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Old 07-21-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
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confused about permits


Hi All, we are purchasing a home that needs some "minor" updates and we are trying to save money. I want to make sure we get the permits we need though. I called the town code enforcement, but I think the guy was a little biased because I'm a woman and told me I should just hire a GC and not worry about it and then hung up on me. Anyways, I began reading the code handbook.
We need some electrical - need a permit.
painting, flooring, counters, cabinets - no permit needed.
bathroom tiling - no permit needed
what if I want to expand the entryway into a room (i.e. from the kitchen to the dining room?). I'm not knocking down the whole wall (although a big chunk of it) - do I need a permit for this? if it's not a structural change do I need to submit plans?
dry-wall?
I plan on calling the code enforcement again and if it comes down to it I will go visit them, but any insight would be appreciated as I'm sort of weary of them as they weren't too friendly to begin with. TYIA.

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Old 07-22-2012, 01:00 AM   #2
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confused about permits


Electrical - You need a permit, and some areas only allow licensed electricians to do the work.
Counter tops - My local building department actually requires if a counter top has a sink in it.
Expanding an entry way - Probably needs a permit, may need an engineer to sign off depending on the amount of the change, if it's a load bearing wall, etc.
Drywall - Maybe. I could see them wanting a permit if you're touching a firewall.

I'd suggest checking to see if your local building department has a webpage that states what work doesn't require a permit. For more information, I'd suggest actually visiting the building department. I've found the folks at my local building department much nicer and more helpful if I visit them in person.

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Old 07-22-2012, 01:15 AM   #3
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confused about permits


if you go to this link it is from the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards. It is for frequently asked question. Click on the link for "Work Requiring HIC or CSL" and it gives you a list of items and whether a permit is required or not. Hope this helps!

http://www.mass.gov/eopss/consumer-p...mits-faqs.html

Good luck!
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:09 AM   #4
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confused about permits


Thanks all! The link was very useful!!
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:26 AM   #5
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I thought you needed a permit just to BREATHE in MA.?

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Old 07-22-2012, 08:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laorquidia View Post
I plan on calling the code enforcement again and if it comes down to it I will go visit them
Skip the call and just go down there.

I've found that face to face with the building department is almost always more productive than a phone call.

It's much easier to brush you off when they can't see you, as you already found out.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:39 PM   #7
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confused about permits


Quote:
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I thought you needed a permit just to BREATHE in MA.?

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depends where you are .... being on the bay we don't have much issue getting air .... it's a lot tougher now than a few years ago with the regulations, but you learn to adapt, improvise and overcome
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:30 PM   #8
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confused about permits


Require the installing contractor to pull the permits. Whoever applied for the permit(s) is responsible for all corrections if the work fails inspection.

You may find that as a homeowner you are not allowed to self-perform any work for which a permit is required.

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