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Search for Building Permits in Boston by address, ZIP or neighborhood:

If you're building, renovating or demolishing a building in Boston, you need a building permit — it's how the government makes sure the work is done according to code. In this section of EveryBlock, we publish building permits throughout the city limits, so you can see which building permits have been issued recently in your immediate area.

Each permit report from the city provides the location of the project, the date the permit was issued and a description of the work.

Note that our data source, the Boston Inspectional Services Department, only publishes "as of right" permits — permits that do not require special exceptions from building code. That means you won't find every Boston building permit here — but our site can still keep you informed of various projects in your neighborhood.

The data comes from the Buildings and Structures "As of Right" Permits search maintained by Boston's Inspectional Services Department. The ISD updates the data each day, as do we at EveryBlock.

In Boston, you need a building permit if you're building a new building or structure, building an addition to a building or structure, repairing, renovating or demolishing a building or structure, changing the use and occupancy of a building or a parcel of land or changing or removing any required means of exiting a building.

You need an electrical, sprinkler or plumbing/gas permit if you install or repair any equipment or fixtures covered by the state building, plumbing, gas or electrical codes. Only licensed plumbing, gas, sprinkler or electrical contractors can apply for these permits.

You don't need a building permit for ordinary repairs such as wall papering, sanding, interior or exterior painting or carpet installation. However, you may need historical approval if you live in an area that has been deemed historical.

Building permits are necessary to ensure that work is designed and constructed in accordance with the Massachusetts State Building Code and the City of Boston Zoning Code. That's according to the Inspectional Services Department, which administers and enforces building, housing, health, sanitation and safety regulations.

For more information, go to the Inspectional Services Department's Obtaining a Building Permit page. You can apply for a permit using the city's Online Building Permit Applications page.


  • Source Boston's Inspectional Services Department
  • Updated Daily