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40 Force: Hammer Time – It’s Important to Pull Permits


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB) – So you’ve decided on a home renovation project. You’ve budgeted, selected your features, paints and finishes.

However, there’s still one more thing you need to make sure you have before you pick up that hammer.


Let’s face it, none of us like it, but if you’re taking on a project bigger than an ordinary repair, chances are you need to do some.

Permits are needed for virtually every project in your home and even some in your yard.

“If you want to put in a shed, you would need to get a permit if it’s more than 120 square feet, so if you’re buying a shed that’s larger than 10 x 12, they would need a permit for that,” said Carissa Lisee the Assistant¬†Building Commissioner in Chicopee.

Luckily, if you’ve hired a contractor, they should be pulling these for you, which is actually what the building department prefers.

Lisee adds, “This way here, we can make sure that they are properly licensed, that they have all of their insurances, and then we can go over the plans with them to make sure that everything is going to be up to the code.”

And if your contractor pulls an application, you – as the homeowner – should have to sign it.

If you haven’t signed a permit, chances are you don’t have one and that can cause big problems, especially if you eventually want to refinance or sell your home.

Realtors and insurance agents will want to see what work has been done. If you’ve made changes without permits, it could cost you – big time.

“Now you’re pulling sheet rock off and opening up walls, so electrical inspectors, plumbing inspectors can get in there. Building inspectors can get in there to check and make sure that framing is okay, that the walls were properly insulated, that all the electrical and plumbing is okay in the walls and then go back and cover everything up,” explained Lisee.

So your best bet is to be educated.

In Massachusetts, homeowners can pull building permits, but you cannot touch gas, electric or plumbing unless your licensed.

Also, if the Building Department does find that work is being done without a permit, you could be subject to a cease and desist and end up paying double the application fee.


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