Code Enforcement & Building Inspections

Please mail or deliver completed forms to the attention of Code Enforcement, Town of Thomaston, 13 Valley St Thomaston, ME 04861. 

Inspections & Appointments: Please call or email at least 48 hours before to schedule inspections or appointments. It is up to the permit holder to call the CEO for inspections. The Code Enforcement Officer has no way of knowing how fast your project may move along.

Permits are required for all, but not limited to:

  • New buildings, structural alterations to existing buildings
  • Work involving the installation, replacement or relocation of electrical wiring
  • Work involving the installation, replacement or relocation of plumbing fixtures, the installation of new or replacement septic systems
  • New or replacement signs, new swimming pools and demolition of existing buildings and blasting.
The following activities shall not require a building permit:
  • Repairs, replacement and/or normal maintenance not requiring structural elements, decorative changes in existing structures or buildings. This means you are not rewiring, removing walls, or replacing plumbing. Structural changes within a building would require a building permit. 

All building permit applications are required to have building plans and information showing all appropriate construction details. The plans and information are required so that a review for code and zoning compliance can be made prior to and during construction. 

A final certificate of occupancy is required before new buildings and additions can be occupied. Inspections are very important to ensure compliance with building codes. The number and timing of inspection will vary depending on the size and scope of the project. The staff in the Codes Office can provide information on what inspections will be required for your individual building project. Please contact the Codes Office before proceeding with building or remodeling plans. Permits allow the enforcement of codes, which have been adopted as law by Federal, State, and Town. No matter what the specific project may be, the enforcement of codes is carried out to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. The Code Enforcement Office which enforces the codes is acting to assure safe construction.

When should I get a Building Permit?

At last year’s Town Meeting, the voters approved an updated set of building codes, replacing the 2009 codes formerly in effect. The new codes are the 2015 editions of the International Residential Code for One- and Two-family Dwellings (IRC), the International Building Code (IBC), the International Existing Building Code, and International Property Maintenance Code. These codes make up part of the Maine State Building Codes.

Some changes to the way we have formerly operated under the previous code have been incorporated. As before you are required to obtain a building permit from the Code Office PRIOR to erecting, moving, adding to, structurally altering or demolishing ANY building or structure, except as noted below. All structures whether they require a permit or not must meet the minimum requirements for the district they are located in including setbacks and density requirements.

Specifically exempted from the requirements of obtaining a permit (but still required to meet the Land Use Ordinance’s provisions) are:

  • Fences not over 6 feet high.
  • Retaining walls not over 4 feet high measured from bottom of footing, unless supporting a “surcharge” (a vertical load imposed on the retained soil that may impose a lateral force in addition to the lateral earth pressure of the retained soil).
  • Water tanks supported directly upon grade of 5,000 gallons or less capacity with a ratio of height to diameter or width of no more than 2 to 1.
  • Sidewalks and Driveways (although new driveways do require a Driveway/Access Permit from the Road Commissioner and/or the MDOT).
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
  • Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24 inches deep.
  • Swings and other playground equipment.
  • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches and do not require additional support.
  • Repairs or replacement of standard components such as doors, windows or stairs that do not alter a building’s footprint in any way.

Note, however that the removal or cutting of any wall, structural beam or load-bearing support or the removal or change of any required means of egress or the rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress or any changes to the water or septic systems installed in a structure do require a permit.

Building permits are obtained from the Code Office upon the filing of an Application, the submission of your plan(s) or sketches of the work you wish to do and the payment of a fee based on the type of work and the size of the structure. We will be glad to help you fill out the form and prepare your sketches, etc.

A permit becomes invalid if the work is not started within 6 months or if the work is suspended for 6 months or more, although the Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) may grant six-month extensions for no fee in writing when applied for in writing demonstrating justifiable cause.

A permit is valid for two years or to the date of substantial completion of the project, whichever comes first. Again, a two-year extension for no fee may be granted by the CEO in writing when applied for in writing demonstrating justifiable cause.

All permits will require inspections. For most projects there are at least three inspections:

(1)  Footings, drain tile systems, foundation and basement walls, when walls are at least two feet high, but before back filling the wall and before proceeding with the superstructures,

(2)  Framing prior to lath or finish covering but after firestopping, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems are installed, and

(3)  Final inspection when building or structure is completed.

In addition, on jobs involving reinforced concrete work, inspection must be made after the steel is placed but before the concrete is poured. Other inspections may be required depending on the work involved.

Please note: no one may use, occupy, or permit others to use or occupy any building or structure that has been built, erected, changed, converted, altered, enlarged or have its use changed under a duly issued building permit until a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued by the CEO. This usually follows the final inspection provided the CEO finds and endorses the certificate to the effect that the work conforms to the Town’s Ordinances.  Linked below, please find the permits, licenses, & forms page to access blank forms for your project.

Permits, Licenses, & Forms