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No, Massachusetts General Law requires a licensed plumber / gas fitter to obtain all required permits and perform all work described on such permit. However, there are certain exceptions to the requirement for a plumbing permit that homeowners may perform. A plumbing permit is not required for the repair of leaks in a faucet, valve or other working part of a plumbing fixture or the clearing of a clog in a pipe.
Depending on the type of work involved, review periods vary. Please contact the department for more specific information.
View the fee schedule (PDF) that lists all permit fees.
As with any waiver of this kind, should damage to your property occur as a result of improper wiring, recourse to pay for such damage could take far longer and be substantially more difficult for the homeowner. As such this department suggests that homeowners not sign this waiver.
Under the State Building Code (780 CMR), it is the responsibility of the contractor to obtain the building permit if the property is between a one to four family, owner-occupied structure. This does not prohibit a property owner from obtaining their own building permit and acting as their own contractor. It should be noted, however, that persons obtaining their own permit are not eligible for recourse due to poor workmanship, contract issues or the like under the State Home Improvement Contractor Program. Additionally, liability for the accidents involving persons working under the direction of a homeowner during construction could be the responsibility of the homeowner regardless of other existing insurance policies.
Yes, it is the law for work valued at over $1,000. The contract should be as explicit as possible in order to remove any doubt as to what the contractors responsibilities will be and whom will be responsible for what costs (i.e. permits, material) Please refer to the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety, Sample Contract (PDF).
Building permits are only required for fences over seven feet in height. Fences over seven feet in height, in addition to a building permit, require the approval of the Town’s Fence Viewer to ensure that the fence will not cause a dangerous or detrimental situation to abutting properties. The Town does not prescribe which side of the fence must face a neighbor, and fences may be placed up to the property line, although it is recommended that individuals maintain a minimum of a one foot offset from property lines so as to be able to maintain both sides of a fence without trespassing onto an abutting property. Additionally, if the boundary line is not known or not otherwise clearly defined, it is recommended that individuals engage the assistance of a Registered Land Surveyor to determine the location of such lot lines.
Matters involving disputes over property lines can only be handled by the County Land Court. A suggestion which is often made is to have your property surveyed by a Registered Land Surveyor, and if your concerns are confirmed, contact your neighbor and relay this information. If matters cannot be resolved through such dialogue you may consider legal action through a filing with the Norfolk County Land Court.
Beyond new construction or interior alterations or additions, a building permit is required for such projects including but not limited to roofing, siding, new or replacement windows and doors, decks, porches, pools, dormers, sheds, garages, walls, and changes in grade. A good rule to follow is that if you are unsure to contact the Building Division at 781-794-8070.