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Vermont General Contractor Regulations- By City

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The State of Vermont does not regulate their construction industry at the state-level.  General Contractors are not required to obtain a license from the state.  However, before the start of a project, contractors must check the local laws and ordinances for their county or city to determine what is needed.  Many cities in Vermont regulate construction by requiring contractors to obtain or work under the proper building and zoning permits for their projects.

Below are the building and zoning permit requirements for contractors in some of the larger cities in the State of Vermont.


*The only contractors who are licensed at the state-level in Vermont are Asbestos and Lead Abatement, Electrical and Plumbing Contractors.  Additionally, some specialty trade contractors are required to obtain a license from the state. 


Burlington, VT

Before beginning work on a construction project in the City of Burlington, Vermont, contractors are required to have the proper permits on-hand at the job site.  In most cases, a building permit is required, and in some cases a zoning permit is also required.  Building permits are issued by the Burlington Department of Public Works.

Building permits are required for all types of construction in the City of Burlington, which includes, but is not limited to:

  • Replacement or Installation of Roofing and Siding
  • Replacement or Installation of Stockade Fencing
  • Installation of Wood-Burning Heating Units
  • Removal of an Existing Building


To obtain a building permit, contractors must complete and submit an application, along with the proper fees, documents and construction plans for the project.  For a copy of the building permit application, please visit:



The Department of Public Works accepts hand-drawn construction plans for smaller projects.  For larger projects, contractors will need the assistance of a registered professional in the State of Vermont, such as an architect or engineer, to develop their construction plans.

The details required in the construction plans depend on the size of the project.  However, all project plans must indicate the following:

  • Floor Plans
  • Elevation
  • Identification of all Areas of the Project
  • List of Project Materials


The minimum fee to obtain a building permit in the City of Burlington is $20.  From there, fees are calculated at $8.50 per $1,000 of the estimated cost of the project.  The Department of Public Works accepts fee payments in the form of check, made payable to “DPW/ISD.”

In some cases, contractors are required to obtain a zoning permit for their project, in addition to a building permit.  For more information about zoning permits, contact the Planning and Zoning Office at:



Once Department of Public works issues the building permit, it will indicate the type of inspection that the contractor must undergo for their project.  The permit will also indicate if a Certificate of Occupancy is required.  The Building Inspector will sign and date the contractor’s copy of the building permit once the project is finished.  Contractors should keep this signed copy for their records.


For more information about obtaining a building permit in the City of Burlington, Vermont, call or visit the Department of Public Works at:

645 Pine Street
Suite A
P.O. Box 849
Burlington, VT 05401

Phone Number: 802-863-9094


Visit: http://www.burlingtonvt.gov/DPW/Construction-Permits/FAQs


Use the link below to contact the Department and ask questions via email:



Montpelier, VT

Contractors working in the City of Montpelier, Vermont are required to obtain a building permit from the Montpelier Building Department.  A building permit is needed for the following types of work:

  • New Construction/Erection of a Building
  • Installations
  • Alterations
  • Renovations
  • Demolition
  • Moving a Building
*A permit is also required but not limited to the installation of new gypsum/wall board, installation of new heating or electrical equipment, and the installation of solar panels. 


The Building Inspector will determine if a permit is needed and ensure that the contractor’s project is in compliance with the codes and ordinances in the City of Montpelier.  For a copy of the building permit application, please visit:



Because the Building Department requires contractors to submit construction plans along with their permit application, it is important to consult the Building Inspector in the early planning stages of the project, to determine the type of construction plans that are needed.  Chris Lumbra is the Assistant Building Inspector for the City of Montpelier, and may be reached via email at:



The level of detail required in the contractor’s construction plans depends on the size of the project.  If the contractor is working on a large project, the assistance of an architect or engineer, licensed by the State of Vermont, is needed in developing construction plans.   Contractors must submit 2 complete sets of construction plans, along with their completed application and permit fees.

