- Departments & Services
- Building Department
- General Information
- Building Permit Application
- General Repairs
- General Work Requirements
- Wood Stoves
Any addition that adds square footage, including farmer's porches, covered decks, screen rooms and sunrooms, must meet the setback requirements for the area in which the house is located. Each zone of the city has different requirements for lot size, setbacks, frontage and lot width and each of these criteria must be met before a building permit can be issued. If any of these setback are not met, the applicant must seek relief through the Zoning Board of Appeals.
How to Begin
Your first step in this process is to determine what zone your home is located in. You can do this by contacting the Building Inspector's Office and providing them with your address. Once you know what zone you are in, you can review the Zoning Table of Dimensional Regulations (PDF) and see what the setbacks are for your area.
Information Needed to Apply for a Building Permit
If you do not have to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals, you will need the following information in order to apply for a Building Permit:
- Framing sketch showing how the addition is to be built, including foundation
- Energy Code, which can be obtained from the store where you are purchasing your building materials
- Plot Plan showing proposed addition
- Completed Building Permit application
- A copy of your state licenses and worker's compensation insurance (if you are the contractor)
- A completed worker's compensation affidavit form
- If you are adding bedrooms you will need to go to the Department of Public Works to pay an additional fee to the sewer department. In addition, you will need to bring a complete layout of the existing house.
- The amount of information required for the application will depend on the nature of the job. For instance if you are applying to build a new home or addition, every portion of the application must be filled out. If you are applying for a pool, shed, repairs, etc. you must fill out:
- The address of the job
- The homeowners name
- The contractors name and licenses if applicable. (Please note that if you are the homeowner applying for the permit, you are considered to be the contractor)
- If the permit is being applied for by the contractor, the contractor must sign the application and appear with his licenses and workmen's compensation insurance.
- The estimated cost of the job
- The description of the work that is being done, please be as detailed as possible even if you have documentation accompanying the application.
- Indicate whether it is a single family home, two family, multi family, condo, etc.
- Fill in the yes or no questions at the bottom of the application.
- Sign the bottom of the application
In order to obtain a permit to install solar panels the following paperwork will need to be completed:
The owner's signature is required either on the building permit application or on a contract or authorization form. Digital signatures are not accepted!
In addition to that paperwork, we will need a structural affidavit stamped and signed by an engineer, the plan/specifications for the system, and copies of licenses.
The permit fees are based on the projected cost, which we determine by the number of panels in the system.
Any person applying for a building permit will need to complete a Worker's Compensation Affidavit (PDF) and return it with the Building Permit.
The fee for the building permit is based on the cost of the job including material and labor. Please contact the building department for your fee.
Information on Specific Permits
For more detailed information on what is required for the application, please see the individual category for the permit you are applying for.
Although homeowners are allowed to do work on single and two-family homes, in many cases they choose to hire a contractor. Any contractor who is applying for a building permit is required to have a Construction Supervisor's License. A Home Improvement License is required for work being done on any owner occupied dwelling.
Homeowners who wish to ascertain that a contractor has a license may visit the State of Massachusetts website and look up the contractor's license by name. In addition this site will inform the homeowner if any complaints or action have been taken against a contractor.
In the event of a problem with the work that is done, or desertion of the job by the contractor, the State has created a guaranty fund and homeowners may apply for restitution from that fund.
Persons contracting with unregistered contractors do not have access to the guaranty fund. It is incumbent upon the homeowner to ensure that the contractor of their choice is licensed and has applied for the necessary permits for the work that is being performed.
A permit is required for a deck of any size. No deck may be any closer than five feet to the property line. A Detailed Framing Sketch (PDF) of the deck must accompany the permit application, including the sono tube location and size, the size of the decking, the height of the railings (if applicable), the number of stairs, tread height, etc.
If a deck is being constructed to a portion of the house that will require a new exit to be constructed, then lighting must be placed outside of the new exit and a framing sketch of how the new door will be framed must accompany the Building Permit Application (PDF).
Any fence that is over six feet in height will require a permit. Any fence that is over eight feet will require a Special Permit from the City Council. The fence can be placed right on the property line, provided that the back side of the post is still on your own property. There are no regulations as to which side of the fence faces in or out. If you are planning to run the fence past the front of your dwelling or place a fence along the street side of your house you must meet the front setback requirements for your zone. For instance in a Residence A Zone, there is a 20-foot front setback so from your front property line the fence can be no higher than four feet until it meets the 20-foot setback and from there the fence can be raised to its desired height.
If you live on a corner lot, in order that visibility is unobstructed at intersections, no sign, fence, wall, tree, hedge, or other vegetation between three and eight feet above the established street grades shall be erected, placed or maintained within the triangular area formed by the intersecting lines and a straight line adjoining each street line at points which are twenty feet distant from the point of intersection measured along such street lines.
Please reference the attached sketch: Corner Lot Fencing (PDF).
A permit must be applied for all work done to a home, with the exclusion of paint, wallpaper and flooring. The building permit fee is based on the total cost of the job including materials and labor. A fee for labor is still assessed even if the homeowner is doing the work, in order to make the fee schedule fair and equitable to all parties.
Permit Cost for Roofs, Siding, & Replacement Windows
In the case of roofs, siding and replacement windows, the building department will estimate the building permit cost based on the number of squares being used for the roof or for the siding or on the number of windows being replaced. The New Building Code now requires that we receive a copy of the energy efficiency label for all window replacements.
Other Types of Repairs
Any other repairs, such as sheetrock, new cabinets etc., will be based upon the contract price of the job, or will be calculated by the building inspector.
If the job calls for any structural changes, a framing sketch and layout will be required.
Chapter 14, Section 14-8 of the Leominster City Ordinances requires that all work done in the city must be conducted within the following hours:
- Monday through Friday
7 am to 9 pm
8:30 am to 5 pm
1 pm to 5 pm
View the Inspection Policy (PDF).
All work, with the exception of paint, wallpaper, and flooring, requires a permit. Please review our Permit Policy (PDF).
All pools in the City of Leominster require a building permit. A pool can be no closer than six feet to the property line and no closer than ten feet to any structure, including sheds, houses, garages, etc. If you are on a corner lot or are placing the pool on the side of your house that is facing a street, then the pool must be within the front setback requirements for your zone.
All pools must comply with 780 CMR Section 421.9 through 421.11 for enclosures and ladders.
A permit is required for any shed that is 200 square feet or larger. If you are building the shed yourself, a framing sketch must accompany your application. If the shed is a pre-fab building, a brochure or picture of the shed must accompany your application. All sheds, regardless of size must be no closer than five feet to the side and rear property lines and ten feet from the house. If the shed is located in the front of the dwelling or on a side that is facing the street, the shed must be within the front setback requirements for your zone.
All sheds must be secured to the ground in some way in at least two locations.
The City of Leominster has an extensive sign ordinance pertaining to the regulation of signs. No sign shall be erected without a permit. The permit application must be accompanied by scale drawings and must show the location, type and area of all signs on the premises. Permits shall also be required for all temporary signs not located inside a building, unless said sign is six feet or less in area. See the Sign Application (PDF) for more information.
Wood stove and pellet stove permits must be applied for prior to the installation of the stove. The cost of the permit is $40 per stove/application. The manufacturer's guidelines, which come with the stove, will be required to fill out the permit application. If you are installing a used stove, it must be UL approved. If the used stove no longer has the manufacturer's specifications you must follow the Massachusetts State Code for wood stoves. See the Wood Stove Application (PDF) for more information.