5 projects that need remodeling permits

5 projects that need remodeling permits

Man Installing Plumbing

Do you need a remodeling permit? 

Remodeling projects are a great way to boost your home value as you get ready to sell your house. But keep in mind that when you make home improvements on your Boston property, you may need to get a permit first. For example, here are 5 home improvement projects you will need to get remodeling permits for before starting: 

  • Building a fence: If you’re putting up a fence that’s over 6 feet high, you will need to get a permit.
  • Building or updating a porch or deck: Building or renovating a supporting structure like a deck or a porch will require a permit, as this changes the total square footage. 
  • Installing kitchen cabinets: While you can replace tiling without a permit, you shouldn’t replace, renovate, or add any cabinetry or permanent fixtures to the wall without getting the proper permit. Any permanent fixtures and additions to the existing structure require permits.  
  • Remodeling a bathroom: Any work that involves plumbing will require a permit.  
  • Rewiring your home: If you want to upgrade the wiring in your house, or you need electrical work done, you will need a permit. 

What remodeling permits are required in Boston? 

Required permits in Boston include: 

  • Short-form permit: This is for minor alterations to an existing building that don’t change a building’s use or exits, fire protection, or living area. Construction drawings are not required, and the permit costs $20 plus $10 for every $1000 of the stated cost of the work.  
  • Long-form permit: This is for new buildings/additions, structural repairs or changes, changes to occupancy and/or use, and increasing capacity. Long-form permits in Boston require construction drawings, and they cost $50 plus $10 for every $1000 of work. 

Building permits are valid for up to 6 months. If the work isn’t completed by this time, then you need a new permit. In some cases, you can get your permit renewed by the building commissioner. A renewed permit lasts for up to 180 days. 

Additional documents you may need before starting your home renovations include:  

  • Homeowner waiver 
  • Landmark commission 
  • Fire code permit 
  • Electrical permit 
  • Plumbing permit 
  • Mechanical permit 
  • Use of premises permit 
  • Plot plan 

How to get a remodeling permit in Boston  

Since work can’t begin until your building permit card is set up at the job site, it’s important to understand the Inspectional Services Department’s permit process.  

  • Short-form permits can be obtained either online or in person.  
  • Long-form permits can be started online but must be completed in person.  

To get a building permit in person, you should go to the Inspectional Services Department on the 5th floor at 1010 Massachusetts Ave. between the hours of 8AM to 4PM, Monday through Friday. Keep in mind that Counter 1 is where you can apply for both short-form and long-form permits. Counter 2 is where long-form permits and their supporting construction drawings are reviewed and processed.   

What happens if you make renovations without a permit?  

You can be penalized for work done without a permit. If you have work done in your house without the necessary permits, then you will often be charged for the permit at double the normal price. Depending on when unpermitted work is discovered during the project, you may also be charged back taxes, interest, and fees.  

If you aren’t in compliance with building codes, you may need to re-do the work. If your renovations are not approved, you may be forced to stop your project, tear down any work that has already been done, and restore your property to its former condition.  
Not getting the proper permits for renovation projects can really hinder your home sale. When you sell a house, the new owner will need the proper permits for previous work on the property. If you try to sell a house with unpermitted work, you may find that potential new owners don’t want to be held liable for work done incorrectly. On top of that, any code violations that are the result of unpermitted work may show up in a home inspection, which could cause an interested buyer to lower their offer or back out of the sale.  

You can still sell your house with unpermitted work. 

We’ve been helping homeowners like you get a simple home sale for the past 25 years. Whether you got the required permits or not, you don’t need to worry—you can sell your house “as is” to We Buy Ugly Houses in Boston.  

We buy houses for cash, and we don’t shy away from properties that need some work. Even if you had work done without the proper permits, that won’t scare us off. We don’t even require a home inspection. With our 3-step process, it’s easier to sell the way you want.  

Want to sell your house without permits? Work with Boston home buyers who care. Get a free, no-obligation consultation toward an all-cash offer on your house.