Do I need a building permit for painting or wallpapering?

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No. These activities, as well as minor repairs such as replacing a few shingles on your house, are considered "ordinary repairs" by the Massachusetts State Building Code and do not require a building permit. The Code defines ordinary repairs as "Any Maintenance which does not affect the structure, egress, fire protection systems, fire ratings, energy conservation provisions, plumbing, sanitary, gas, electrical or other utilities."