When do I need a building permit?

You need to obtain a building permit for all new construction and additions or when altering or renovating existing buildings. Finishing an attic or basement, or changing interior walls are examples of alterations that require a building permit. Most exterior work such as a deck, pool, shed, garage or other out buildings will require a permit. The following types of work require a permit(s):

  • New construction
  • Installation, enlargement or replacement of a septic system
  • Installation or alteration of a driveway (State approval may be required)
  • Alteration or renovation of an existing building
  • Addition to an existing building
  • Change in use of a building
  • Change to or the installation of a heating system
  • Generator (portable or stand-by)
  • Removal or change of any required means of egress
  • Solar array
  • Electrical Service changes or upgrades
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Demolition
  • Fencing near a public right-of-way
  • Chimney
  • Oil Burner*
  • Solid Fuel Burning* (wood and pellet stoves, fireplace)
  • Gas piping*
  • Propane Tank Placement*
  • Work affecting structural or fire safety
  • Work that increases the non-conformity of an existing building or lot
  • Work that affects public health or safety
  • Retaining walls 4 feet or more (measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall) or any height, supporting a surcharge

This is not an exclusive list other projects may need permits. Before starting any project, please contact the Building Department to see if your project requires a permit. Fines may be charged for work started without the proper permits.

*Obtainable at Chester Fire Department.