What Landscape Design Permits are Required in Massachusetts?

Jan 5, 2021

Updating your landscape design is a great way to extend the outdoor season and increase the value of your home, but remembering your landscape design permits is one of the most important steps during the renovation process.

Landscape design is a great way to enhance or completely transform your residential property, and the options are limitless. From patio pavers and outdoor kitchens to an inground pool, homeowners from Boston to Carver update their landscape design to create a relaxing oasis or backyard ready for entertaining. 

Perhaps the most overwhelming part of a landscape design renovation is determining which projects require a permit and which do not. While landscape design permits vary from town-to-town, there are many landscape design projects that almost always require a permit. 

3D AutoCAD rendering of an in-ground pool. This is phase two of the landscape design process.

When is a Building Permit Required in Massachusetts?

According to the Massachusetts State Building Code – 780 CMR, a permit is required if you plan to demolish, reconstruct, alter, repair, or remove a building or structure and must be obtained before any work begins. 

Examples of work that would require a permit in Massachusetts include:

  • Adding, alternating, replacing, or relocating a fire protection system such as an irrigation system.
  • Inground pool installation if the pool is more than 24 inches deeps
residential new england home with a stone wall and green grass lawn

When is a Building Permit Not Required in Massachusetts?

Most landscape design projects in Massachusetts do not require a permit. Examples of projects that do not require a landscape design permit include:

  • A fence less than 7 feet high
  • Retaining walls that are under 4 feet high
  • Swimming pools that are less than 24 inches deep, 5,000 gallons, and installed above the grade do not require a permit. You can find the application for a pool permit by visiting your local government website.
  • Paving stone installation for a patio, walkway, or driveway.
  • Firepit installation
  • Ordinary landscape design renovation projects like artificial turf, plant design, loam and seeding, outdoor lighting, and stone walls do not require a permit.

Your chosen landscape designer will have the skills and expertise to help you obtain the proper permits for your specific landscape design project, though most landscape design projects do not require a permit. We suggest checking your local government website for more information about required landscape design permits in your area, as permit requirements can change depending on the community you live in.

What are the Keys to a Successful Outdoor Living Project?

The keys to a successful outdoor living project come down to five important categories:

  1. Choosing the landscape design contractor right for you.
  2. Planning and permitting
  3. Preparing for unforeseen challenges
  4. Breaking ground on your landscape design project.
  5. Delivering a “wow” moment.

After choosing the right landscape designer for you, planning and permitting is of paramount importance. Failing to obtain all the proper permits will delay your landscape design project and cause various other stressful problems.

If you’re unsure about landscape design permits in your area, contact your landscape designer for more information.

To learn more about landscape design permits, visit the JM Mento Landscape Design Services page and schedule a free consultation today! 

Check out our gallery for newly completed landscape design projects, and get inspired for your next landscape design remodel!

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