Building, Plumbing/Gas, Electrical?- FAQ's

Health & Inspectional Services Plumbing, Gas & Electrical

What forms of payment does your office accept?

For now our office only accepts check or money order only. Those are made payable to City of Haverhill.  OUR OFFICE DOES NOT ACCEPT CASH.

Can I do my permit online?

Yes-our office is now online with plumbing, gas, electrical and building permits. The website is

Please keep in mind that if you are applying for a deck, pool, shed, addition, fence that you need to still get a city issued plot plan. If you are a contractor you will need to upload your contract with the owner if it is a 1-4 family dwelling owner/occupied, required license and HIC Registration, Workman Comp Information.  You can  pay for your permit online with PayPal or Credit Card. Our office will contact you either by phone or email that your permit is ready for pick up. Building permit cards must be on site prior to starting the project. Plumbing, gas and electrical are mailed to the licensee. 

Is a building permit required for a pool? shed? fence? deck?

Yes-with a pool you need an electrical permit, plot plan and application. With a shed, fence you just need a plot plan and application even if you are just replacing what already exists. The deck you will need a plot plan, drawing of the deck and an application. If you are just replacing decking, railings and not completely removing the deck you still need a permit just not a plot plan. All plot plans can be obtained at the Engineering Department room 300. If property is a duplex or condo you must have an approval letter attached to your submitted application.

As a homeowner, can I obtain my own building permit?

Yes-as long as it is a 1 to 2 family dwelling and the property is owner occupied. If property is not owner occupied or a 3+ family dwelling the permit must be pulled by a person that holds a Massachusetts state issued Construction Supervisors License.

Do I need a building permit to remodel on the inside of my home?

Yes-Replacement of drywall, kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel, replacing flooring to sub floor all require permits. Changing rugs or painting is cosmetic and we do not issue permits for those. If you have any questions on what you need permit for either interior or exterior we strongly advise you to contact the Building Inspector at 978-374-2338 and he can determine if you need a permit or not.

How much does a renovation building permit cost?

Permit cost is based on value of the project the homeowner or contractor is doing. Fee schedule for that is any project value up to $2000 is a base fee of $50 then you add $14 per thousand after the $50. Example project cost of $5000 you start base fee of $50 for the first $2000 then just add $14X3= $92 would be permit cost.

*Please note this cost is for remodels only. There are other building permit fees for Foundations, New Construction, Signs, Commercial projects and Mechanical permits. For the pricing on those permits we ask you please contact our office. Most of these do not follow example above.

How long are building permits good for?

6 Months from the date our office issues the permit. Permits can be renewed for $25.00 to extend a permit for an additional 6 months.

Can I do my own plumbing and gas work?

No-you must have a plumber that has a Massachusetts state issued license and permits must be pulled before any work commences. 

How long is a plumbing permit good for?

Usually same duration as a building permit 6 months.

How much is a gas and plumbing permit?

We ask you to please contact our office for correct pricing.

Can I do my own electrical work?

No-you must have an electrician that has a Massachusetts state issued license and permits must be pulled before any work commences.  If you have questions on that it is suggested speaking to our Electrical Inspector.

Are electrical permits required for repairs or alterations?

Yes-they are required if you are altering or changing out any electrical fixtures.

How long is an electrical permit good for?

Usually same duration as a building permit 6 months.

How much is an electrical permit?

Commercial and residential electrical permits are priced very different if you have any question please contact our office. If you are pulling a Commercial electrical permit we ask that a very detailed list is given to the inspector and our office will contact you with the proper cost.

Can I revise my permit at any time?

Gas, Plumbing, Electrical and Building permits can be revised at any time during the duration of the project. The only time they cannot is if the Inspector has done a final inspection on the project.

When do I need a rental permit?

Every time a unit is vacated and before a tenant takes occupancy.  You need to make an appointment for us to do an inspection. A tenant cannot move into a unit without one. The landlord is subject to a $200 fine if a tenant moves in without a rental permit. subsidized units are exempt but a copy of the agencies approval must be submitted to our office as proof. Rental inspections ae performed on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and on Thursdays all day. The cost of the inspection is $50 per dwelling unit inspection.  Please keep in mind that the unit must be unoccupied, clean, empty, and move in ready and you must have a current Smoke Detector inspection from the Fire Department. 
Please log on to the Viewcloud link to schedule and pay for an inspection.

Who do I call if my trash or recycling is not picked up?

978-420-3817 if your trash is not collected. Also if you have a bulk item you are trying to get rid of you need to call 844-377-1718 two day before your scheduled collection. If your bulk item is not collected you need to call that 844 # back so they can pick that up.

How would I file a concern or complaint about the conditions of my apartment?

You could call the Health Department or log onto the Viewcloud link and file a complaint under the Health Module/Health & Property Complaint Section. An appointment to have an inspector go out and verify the complaint will be scheduled. If a tenant or landlord is seeking legal advice our office is not able to give out legal guidance we advise callers to call legal advocates at Community Action at 978-373-1971, Northeast Housing Court at 978-689-7833 or Neighborhood Legal Services at 978-686-6900.

Do I need to get a dumpster permit?

Yes, it is a Board of Health requirement if it is on your own property.  If you are cleaning out your house or need one for a construction project you are required to get a permit. Temporary dumpster permits are good for 1 month at a permit cost of $15. If you propose to put the dumpster on the street you need to obtain a street obstruction permit from the Engineering Department Room 300 - City Hall.