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What work requires a permit?
Why do I need a permit?
The City of Malden is duty-bound by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, General Law Chapter 143; section 94, and CMR 780 to enforce and use The State Building Code as the only document that regulates construction. The State Building Code requires permits for:
- New building construction
- Certificate of Occupancy
- Driveways(zoning compliance only)
- Fire alarms
- Fire suppression sprinklers
- Parking lots (zoning)
- Solid pellet fuel burning appliances
- Repair, renovate or install new material
- Changes in use
- Alter or install a means of egress
- Electrical installations or repairs
- Plumbing installations or repairs
- Gas installations or repairs
The application also requires a permit fee that reflects the actual total cost of construction. The City of Malden bases the cost of the fee by setting a rate of $13 per $1,000 of total construction for residential; $16 per $1,000 for commercial. The total cost of construction includes electrical, plumbing, gas, HVAC and fire protection.
Notwithstanding the inclusion of the related trades into the cost of construction, a separate permit is required for each of the sub-trades which, in accordance with law, must be applied for and granted to only licensed professionals.
Exceptions to permits are: ordinary repairs or the following: carpeting, sandblasting, floor sanding, painting, wallpapering, pools under 2 feet in height, swing sets, etc.
Who files for a permit?
The application and granting of a building permit is necessary to ensure that all new work, which includes repairs to existing structures and new construction, is designed and built to a minimum safe standard that protects the occupants, abutters and emergency response personnel.
The intent of the Building Code is to ensure public safety standards, health and welfare which are affected by building construction, structural integrity, adequate means of egress, sanitary facilities, light ventilation and heat and protection from fire hazards.
Permits for electrical repairs or new installations are necessary to ensure against fire hazard, conformity of voltage to operate devices and appliances and for protection from serious or deadly injuries. Plumbing permits are required to ensure against hazards to personal health and the environment, while gas permits and inspections ensure protection from explosions and fire.
Who can obtain building permits?
Several representatives may submit a building permit application: 1) an owner may apply for a building permit for any size structure; 2) for structures larger than a one or two family the owner may apply but a licensed supervisor or architect must sign the permit and be on the job site to assume responsibility of code compliance and construction if and when hired (licensed supervisor or architect must also present a copy of his/her license to the Building Inspector in person in the Inspectional Services office); 3) for structures greater than 35,000 cubic feet an architect or engineer must sign and stamp all drawings and submit an affidavit guaranteeing compliance of design and assuring they will perform periodic inspections of the work; 4) a licensed contractor may apply for a permit for building construction with the owner’s approval and consent and with an attached affidavit and approved stamped drawings.
The owner’s signature is always required on a permit application. The signature provides evidence that the owner has reviewed the document, signed a contract in accordance with the Home Improvement Contractors regulations and validates the application.
Electrical permits may only be issued to a licensed electrical contractor. Journeyman electricians may apply for a permit however a journeyman may not employ and allow others to install fixtures or wiring. Homeowners can apply for an electrical permit and will be granted said permit at the discretion of the Electrical Inspector.
A licensed plumber must perform all plumbing and gas work. Journeyman may apply for and be issued a permit. Homeowners may not perform any plumbing or gas installations. Permits are not required for changing faucet washers or cleaning a drain. All other plumbing work must be performed by a licensed plumber and permitted by the Inspector of Plumbing and Gas.
Can an owner apply for a building permit?
Building permits are issued to construction supervisors licensed by the State of Massachusetts. The state license is only valid for work involving structures of less than 35,000 cubic feet. As an exception to this requirement, building permits are also issued to homeowners doing work on one and two unit dwellings where they reside or intend to reside. It is noted that when that when homeowners are issued
Are plans needed to apply?
An owner can apply for and receive a building permit to construct or alter a single or two family structure if the owner resides in the home. When granted a permit the owner may perform the new work. It is important to note that owners who apply for a permit then hire contractors to perform the work are not entitled to protection under the Home Improvement Contractors Guarantee Fund.
Owners of other than one or two family structures may apply for a permit, but a licensed supervisor or architect must sign the permit and be on the job site to assume responsibility of code compliance and construction (the licensed supervisor or architect must also present his/her license to Building Inspector in person in the Inspectional Services Office).
Where do I get a plot plan?
A current, valid plot plan is required especially when an addition or new construction affects the exterior lines of an existing structure and on all new construction. Plot plans are also required for demolition, sheds, pools, retaining walls and fences.
The State Building Code requires a design plan for modifications of structures or new construction of buildings or homes greater than 35,000 cubic feet in volume. The code also requires plans to be submitted when any changes to a structure affect a means of egress or fire hazard index.
In addition when new construction involves the creation of a bedroom in an existing single and two family structure, plans are to be submitted for assurance and placement of smoke detectors throughout the dwelling.
For installation of fire suppression sprinkler systems and cooking hood fire suppression, a registered fire protection engineer shall submit the design and plans for approval.
Generally when an architect has designed an addition, new construction or remodeled a structure or when a contractor has been retained based on a specified set of plans, then those plans shall be filed with the application.
How do I arrange for an inspection?
Owners or contractors should contact a registered land surveyor to obtain plot plans. Plot plans are necessary to ensure compliance of zoning, environmental protection and fire protection. In accordance with the State Building Code, plot plans are required for all new construction and for any construction or demolition that affects the open space or land area of a parcel. Applications for new construction shall include a current, scaled plot plan drafted by a registered land surveyor. Those plans shall identify the owner, parcel and lot area, existing distances to lot lines, proposed distances to lot lines and proposed foundations and floors elevations. All plot plans should carry the registration number, date of the survey and seal of the land surveyor.
On the back of each building permit card are items that are inspected for code compliance. On the face of the card are the usual inspections of each inspector. The Building Inspector may perform as many as eight periodic inspections for things such as excavation, footings, foundations, frame, wall siding, chimney-fireplace, insulation and final for occupancy.
To arrange for inspections by the Building Inspector, call (781) 397-7030 between the hours of 8-10 AM Monday through Friday, 1-2 PM Monday through Thursday or 5-7 PM Tuesday.
To arrange for an inspection by the Wire Inspector, call (781) 397-7012 between the hours of 8-10 AM Monday through Friday, 1-2 PM Monday through Thursday or 5-7 PM Tuesday. The inspector will arrange the best available time to meet the electrical contractor.
To arrange for an inspection by the Plumbing and Gas Inspector, call (781) 397-7017 between the hours of 8-10 AM Monday through Friday,1-2 PM Monday through Thursday or 5-7 PM Tuesday. The inspector will arrange the best available time to meet the plumbing contractor.
In most situations both wire and plumbing inspectors perform three inspections on each project. Generally, they inspect underground - services, rough and finish work for compliance.