Preparing For Home Improvements

Massachusetts has one of the most stringent codes for building in the United States. With so many important limitations and guidelines to consider, you may benefit from having a list of essential preparations to guide you, before you start tearing into your bathroom or kitchen.


    File a Permit


First of all, make sure that you ask your licensed contractor to file a building permit at your local building or inspectional service office. Usually, these locations will open their doors in the mornings between 8am and 10am, as well as on the afternoon between 3pm and 4pm. However, it is worth calling into your local office for the exact hours of operations. The professionals you find here will offer an insight into what you need for a successful permit.


    Create a Plan


You will need to provide a sketch as a visual guide for any alterations and design decisions being made within your chosen room. Generally, your licensed contractor will ask you a number of specific questions, including which appliances you plan to have installed, so that they can be sure to give you the best possible results. By planning ahead and considering everything you will need in advance, you will save time, and ensure that there are no miscommunications between yourself, and your contractor. Remember, your contractor will need:


    A valid Construction Supervisors License (CSL)

    A Home Improvement Contractor license (HIC)

    A Worker’s Compensation Insurance Affidavit form


To protect yourself and your interests, don’t be afraid to ask your contractor for a Certificate of Insurance to prove that he and his company are insured.


    Get The Right Paperwork


Your contractor will be required to present either a contract with your signature, and/or a permit that has been approved and signed by you. This is intended to ensure that you are authorizing all work to be performed, as well as confirming your agreement to pay for the project. The cost of the project will generally determine the cost of the permit. Typically, this amounts to around $10 for every $1000 of construction. If your kitchen remodeling project was estimated to cost approximately $35,000, the cost for your permit will be around $350.


Remember, this will not be the only time you are charged a fee to access a permit. You’ll also need to pay for the plumbing and electrical permit too. Typically, the contractor you choose to hire for plumbing and electrical maintenance will add the fee for permits to their completely price.


However, it’s worth finding out what your complete cost will be upfront. Fees can vary from one city to the next, so consider checking with your local building department ahead of time to stay informed.


Most of the time, depending on how quickly your local inspector can write your permit, you will be able to start your project the very next day.


By following these three simple steps, you can be sure that your project will run smoothly and successfully.


For any questions or if you are looking to improve your home, please give us a call at (617) 480-6836 or email us at



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