Help Center
Go To Search
Click to Home
Home Addition
The Steps
  1. Review some issues that may impact your project
    • Any demolition can be filed with the building permit to build or a separate permit. If a separate permit is obtained it needs to be closed out. 
    • Working within or near wetlands, a floodplain, or any river or stream
    • Installation or removal of a septic system
    • Your project might not conform with the current Needham Zoning By-Law (For a definition of "non-conforming" see Zoning By-Law document)
    • Performing any work on or near Charles River Street, South Street, or Central Avenue between Nehoiden Street and Marked Tree Road, all designated as Scenic Roads
    • Removal or trimming of trees along or near a public way
  2. Get your application together
    • Verify that your contractor has a current construction supervisor license
    • Verify that your contractor is registered as an home improvement 
    • Building Permit Application - The Building permit application must be signed by the homeowner or submit a signed contract by both parties in compliance with MGL 142 A  (HIC program). Complete all sections that apply to your project. We strongly suggest using our fillable document located throughout our site for clarity. 
    • Workers' Compensation Insurance affidavit - this must be completed by the contractor or the homeowner, whoever is doing the work.
    • Homeowner Warning Form - Shall be carefully read and signed by the homeowner if the homeowner is obtaining the Building Permit. If the homeowner obtains the Building Permit, access is denied to the arbitration program and guaranty fund both of which provide recourse for a homeowner when a contractor does not complete agreed upon work. See MGL c.142A section 1.
    • Plot Plan - The boundary line plot plan must be prepared and certified by a Massachusetts Registered Land Surveyor. Requirements on the plot plan are lot lines, set backs, proposed addition and decks or porches, accessory structures, lot size, lot coverage, zoning district and completed on the Town of Needham Form. An As-Built plan will be required before framing can commence. (Available plot plan information used as a reference can be obtained in the Engineering Department). At application provide five (5) original copies of the plot plan.
    • Energy Conservation Form
    • For the installation of smoke detectors a Fire Department Smoke Detector Permit  shall be completed by the licensed electrician (in duplicate). If there is wiring associated with the installation a wiring permit is required.
    • Application For An Addition to a Home on a Septic System (if applicable).
  3. Review your materials before submission to the Building DepartmentAs the contractor or homeowner, you should pay close attention to the following details:
    • The Building Permit Application must be signed by the homeowner or submit a signed contract by both parties in compliance with MGL 142 A  (HIC program).
    • Complete a zoning analysis. Review your plot plan with your surveyor to make sure that all the dimension lines are included for both the existing and proposed structures and all applicable information is on the plot plan.
    • Review your plot plan and building plans to insure compliance with current zoning regulations and 780 CMR the MA State Building Code.
    In particular, make sure that an architect has computed and included:
    • Floor plans for the new and existing areas that show percentage increase in gross floor area
    • Plans that indicate percentage of demolition of exterior envelope and all elevations
    • Foundation and Footing Plans
    • Cross Sectional Plan
    • First & Second Floor , Ceiling and Roof Framing plans including exterior decks and porches
    • For any engineered material provide a Registered Design Professional Stamp for spans and installation design.
    • Energy Code information (Prescriptive, ResCheck or a HERS Rating)
    • Smoke Detector and CO locations must be clearly marked on the plans
  4. Submit your application materialsSubmit completed forms to the Building Department (500 Dedham Avenue) along with:
    • Five copies of the plot plan wet stamped and signed by registered land surveyor (plot plan specifics). 
    • Two copies of building plans (wet stamped and signed)
    • All supporting documents
    • A copy of your CSL and HIC is required.
    • Payment is required after review and the permit is issued
  5. What happens next?Once the application is submitted, many town departments need to review the components for completeness and compliance. Each of the following departments must sign off on the application before it can be issued:
    • Building Department - completeness of drawings, zoning compliance.
    • Public Works / Engineering - utilities laid out properly, property lines correct, easements shown, wetlands and floodplains shown, building dimensions and offsets to property lines shown.
    • Public Works / Water and Sewer - water and sewer laid out properly, review if connections are needed.
    • Public Works / Highway - determine if a Street Occupancy Permit is required and secure a bond from the contractor.
    • Public Works / Administration - contact applicant and inform of bonding, insurance, and street occupancy requirements.
    • Conservation - compliance with wetlands, floodplain, Riverfront Area regulations.
    • Health Department - demolition, septic systems.
    All of these steps are necessary and can take time. The more time you spend to make sure that your application is complete, the quicker your permit will be issued. (Approximate timelines). The permit is then issued and construction must begin within 6 months.
  6. Get inspections at various stages during the work
    • Excavation Inspection before concrete is poured (Foundation Footings and Sonar Tube Footings).
    • Submit Surveyor's As Built Form, in triplicate, prior to the commencement of framing.
    • Foundation inspection, including damp proofing and waterproofing.
    • Rough electrical inspection.
    • Rough plumbing inspection.
    • Rough gas inspection (If propane see Fire Department, 88 Chestnut Street).
    • Rough smoke detector inspection by Fire Inspector.
    • HVAC inspection
    • Rough framing inspection after fire stopping is complete and before insulation.
    • Insulation inspection, as or when required.
    • Final electrical inspection.
    • Final plumbing and gas inspections.
    • Final Fire Department inspection/smoke detectors certificate. Oil burner inspection if applicable.
    • Final building inspection.
    • Certificate of occupancy, if applicable. Make sure you see the certificate of occupancy signed by the Building Inspector to ensure project completion prior to making final payment to contractor to ensure permit is closed preventing issues with future projects.
  7. Enjoy your new space

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions to understand this process and avoid problems that may slow down the process.