Building Division

Responsibilities
The Building Division is responsible for ensuring public safety, health, and welfare insofar as they are affected by building construction. We enforce the Massachusetts State Building Code 780 CMR, the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board Regulations 521 CMR and any other applicable rules, regulations and laws related to building construction and safety. Building permits are issued through our office to construct, reconstruct, alter, repair, change occupancy, demolish and/or relocate all residential and commercial buildings and structures within the Town of Canton. We also issue permits for swimming pools, fences, accessory sheds, temporary structures such as tents and trailers, solid fuel burning stoves and signs.

The following is a very short list of activities that do not require a building permit under the Massachusetts State Building Code 780 CMR:
  • 1-story detached accessory structure in which the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet
  • Fences 6 feet in height or less
  • Retaining walls that are not a threat to the public safety, health or welfare and which retain less than 4 feet of unbalanced fill
  • Greenhouses covered exclusively with plastic film  
    • This exemption does not apply if the greenhouse is used for any other use or uses other than what is normally expected for this purpose
  • Ordinary repairs which do not effect the structure, egress, fire protection, fire rating, energy provisions, plumbing, sanitary, gas or electrical systems
If you are uncertain as to whether or not you need a building permit please call our office.

Inspections
The Building Division is responsible for performing site, rough, insulation and final inspections on all building permits issued by this office. For new construction and additions we would also perform additional inspections to evaluate soil conditions, footings, and foundation walls. These inspections are necessary to ensure that the work performed complies with the standards set forth in the Massachusetts State Building Code 780 CMR. We are also responsible for performing annual inspections to all schools, day-cares, churches, restaurants, function halls and other places of assembly to ensure that life safety items such as exit signs, emergency lights, exit doors and occupancy capacity are being maintained safely and properly.

Build & Remodel
When building a new home or remodeling you will want to review the Building Procedure for Residential Alterations or Additions (PDF) or Building Procedure for New Residential Homes (PDF).  These two documents describe some of the items that you will need when applying for a permit.