General Contractors working in Maine are not required to obtain a license from the state. Maine regulates their construction industry at the local-level. However, the State of Maine does have a state-wide law that contractors must follow, concerning written contracts for home construction and repair work. This law is known as the Description of Home Construction Contract Law.
Before beginning work on a construction project, it is important that contractors check the local laws and regulations of their city, town or county. Most cities in the State of Maine require contractors to obtain the proper building permits for their projects.
Below are the building permit requirements for some of the larger cities in the State of Maine, as well as more information about the Description of Home Construction Contract Law.
*The only contractors who are licensed at the state-level in Maine are Plumbing, Electrical and Asbestos Abatement Contractors.
Statewide Law for Contractors Regarding Written Contracts in Maine
While the State of Maine does not handle the licensing of General Contractors, they do have a law that requires contractors to provide the proper written documentation to their clients. Any contractor working on a home construction or repair project of $3,000 or more must provide their clients with a written contract. This law requires all written contracts to explain the following information in detail:
- The cost of the project- including labor and materials
- Description of the work the contractor intends to perform
- Estimated completion date for the project
Contractors who do not comply with this law face civil penalties. Additionally, clients and customers who are not provided a written contract may claim Unfair Trade Practices against the contractor, when the cost of the job is $3,000 or more.
For more information about the Description of Home Construction Contract Law in the State of Maine, please visit:
Contractors working in the City of Portland, Maine are required to obtain a building permit from the city’s Building Inspections Department. A permit is needed for the following types of work:
- New Construction
- Repairs to a Building’s Interior or Exterior
- Structural Alterations
- Changes of Use to a Building or Property
- Swimming Pools
A building permit is not needed for contractors performing the following types of work:
- Painting (interior or exterior)
- Window Replacement/Installation
*A building permit is not needed for these types of work, unless the building is located in a historic district.
The Building Inspections Department does not accept paper applications. All applications and plans must be submitted online, electronically. To apply for a building permit, follow the step-by-step instructions found in the link below. This link provides information and instructions to properly submit the application using the city’s online system:
Applications and plans are also accepted via email. Contractors must submit their application and attach their construction plans to the email. Construction plans must be properly labeled and in PDF form. Email the completed application and supporting documents to:
Building Inspections will contact the contractor for any missing or incomplete information. It is important that contractors respond immediately to avoid delays in the permitting process. Once Building Inspections has received the application, they will issue a confirmation email within 24 to 48 hours.
The confirmation email will contain an invoice that shows the permit fee amount. Fees are based on the size of the project and the type of work the contractor intends to perform. Contractors have the option of paying their permit fees one of the following ways:
- In-Person- at the Building Inspection office
- Online- using a credit/debit card or check
- By Mail- with a check
*The invoice will contain instructions for online payments
Once the contractor has paid the permit fee, the application and plans will undergo a review process. Once accepted and approved, the building permit will be issued. It is then the contractor’s responsibility to schedule an inspection. Inspection appointments require a 48 to 72 hour-advanced notice. For more information about scheduling an inspection, please call or email:
Construction projects must begin within 6 months of contractors receiving their permit. All permits are good for 6 months from the date they are issued.
For more information about obtaining a building permit in the City of Portland, Maine, please call or visit Building Inspections at:
389 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101
Phone Number: 207-874-8703
The City of Bangor Maine regulates their construction industry and protects the interests of the consumer by requiring all contractors to hold a building permit before the start of a project. Building permits are issued by the city’s Code Enforcement Department. A permit is required for the following types of work:
- New Construction
- Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC
- Water Heaters
*A building permit does not allow a contractor to perform plumbing, electrical or mechanical installations.
All contractors are required to submit construction drawings and specifications in addition to the application. The Code Enforcement Department is responsible for reviewing applications and construction plans. All work must be approved and inspected by the Department to ensure that the contractor is following the codes and ordinances in the City of Bangor.
Building permits protect the contractor and the public in Bangor, ME by making sure that properties don’t lose value due to poor construction. They also minimize the instance of lawsuits and claims. Contractors work closely with a code official from the start of the permitting process to make sure that all work is safe and up to code.
Once the Department has approved the application, they will issue the permit, along with a weatherproof placard that the contractor must display in a visible area on the project site. All construction work must begin within 6 months of the Department issuing the permit.
In addition to issuing the permit, the code official will let the contractor know their deadline to schedule an on-site visit. When scheduling an on-site visit, 1 to 2 days advance is generally required.
For more information about obtaining a building permit in the City of Bangor, Maine, please visit or call the Code Enforcement Department. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm:
73 Harlow Street
Bangor, ME 04401
Phone Number: 207-992-4230
Contractors working in the City of Augusta, Maine are required to obtain a permit from the city’s Code Enforcement Bureau before the start of any construction project. A building permit is needed for:
- New Construction
- Parking Lot Construction
The type of building permit needed is specific to the type of work the contractor intends to perform.
For a copy of the Commercial Building Permit Application, please visit:
All commercial building permit applicants must pay a $30 review fee. Make checks payable to “Treasurer, City of Augusta.” Contractors are required to submit 2 copies of the completed application, along with 2 sets of stamped construction plans, which outline the project details.
For a copy of the Residential Building Permit Application, please visit:
All residential building permit applicants are required to pay a $15 review fee. Make checks payable to “Treasurer, City of Augusta.” Additional building permit fee costs are calculated based on the size and square footage of the project. Residential Contractors are required to submit the following along with their completed application:
- Site Plan- showing the dimensions of the project area, up to the property line
- Floor Plan- showing the dimensions of the interior of the project
- Materials List- detailing all materials and equipment the contractor plans to use during the project
*If the contractor is working on a project that is not supported by the city sewer, a subsurface water disposal application must be completed and submitted by a licensed soil scientist.
For all other building permit types, including demolition and wrecking permits, please visit the link below:
For more information about obtaining a building permit in the City of Augusta, Maine, please call or visit the Code Enforcement Bureau at:
16 Cony Street
Augusta, ME 04330-5298
Phone Number: 207-626-2365
Office Hours are Monday through Friday from 7:45am to 4:30pm.
Bar Harbor, ME
To work on a construction project in the Town of Bar Harbor, Maine, contractors are required to hold a building permit. The Town of Bar Harbor makes sure that all construction projects are in compliance with local Land Use ordinances, as well as the 2009 International Building Codes.
For a copy of the building permit application, please visit:
The cost to obtain a building permit depends on the type of project and the scope of work the contractor intends to perform. To view a schedule of permit fees, please visit:
Along with the application, contractors are required to submit a set of construction drawing that are up to the 2009 International Building Code standards. Construction plans must detail and include the following information:
- Shape and dimensions of the project lot
- Location of all buildings, structures, bodies of water, and other significant features on the project lot
- Location of new and proposed buildings and structures, or portions that will be added to the existing building and structures
- Explanation of the intended use for each building and structure on the property
- Location of subsurface sewage disposal systems, soil test pits, signs, buffer strips, parking lots and driveways, and private wells
*If the contractor’s project involves the installation of a septic system, they must submit 3 copies of form HHE-200, for Subsurface Wastewater Disposal.
Contractors applying for a commercial building permit are required to obtain and submit a State Fire Marshal Construction Permit and obtain the stamp of a Maine State Architect or Engineer on their construction drawings.
For more information about obtaining a building permit in the Town of Bar Harbor, Maine, please call or visit:
93 Cottage Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Phone Number: 207-288-3329