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 will need to conform with the current Needham Zoning By-Law
    • 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. Building Permit Application
    • Verify that your contractor has a current construction supervisor license
    • Verify that your contractor is registered as a home improvement
    • Building Permit Application (Fillable PDF) - 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 (Fillable PDF) - this must be completed by the contractor or the homeowner, whoever is doing the work.
    • Homeowner Warning Form (PDF) - 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.
    • Complete Debris Removal Form (PDF).
    • Plot Plan (PDF) - 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, utilities, 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 (PDF) Energy Compliance can be met three different ways:
      1. Prescriptive, all mandatory sections in the IECC, please complete energy code form.
      2. Res-Check located at EnergyCodes.gov or a
      3. HERS Rating
    • For the installation of smoke detectors a Fire Department Smoke Detector Permit (PDF) 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 (PDF) (if applicable).
  3. Review your materials before submission to the Building Department. As 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 ensure compliance with current zoning regulations and 780 CMR the MA State Building Code.

      In particular, make sure that an architect has computed and included:
    • Dimension construction plans plans
    • Floor plans with dimensions for the new and existing areas that show percentage increase in floor area ratio
    • 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 carbon monoxide (CO) detector locations must be clearly marked on the plans
    • Front, side and rear elevations
    • Cross sectional of walls
  4. Submit your application materials - Submit 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 (PDF) and sewer (PDF) 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. Required Residential Inspections (PDF)
  7. Before scheduling Final Building Inspection
    1. Submit Grades Card Circulation Form (PDF). (if applicable see Engineering Department)
    2. Submit three (3) copies of the final As-Built accompanied by three (3) Height Record (PDF) and three (3) Survey Record (PDF).
    3. Submit final HERS rating (if applicable)
    4. Submit door blower test. (if applicable)
    5. Submit Duct air leakage test. (if applicable)

Enjoy your new space

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