Under the Massachusetts State Building Code, 780 CMR, the owner of a one or two family dwelling is allowed to secure their own building permit, in lieu of a licensed general contractor. In essence, the homeowner becomes the general contractor and is responsible for all related work performed at the property, up to and including ensuring full compliance with all provisions covered under the Massachusetts State Building Code, 780 CMR. All contractors hired by the homeowner are considered sub-contractors and should have the proper insurance otherwise the homeowner may be liable for any injuries incurred on the property through their homeowner's insurance. The homeowner is not allowed to secure permits for electrical work and plumbing/gas work; these permits must be secured by the respective licensed contractor.
Important Note: Owners not using registered contractors or obtaining their own permits cannot receive payment from the Massachusetts guaranty fund as outlined in the Home Improvement Contractor registration program.