How do I know when I need a permit?
If you are doing work that opens or alters walls in all probability you will be required to apply for a permit. Additionally, construction of sheds, fences, decks, pools all require permits.
Can I apply for my own permit?
If you are a licensed contractor or the owner of one or two family home that you occupy, you are eligible to apply for your own permit. Homeowners are cautioned however, if the have been requested to obtain the permit by their contractor they may wish to contact this office to discuss the full ramifications of this.
You can search the state list of licensed construction, repair & maintenance companies by clicking HERE.
Are there any rules other than the State Building Code?
Great Barrington does not have any regulations in excess of CMR 780, State Building Code. There are, however, dimensional issues such as setbacks that are governed by City’s Zoning Ordinance. Further information is available by contacting the office.
What are the rules regarding sheds?
Sheds under 120 square feet in size do not require a permit. Any structure in excess of 120 square feet will require a building permit. Additionally, the Massachusetts State Building Code (CMR 780) requires that any structure over 120 square feet require footings.
Where can I see a copy of the Building Code?
Most public libraries have a copy. You can view and download chapters of the Massachusetts State Building Regulations and Standards - 780 CMR in Acrobat PDF format by clicking HERE. You may purchase a copy at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Online Bookstore by clicking HERE.
How long will it take to get my permit?
You should allow at least two weeks for your permit. The more involved your job, the longer you should consider for review.
How will I receive my permit?
You will be called when the permit has been approved and prepared. The individual will call and advise the amount of the permit fee and that it is available to be picked up at the office.
Can I have an inspector from the Inspectional Services Office do a home inspection for me?
No. Homeowners should contact a registered home inspector for such services. They can find a list from the local yellow pages.
Are contractors licensed by the City?
No. Contractors such as builders, electricians, plumbers and gas fitters are licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. You can click HERE to check on any licenses.
How do I know what kind of license is required on a job?
The State Board of Building Regulations and Standards have a table of activities requiring (or not requiring) either a construction supervisor (CSL) license and/or a Home Improvement Contractor Registration and building permit. You can click HERE to see that table.