Town of Andover
36 Bartlet Street
Andover, MA 01810
DATE: December 6, 2021
TO: All Building Division Staff
FROM: Chris Clemente Building Commissioner/Inspector of Buildings
RE: Requests to “Close” Open Permits
This office in accordance with the provisions of 780 CMR (Massachusetts State Building Code) is unable to “close” or “finalize” open building permits that were issued prior to 10/20/2017. 780 CMR § 110.5, which states in part, “It shall be the duty of the holder of the building permit or their duly authorized agent to notify the building official when work is ready for inspection.”
Permits that have not had the required inspections (including building, electrical, gas, plumbing & mechanical) become invalid after 180 days. 780 CMR § 105.5 states in part, “Every permit shall become invalid…if the work authorized on the site by such permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days after the time the work is commenced.”
Should a party be aggrieved by this policy, they may in accordance with 780 CMR § 113 appeal such to the Massachusetts Building Code Appeals Board. Forms for such are available at www.mass.gov
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If the fence is over seven feet in height, a building permit is required. There is no requirement regarding which way the fence faces. The State Building Code, 780 CMR regulates the height of the fence. Fence can be installed close to the property line, as long as no part of it extends over a neighbor’s property.
RAILING, STEPS, AND LANDING REQUIREMENTS FOR 1 & 2 FAMILY DWELLINGS AND COMMERCIAL PER 780 CMR 9TH EDITION.
780 CMR R 312 - Guardrails
Guardrails are required for anything over 30 inches high.
Guardrails need to be at least 36 inches high
Spacing between balusters - Cannot allow an object 4 inches or more in diameter to pass through. (780 CMR R 312.1.3)
Handrail Grip Size - Cross section with outside diameter of at least 1 1/4 inches and not more than 2 inches. (780 CMR R 322.214.171.124)
STAIRWAYS/STEPS FOR 1 & 2 FAMILY DWELLING
Stairways shall not be less than 36 inches in clear width. (780 CMR R 311.7.1)
780 CMR R 3126.96.36.199 & R 3188.8.131.52:
Maximum riser height shall be 8 1/4 inches.
Minimum tread depth shall be 9 inches
780 CMR R 311.3:
Landings - Interior Landing – 36 inches x 36 inches
Exterior Landings – 36 inches wide by 42 inches deep
The floor area or landing shall not be more than 1 1/2 inches lower than the top of the threshold on the interior side nor more than 8 1/4 inches lower than the threshold on the exterior side.
STAIRS FOR OTHER THAN 1 & 2 FAMILY DWELLINGS IN A THREE OR MORE DWELLING UNIT AND COMMERCIAL STAIRS (EXCLUDING FIRE ESCAPES)
Maximum riser height shall be 7 inches – Minimum 4 inches
Minimum Tread depth shall be 11 inches
STAIRS: See 780 CMR 1011
GUARDRAILS: See 780 CMR 1015
HANDRAILS: See 780 CMR 1014
Inresponse to multiple inquiries requesting determination of the maximum occupantload the following is the Town of Andover’s policy in accordance with theMassachusetts State Building Code 780 CMR and the Massachusetts Fire PreventionCode 527 CMR.
1.) Consult the number of “Maximum Occupants” listed onyour Certificate of Inspection which is required to be posted in a “conspicuousplace in close proximity to the main entrance.”
2.) If your Certificate of Inspection is not current, complete a new “Certificate of Inspection Application” which may be found at www.andoverma.gov under the Building Divisions, Fees, Forms and Checklists.
3.) If you do not have a Certificate of Inspection and are one of the listed occupancies for which such is required per 780 CMR, Table 110 (copy below), you will need to complete the “Certificate of Inspection Application” found at www.andoverma.gov under the Building Divisions Fees, Forms and Checklists section, AND submit a current “Occupant Load Count and Egress Analysis” prepared and stamped by a Massachusetts Registered Architect for review by this office prior to an inspection taking place. Once an inspection has occurred this office will issue a current Certificate of Inspection for the occupant to post on the premises.
The following is for guidance only, no document could coverall possible scenarios or situations. Please consult with the building divisionshould you have additional questions regarding pool barriers after reviewingthis document.
The barrier provisions contained within the MassachusettsState Building Code (780 CMR) apply to indoor and outdoor swimming pools andhot tubs with water depths greater than 24”. This includes “portable” and “inflatable”swimming pools. An approved safety cover for a hot tub would satisfy thebarrier requirement. Required pool barriers or fences must be at least 48” highand constructed to prevent climbing by children. Access gates must be self-closingand self-latching, swinging away from the pool with hardware arranged so thatthe gate cannot be opened from the side opposite the pool. Below are someillustrations of code compliant pool barriers.
For above ground pools, the wall of the pool may serve asthe barrier, provided it meets the 48 inch height requirement and access to thepool is via a “closable, lockable ladder” A removable ladder is NOT acceptableunless it is closable and lockable.
In addition to outside walls or fences as barriers any doorsfrom the dwelling (where the walls of the dwelling are used as a portion of thepool enclosure) with direct access to the pool area must be equipped with audiblealarms. The alarm must be audible in all portions of the home and activatedwhen the door is opened.