Building Department Permits

Building permits are required for all construction in Madison except for replacement of small sections of non-critical, existing structures by homeowners. (For example, replacing a window sash would not require a permit while replacement of the entire window would. Similarly, replacing a few sections of damaged siding would not require a permit while residing a sizable portion of a house would). Licensed contractors are required to pull permits for any work they perform. Building code standards are the same for contractors and homeowners alike.

Building Permit Approval

All permit applications circulate through various town offices for review and approval, depending on the scope of the work and approvals required. For example a new house application would require review by the following departments:
  • Wetlands Official (also reviewing erosion and stormwater controls)
  • Health Department (If septic system installation or repair is part of any building project a separate septic system permit is required. Septic system installations and repairs are by licensed installers)
  • Fire Marshal (commercial only)
  • Engineering (if within a Special Flood Hazard Area Zone)
  • Zoning Officer
  • Building Official
After each department has approved the application and the appropriate fee is paid a building permit number is assigned, a permit placard is issued to post at the building site and construction can begin.

Depending on the level of complexity the approval process can take several weeks.

Permit Completion

Completed building projects result in a Certificate of Occupancy for habitable space and a Certificate of Completion for other projects. The applicant must request a final inspection. Zoning compliance is required in order for the Building Official to sign the certificate. Certificates must be signed in person by the applicant / owner at the Building Department office.

Recording Permits

All relevant documentation on file at the town offices will be sent out for microfilming (this will change to a digitized format sometime after mid-2007) and will be available for review in the Land Use Office and eventually online.


Fees are payable by check to the Town of Madison at the time of the permit application.
 Building Permit Fees - Approved by BOS for 7/1/2016
$25  fee for the first $1000.00 of permit valuation on all associated permits 
$13.00/m  fee for the balance of the permit valuation
$0.26/m*  fee collection for the education fee
*the State will increase to $0.28/m in October 2016
 $50.00 flat fee for Certificate of Occupancy inspections - Residential and Commercial
$15.00 flat fee for administrative handling of Sub Contractor permit applications
$75.00 flat fee for reactivation of expired permits
Permit value of $1000.00 = $25.26 fee
Permit value of $2000.00 = $38.52 fee