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Frequently Asked Questions
Questions
When is a building permit necessary?
Any person seeking to construct, alter, repair, remove or demolish a building or structure; or to change the use or occupancy of a building or structure; or to install or alter any equipment for which provisions are made or is regulated by the 780 CMR Massachusetts State Building Code  must first obtain a building permit from the Building Department.  For more specific information see 780 CMR Section 110.0 Application for Permit.

By whom is a permit application made?
An application for a permit shall be made by the owner or lessee of the building or structure, or agent of either.  If application is made by other than by the owner, the written authorization of the owner shall accompany the application.  For more specific information see 780 CMR Section 110.5 by whom application is made.

Who can be issued a building permit?
A building permit can be issued to individuals that poses a valid construction supervisors license (780 CMR R5) and are registered as a Home Improvement Contractor (780 CMR R6,  MGL ch142A)  An unrestricted construction supervisors license is valid for buildings and structures  containing less than 35,000 cubic feet.  A Home Improvement contractor registration is generally required for any individual or corporation involved in the improvement of any existing building or structure  containing one to four residential dwelling units.

Can a homeowner apply for and be issued a building permit?

Can a homeowner apply for any Wiring, Plumbing or Gas permit?
No.  All work associated with wiring, plumbing or gas fitting must be performed by individuals licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

What are the fees for building, wiring, plumbing, gas permits and other building department functions?
See Building Department fee Schedule.

Do the inspectors for the Building Department carry official identification?
Yes.  All building department inspectors carry photo identification and badges.

Does a building permit expire?
Any building permit issued shall be deemed abandoned and invalid unless the work authorized by it shall be commenced within six (6) months of the date of issuance.  The building official, upon written request, may issue extensions not exceeding six (6) months each for a building permit.  Work under such a permit, in the opinion of the building official, must proceed in good faith continuously to completion so far as reasonably practicable under the circumstances. For more specific information see 780 CMR Section 111.8 Expiration of Permit.

Who do I contact with questions regarding Zoning (setbacks, frontage of area, pre-existing nonconforming structure etc.)?
You may contact the Building Commissioner during his inspectors office hours or schedule an appointment to discuss the specific issues.  


Can the Building Department recommend a contractor (building, plumbing, electrician, gas fitter) Architect, Engineer or Attorney?
No.  It would be considered unethical for the building department to provide references.  You may want to contact the Board of Building Regulations & Standards – tips on Selecting a contractor.

Do I need a permit to install a shed?
Yes.  The Town of Wayland Zoning By-Laws regulates sheds as "Accessory Structures" and therefore permits are required to determine compliance with zoning. See Additional Links - How to Permit a Shed

When do I need a certified plot plan?
Any proposal to construct a new building, structure, accessory structure (shed, tennis court, swimming pool), or alter the footprint of any existing building or structure either vertically or horizontally requires a certified plot plan be submitted with your Building Permit Application.

Do I need a permit for a fence and what are the requirements?
Yes.  Pursuant to the Town of Wayland Zoning By-Laws section, a permit is required for any fence over six (6’) feet in height and any fence used  as an enclosure for a swimming pool.  The building department has no jurisdiction relative to fencing with the exception of fencing at the corner of two intersecting street lot lines, the fence may not extend within 20 feet of the intersecting street lines.

What is the process for applying for a building permit?
The process varies, depending on the type of work you propose to perform. For more detailed information see our Permit Application Procedures.

Can I receive a temporary Certificate of Occupancy?
A temporary Certificate may be issued before the completion of the entire work covered by the permit,  provided that such portion or portions shall be occupied safely prior to full completion of the building or structure without endangering life or public welfare, for specific information, see 780 CMR 120.3 Temporary Occupancy.  There is a fee of $100.00/month for each temporary occupancy.  For more detailed information regarding Certificate of Occupancy and Temporary Certification of Occupancy see Permit Application Procedures.

How long does it take to process a permit application?
Building Permit Applications generally take 7-10 days to review and approve.  Larger commercial projects and new one and two family dwelling may take the full thirty (30) days for review  as allowed under 780 CMR 111.1 Action of Application.
Wiring, Plumbing and Gas permit applications takes approximately three (3) days to review and approve .  Your permit will be mailed to you.



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Town of Wayland    41 Cochituate Road, Wayland, MA 01778-2614    Tel: (508) 358-7701    FAX: (508) 358-3627
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