Town of Watertown
Department of Community Development
Inspectional Services Division - Building Department
149 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Watertown, MA 02472
The Town Hall is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. For the months of June, July & August (Memorial Day thru Labor Day), the Town Hall is open on Tuesday evenings until 7:00 p.m. and will close on Fridays at 2:00 p.m.
Ken’s *NEW* office hours (effective May 21, 2013) are Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Ken Thompson, C.B.O., L.C.S.
Inspector of Buildings
Ken joined the Inspectional Services Department in June 2004. As the Inspector of Buildings, Ken reviews and approves all building applications for compliance with §780 CMR Massachusetts State Building Code, 8th Edition
Applications filed after February 6, 2011 will be expected to comply with provisions of the eighth edition.
Building permits are required for most work being done on/in a structure. Exceptions are minor repairs, painting, relocating an interior non-structural office divider, removing an interior door, installing/building a shed less than 200 s. f. or a retaining wall less than 48" high. An example of requiring a buiding permit that most people may believe is not necessary is for a temporary ice skating rink. Check with the Inspector of Buildings should you have any question on whether or not the work you are about to do requires a permit.
In addition to overseeing all building construction within the Town, Ken performs annual safety inspections of all commercial establishments and monitors compliance of Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.
All application forms
listed below are available to download and print; however, each must be submitted in person to the building department with your construction license, a copy of your liability insurance or if you're a homeowner, your signature accepting liability for all work being done. Of course, copies are available in the building department office.
- Building Permit Application Form
- Demolition Permit Application Form
Sign Permit Application Form
- Trench Permit Application Form
- Sheet Metal Application Form (use Building Permit Application or State form)
- Fee Schedule - Effective September 30, 2013
You may view Building Permits that have been submitted and/or issued online: View all permits
To find out the status of a permit that has been submitted or to schedule an inspection, contact:
Debbie Helie, Administrative Assistant 617-972-6480
Receiving a weekly account of all building permits submitted and/or issued is as easy as adding your email address to the 'Notify Me' section of the Town's website.
Ken offers these tips to homeowners:
Get estimates on the cost of the job from at least two contractors.
Make sure the contractor is licensed. Ask for and check references. Check that they are insured.
Make sure they obtain a permit prior to starting the job.
Secure a contract specifically indicating project timeframe with payment schedules.
The 8th edition of the building code uses code books published by the International Code Council (ICC) with separate amendment packages published by Massachusetts.
- To purchase code books contact ICC at www.iccsafe.org or a major book vendor.
- To view-only the International Codes follow this link: ICC Codes
- To purchase Massachusetts amendments contact the State House Bookstore (617-727-2834).
Please note electronic versions of the building code are not official.
2009 International Codes (I-Codes)
|IBC - International Building Code
||780 CMR - MA Amendments to the IBC
|IEBC - International Existing Building Code
||527 CMR - MA fire prevention and electrical regulations
|IECC - International Energy Conservation Code
||521 CMR - MA accessibility regulations
|IMC - International Mechanical Code
||248 CMR - MA plumbing regulations
|IFC - International Fire Code
||524 CMR - MA elevator regulations
- March 1, 2012: BBRS is considering adoption of the IECC 2012 possibly as early as third quarter of 2012, and when promulgated a full one year concurrency period will be in effect. The Stretch code which is in development now may follow a similar schedule.