Inspectional Services Division
March 26, 2020
Town Hall is currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 virus, and there is a limited staff presence. Inspectors and staff will be checking email and voicemail and will be returning messages as soon as they can.
• Inspections may take place under specific conditions, please speak with the appropriate Inspector to determine feasibility.
• Currently permitted projects (Building, Electric, Gas and Plumbing) can continue to work however, we will not be accepting new applications at this time.
• The Town of Watertown will adopt the procedures set forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts “COVID-19 Guidelines and Procedures for All Construction Sites and Workers At All Public Work”.
• The guidelines presented must be adhered to for current construction projects to continue. Please refer to the attached document. Guidelines for all Construction Sites
At this time permits are not being accepted or issued except for emergency repairs. The Town Hall has been closed to the public to help mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak. Staff will be responding to calls and emails as best we can during this unprecedented time.
Inspectional Services Division
The Watertown Inspectional Services Division (ISD) is a part of the Community Development & Planning Department. The ISD includes the building, gas, plumbing, wiring/electric inspectors.
Plumbing & Gas Inspector
Dan (John) MacDonald
Email Dan (John) MacDonald
617-972-6480 ext. 2
7:30 am - 9:00 am
All application forms listed below are available to download and print; however, each must be submitted in person to the Building Division with the appropriate license(s), a copy of Liability/Workers Comp insurance, a copy of the contract and Workers Comp Affidavit. If you're a homeowner, a completed Homeowner Exemption form is also required. Blank forms are available in the office.
Fee Schedule (PDF) - Effective September 30, 2013
- Building Permit Application Form (PDF)
- Homeowner Exemption
- Affidavit of Final cost
- Demolition Permit Application Form (PDF)
- Sign Permit Application Form (PDF)
- Trench Permit Application Form (PDF)
- Sheet Metal Application Form (PDF) (use State form)
- Gas Permit
- Plumbing Permit
- Wiring/Electrical Permit (PDF)
- Reasonable Accommodations Process
- Certificate of Occupancy Application
Some Building Permits will require prior DPW approval (new construction, razing, additions) please contact the Department of Public Works - Permits for more information.
To find out the status of a permit that has been submitted or to schedule an inspection, contact: Debbie Helie at 617-972-6480, ext. 1. You also may view issued Building Permits online: View all permits
To receive a weekly update of all building permits issued, add your email address to the 'Notify Me' section of the Town's website.
The Inspector of Buildings, reviews and approves all building applications for compliance with §780 CMR Massachusetts State Building Code, 9th Edition and all other pertinent codes.
Building permits are required for most work being done on/in a structure including temporary structures (tents). 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.
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, the Inspector of Buildings performs annual safety inspections of all commercial establishments and monitors compliance of Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.
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).
|2009 International Codes (I-Codes)||Massachusetts Regulations|
|IBC - International Building Code 2009||780 CMR - MA Amendments to the IBC and IRC 2009|
|IRC - International R Code 2009||NEC - Electrical 2011|
|IEBC - International Existing Building Code 2009|
|IECC - International Energy Conservation Code 2015||521 CMR - MA accessibility regulations|
|IMC - International Mechanical Code 2015||248 CMR - MA plumbing regulations 2011|
|IFC - International Fire Code 2015||524 CMR - MA elevator regulations 2009|
Note: Watertown is a "Stretch Community"
Plumbing and Gas Resources
Permits are issued to Massachusetts Licensed Plumbers and Gas Fitters Only. The State has mandated a universal application form for all Plumbing and Gas Permit Application Forms.
Watertown adheres to the Massachusetts Fuel/Gas and Plumbing Codes 248 CMR
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70, has acted as sponsor of the National Electrical Code (NEC) since 1911. Watertown's Electrical Inspector bases all inspections upon these codes (NEC 2017). The purpose of the code is the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity. Refer to NEC Article 90.1, Purpose.