Building Division | Inspectional Services

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.

Notice regarding requests for expired permits

NOTICE Regarding requests for Building Inspections for expired Building Permits

Inspector of BuildingsPeter 3

Peter McLaughlin, CBO
Email Peter McLaughlin
617-972-6480 ext. 5

Local InspectorScott White

M. Scott White
Email Scott White
617-972-6480 ext. 4

Plumbing & Gas Inspector  

Dan (John) MacDonald
Email Dan (John) MacDonaldDan (John) MacDonald
617-972-6480 ext. 2
Office Hours:
7:30 am - 9:00 am 

Wiring/Electrical InspectorDave Farrar

Dave Farrar
Email Dave Farrar
617-972-6480 ext. 3
Office Hours:
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

  1. Building Permit Application Form  
  2. Homeowner Exemption
  3. Affidavit of Final cost
  4. Demolition Permit Application Form
  5. Sign Permit Application Form
  6. Trench Permit Application Form
  7. Sheet Metal Application Form   (use State form)
  8. Gas Permit
  9. Plumbing Permit
  10. Wiring/Electrical Permit (PDF)
  11. Reasonable Accommodations Process
  12. Certificate of Occupancy Application
  13. Change of Licensed Builder
  14. Building Permit Amendment

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.

Building Resources

Building Permit/Code:

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.

Helpful Links:

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 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

Wire/Electrical Resources

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.