In some cases, a zoning permit is also required, in addition to a building permit.  For more information, contact the Department of Planning and Community Development, or visit:



Building permits are issued on a per-project basis and are good for a period of 1 year.  If the contractor is still working on the same project at the end of the permit period, they must submit a written request to have their permit renewed or extended prior to the expiration date.  There is no cost to renew or extend a building permit in the City of Montpelier.


For more information about obtaining a building permit in the City of Montpelier, Vermont, please call or visit the Planning and Development Department at:

39 Main Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

Main Office Phone Number: 802-262-6170

Planning Office Phone Number: 802-223-9506


Visit: http://www.montpelier-vt.org/upload/groups/143/files/city_permit_permitapplication_city_cover_pages_06-19-2012.pdf


Rutland City, VT

Contractors in Rutland City, Vermont are required to obtain a building permit from the Rutland City Building & Zoning Department.  To obtain an application for a permit, call or visit the Building & Zoning Department office at:

52 Washington Street
2nd Floor
P.O. Box 969
Rutland, VT 05702

Phone Number: 802-773-1800 Ext. 8


The Building & Zoning Department also handles building inspections and the issuing of certificates of occupancy and zoning permits.  In addition to a building permit, contractors are also required to obtain a zoning permit, in most cases.

A building permit is required for all types of construction, including commercial and residential projects.  This ensures that all contractors are working in compliance with codes and ordinances in Rutland City.  Permits are required, but no limited to the following project types:

  • New Construction
  • Renovations
  • Demolition
  • Changes of Use


A permit is also needed to construct, alter, demolish or repair the following:

  • Pools
  • Decks
  • Sheds
  • Additions
  • Accessory Buildings and Structures


The minimum fee to obtain a building permit is $20.  Building permit fees are then calculated at 10 cents per square foot of new construction OR $1.50 per $1,000 of renovation costs.  There is also a $10 filing fee which is applied to both building permits and zoning permits.


For more information on obtaining a building or zoning permit in Rutland City, Vermont, please visit the following links:





Call the Building & Zoning Department at:

802-773-1800 Ext. 8


Brattleboro, VT

Contractors working on construction projects in Brattleboro, Vermont are required to obtain the proper zoning permits from the Town of Brattleboro Planning Services Department.  A zoning permit is required to participate in the following types of construction:

  • Residential or Commercial Construction
  • Demolition
  • Re-building an Existing Building
  • Adding Square Footage to an Existing Building or Structure
*This includes decks and accessory buildings


Contractors should plan their projects accordingly, as it takes approximately 30 days to apply for and receive a zoning permit.  Contractors must submit their construction plans, along with a completed application and the required fees to the Planning Services Department.

To obtain a permit application, please visit the link below.  Please note that all contractors are required to complete and submit Form A:



For a schedule of zoning permit fees, please visit:



Zoning permit applications are due on Friday at noon, 24 days before the Board is scheduled to meet and review applications.  The Board meets on the 3rd Monday of each month at 7pm.

*Please direct any questions regarding the building inspection process, or commercial construction projects to Brian Johnson at Fire and Safety for Windham County.  Please call:

It is important to note that in addition to a zoning permit from the Town of Brattleboro, some contractors are also required to obtain a permit from the State of Vermont.  Before a contractor begins work on a construction project, they must call and speak with a specialist at the State Permitting Office to determine if a state permit is also required:



All contractors participating in the renovation or demolition of buildings with lead-based paints or asbestos should be familiar with laws and city ordinances for dealing with these hazardous materials.  For more information, please call:



Visit: http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/asbestos/asbestos.aspx


For more information on obtaining a zoning permit in the Town of Brattleboro, Vermont, please visit or call the Planning Services Department at:

230 Main Street
Room 202
Brattleboro, VT 05301

Phone Number: 802-251-8154


Visit: http://www.brattleboro.org/index.asp?SEC=12892E71-000C-4BE9-BA49-30088E51144A&Type=B_BASIC