Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need Special Permits for Historical Renovations?

Building projects with historical building restrictions should be built by an experienced contractor for a number of reasons. Each town in Massachusetts has varying requirements with regard to historical renovations and a homeowner can waste thousands of dollars by having to redo work that is not up to standards. In most towns, a licensed contractor must appear  in front of a historical board to get building approval prior to starting the home renovation. These boards typically only meet once or twice a month, so this process needs to be taken into consideration when creating your project timeline.

How Do I Pull Construction Permits in MA?

Be very leery of a contractor who asks you pull the permits for your construction project. This a huge red flag. The reason a contractor would ask a homeowner to pull the permit is because they are not licensed to perform the work so they would be denied the permit. In fact some towns don’t allow homeowners to pull permits in order to avoid unlicensed workers from working on major building projects. They consider it a matter of public safety.

What are the MA Insurance Regulations?

Often times homeowners will try to save money by not pulling permits or  by having an unlicensed contractor  perform work. In most situations the homeowners insurance policy will be voided if something were to go wrong and a permit was not pulled. The first thing an insurance company will do when an incident occurs is to research permitting and construction projects done on the home. They will not pay if a fire or some other damage occurs due to a non-permitted construction project.

What is a MASS HIC License?

The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) regulates the registration of contractors performing home improvements  or renovations on detached one and two family homes. All Contractors or Sub-Contractors who perform work on an existing one to four unit owner-occupied residential building must have their HIC license. Prior to performing work on such homes, a contractor must be registered as Home Improvement Contractor (HIC). The fees that contractors pay in association with their HIC Licesnses goes into a common fund. This common fund acts as an insurance policy for homeowners if something were to go wrong with their home improvement project. All work that falls under the HIC guarantee must have been conducted under a written contract between the homeowner and contractor. The contract must exceed $1000.00 and must contain certain provisions detailed in the following website- HIC Contract Sample