Does Your Project Require a Building Permit?

By Marjorie Roy

In Andover, there are three primary reasons behind the requirement to apply for a building permit:
To ensure that the proposed project complies with the Town of Andover Zoning Ordinance
To ensure that the assessors are aware of the potential change in property value caused by the construction activity
To maintain an accurate record of all taxable events in the property file

It is important to apply for a building permit before you begin a project.  New construction, additions, structural changes, decks, garden sheds, garages, temporary buildings, generators, swimming pools, and all other type of new construction, including alteration or modifications of existing structures, require a building permit.  Removal of existing building and structures (including temporary buildings) also requires a permit.

There are some types of construction that are exempt from the building permit requirement, including fences, stonewalls, flagpoles, and playground equipment.  Building permits are not required for repair and replacement of roofing, siding, windows, and doors when the repair is “in-kind.” If you replace an asphalt shingle roof with a like asphalt shingle roof, then no permit is required.  If you replace an asphalt shingle roof with a metal roof, then a permit is required.

Andover employs a Zoning Administrator, not a Building Inspector.  The Zoning Administrator issues building permits, collects fees, checks for compliance with the Andover Zoning Ordinance and issues Certificates of completion.

State law requires that a building permit be issued before the start of any construction or demolition.  The law also requires that construction conforms to the International Building Code. The State of New Hampshire places the responsibility to conform to International Building Code and other state statutes on the contractor, or the property owner if the owner is doing the work themselves.

The property owner is responsible for compliance with:
– Shoreline Protection Act (State of New Hampshire, Department of Environmental Services)
– Septic system requirements (State of New Hampshire, Department of Environmental Services)
– All other State building requirements and/or agency administrative rules and wetland and floodplain requirements.

Property owners who have started and/or completed a project without a building permit should consult with the Zoning Administrator to obtain a building and/or Certificate of Compliance.   An “After the Fact” permit may be assessed higher fees.

Some information used is this article is from a previous Andover Beacon article written by Jim Danforth.