When is a Permit Required - Residential

What requires a Building Permit at your home?

A residential building permit is required to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish a building or structure or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any mechanical or plumbing system.



That may seem like almost anything, but the following are items that are exempt from a Residential Permit:

  • One-story detached accessory structures (Sheds, Coops, etc.) less than 200 sqft.
  • Fences not over 7 feet high. (Please note Maine's Spite Fence Law 17 MRS §2801)
  • Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge, i.e. a building, vehicles.
  • 5000 gal or less Water tanks directly supported the ground and the ratio of height to diameter or width doesn’t exceed 2:1.
  • Sidewalks and driveways. Swings and other playground equipment.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, and similar finish work.
  • Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep.
  • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall that don’t project more than 54 in from the wall and don’t require additional support.
  • Decks not exceeding 200 sqft in area, that are not more than 30 inches above the ground at any point, are not attached to a dwelling, and do not serve the primary exit door.


If you have any questions at all on what may require a permit, please call the Hampden Code Enforcement Office at 207-862-4000 option 8. We are always happy to assist you in seeing if your project requires a permit. If you live on or within 300ft of any waterbody your project may not require a permit but may require a Shoreland Zoning permit so, please always call first before commencing any projects around or near the waterbody.