Building Permit Guidelines


As a homeowner or contractor, there may be times when you are uncertain whether it is necessary to secure a building permit. The following guidelines should be used: 

Work Requiring a Permit: (The following list is not meant to be all inclusive, if you are in doubt as to whether the work you are considering needs a permit, please call the Building Inspector.)

--New homes, additions, garages, storage sheds, porches, etc. 
--Interior renovations, involving the cutting away of any wall or structural member.
--Decks and ramps. 
--Roofing (when re-roofing more than 25% of existing roof).
--Siding (when re-siding more than 25% of existing house).
--Window or exterior door replacement. 
--The installation of swimming pools, hot tubs, or spas.
--Fences over 6ft high. 
--Retaining walls over 4ft high. 
--Wood stoves, fireplace inserts, fireplaces, or chimneys.
--Demolition of any existing structure. 
--Signs-new or alteration of existing signs. 
--Change of use (e.g., from storage to living space.) 

A Permit Is Not Necessary For Ordinary Repairs: "Any maintenance which does not affect the structure, egress, fire protection systems, fire ratings, energy conservation provisions, plumbing, sanitary, gas, electrical or other utilities." 

Why Should I get a permit? If you are a homeowner, for your protection. The building inspector will require the work performed to meet the standards of the Mass Building Code, which translates into your security. Insurance companies may require a Certificate of Occupancy or approval of the building official for certain work. If you are a licensed contractor, failure to secure a building permit could result in the loss of your license

How To Obtain a Permit: Permit applications can be found on-line
There are four separate permit applications (general, swimming pools, wood stove/ chimney, and roofing/windows/siding). Follow the directions on the application and submit application to the FCCIP office in the Franklin County Courthouse, Greenfield MA. 

How Long Does it Take? In most cases, a completed application can be approved within 7- 10 days. A notice will be emailed, and the permit will be mailed after all requirments have been met and the appropriate fee has been paid. 

What happens if I don't get a permit? Fees will be doubled if work has been started prior to issuance of a permit. In addition, local zoning by-laws and the Mass Building Code have provisions for fines and/or prosecution for work done without a permit, in violation of by-laws. 

When is an Electrical Permit Necessary?

Call the Franklin County Cooperative Inspection Program: 772-2026

Contacts: Building Department 772-2026
Electrical Department 774-5623
Plumbing Department 774-5878

Fax:        773-0896

Web Site:



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