan
  • Complete Building Plans (Normally three sets, 11X 17)
  • Energy Code Per Chapter 13 Appendix J
  • Engineering Specs for LVLs, steel, etc.
  • Construction Supervisor’s License
  • Home Improvement Contractor’s Registration
  • Worker’s Comp’ Insurance Certificate
  • Debris Affidavit
  • Building Checklist

Other Information as Required

  • Recorded Special Permit from Planning Board.
  • Recorded Special Permit or Variance or Finding from Zoning Board of Appeals.
  • Signed Lot Release or Recorded ANR plan from Planning Board.
  • Approved Site Plans from Planning Board.

A Building Permit application is a legal document, which must be filled out accurately and completely. The forms are available at the Town Hall located at:
62 Arlington Street
Dracut MA, 01826