Health & Inspectional ServicesPlumbing, Gas & Electrical

Q: Is a building permit required for a pool? shed? fence? deck?
A: Yes, to all.

  • Step 1
    A plot plan must be obtained from the City Engineer's Office
    (Room 214) indicating the location and dimensions of the proposed
  • Step 2
    The plot plan must be taken to the Conservation Department
    (Room 210) to be approved and stamped by that department.
  • Step 3
    Proceed to the Building Department (Room 210) to apply for a permit.

NOTE: Before a building permit can be issued for a swimming pool, an electrical permit must be on file in the Electrical Inspector's Office.

Q: As a homeowner can I obtain my own building permit?
Yes, if the property is an owner/occupied one - two family dwelling. Non-owner/occupied or three or more units requires that a licensed building contractor obtain the permit.

Q: Do I need a building permit to remodel on the inside of my home?
Permits are required for most interior work. Permits are not required for cosmetic work i.e. painting, wallpapering, carpeting etc. Call the Building Department at 978-374-2338 if you have any questions.

Q: How much does a building permit cost?
The building permit fee is based on the reasonably estimated cost of the project at $13 per $1,000. The minimum building permit fee is $25 for up to $2,000 worth of work. New homes also include a $25 filing fee and a $50 occupancy fee. Commercial construction costs over $50,000 add a $25 filing fee.

Q: How long are building permits good for?
6 months.

Q: Can I do my own plumbing and gas work?
No, the State Plumbing & Gas Code is specific that only a licensed plumbing/gas contractor can obtain a permit to perform that work.

Q: How long is a plumbing permit good for?
Indefinitely. The plumbing/gas permit fee schedule is available online on the plumbing/gas page.

Q: Can I do my own electrical work?
The local electrical inspector has the discretion to make that decision. If the property is an owner-occupied, single-family, freestanding dwelling, it is possible to obtain a homeowner's electrical permit.

NOTE: In the interest of public safety, swimming pools must be wired by licensed electricians. Call the Electrical Inspector at 978-374-2341 for more details.

Q: Are electrical permits required for repairs or alterations?

Q: How long is an electrical permit good for?
One Year. The electrical permit fee schedule is available online.

Q: When do I need a rental permit?
Every time an apartment is vacated, a new rental permit must be issued prior to the apartment being reoccupied. Appointments are booked from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday - Friday by calling the main office of the Health Dept. at 978-374-2325.

Q: Whom do I call if my trash or recycling is not picked up?
Call the Health Department at 978-374-2325.

Q: Whom do I call if I have concerns or complaints about the conditions of my apartment?
Call the Health Department at 978-374-2325