BUILDING PERMITS FOR RESIDENTIAL DECKS

A Building Permit is required to build or install a deck. The deck must comply with zoning, wetlands, and septic system setbacks. It will also be reviewed for flood plain and building code compliance. The following are requirements for a typical deck project, there could be other regulations which are not addressed or are specific to your project that might apply. The more information that is on the plans the easier it will be to help you comply with applicable regulations under our jurisdiction.

Applications can be obtained at the Building Department. Please read and complete all applicable sections. Information required for review must include:

*Completed application form, if contractor, they must sign as applicant with homeowner’s signature and copy of licenses and insurance.

*Homeowners applying for a permit must complete an application and an affidavit exempting them from the home improvement contractor law. Owners pulling their own permit or dealing with unregistered contractors for applicable home improvement work do not have access to the arbitration program or guaranty fund under MGL C. 142A.

*Plot plan of property indicating proposed location of deck. Plot plan must be stamped by a registered land surveyor. A mortgage survey plan may be acceptable depending on proposed setback and is reviewed on a case by case basis.

*The building department may have a plot plan of your property on file. You may file a request for property file. If there is one, you can obtain a copy for 25 cents.

*Two sets of plans indicating material used in the construction, size and spans of framing members and beams. The plan should indicate how the deck would be supported, ex. 10 inch diameter concrete piers 48 inches below grad, height and spacing of guardrails and handrails, rise and run of stairs, elevation above grade or other surface, lag bolts to house and joist hangers.

If all the information submitted is sufficient, the reviewing process usually takes 7 to 14 days this time frame varies depending on season. (Spring and fall are our busy seasons and may take longer) Upon approval you will receive an approved set of plans and a building permit card that is required to be made visible from street. We require two inspections one at excavation prior to concrete and one at the finish to assure compliance with plans and to verify connections to house. Inspection request are required a minimum of 24 hrs prior to inspection. Most inspections can be done the day after the request. Information required for request must include street address, permit number and type of inspection.

The approved plans are required on site for all inspections. If you have any questions or have a specific situation that is not typical you can contact the Building Department at (978)649-2300 x112.