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Building Permits
Why do I need a building permit?
Both NH State Law and the Town of Gorham require that a building permit be obtained. The purposes for permits include:
a. Provide for public safety for both current and future occupants of the structure;
b. Provide a mechanism of fair property tax assessment;
c. Assure that construction complies with all applicable minimum Zoningand Building Standards.

Where can I get an application form?
Application forms can be obtained at the Gorham Town Hall, Main Office or click here

How much does a permit cost?
The current Fee Schedule can be obtained at the Gorham Town Hall Main Office or click here. Fees are payable when the application is

What is the Building Permit process?
a. Applicant to review standards applicable to the project.
b. Submit a completed application (short or full) with all required plans and sketches to the Town Hall Main Office for processing.
c. Gorham Code Compliance Officer will review the application for compliance to zoning and other local and State ordinances. (Note: if the plan
involves a project other than a single family home it will be subjected to either an abbreviated or full site plan review by the Planning Board).
d. Gorham Code Compliance Officer will review the application and take the following action:

i. if the application involves anything other than a single-family home, he will either approve the application or request the
applicant contact him for clarification. After that, the application will be sent to the Board of Selectmen for a “sign-off” and the Building Permit will be issued.

ii. the code compliance officer will review as above and advise the applicant that they may need to seek a variance or special
exception from the zoning board. This action is started by a denial of the permit application.

iii. If the project involves a commercial or multi-family structure, the Code Compliance Officer will review the application

e. Gorham Compliance Officer reviews all application for Sign Permits. If the application involves a sign replacement (exact same size and location) or a face replacement (exact same size) then the action may be taken immediately to approve the application. If the application involves a new sign then the Site Plan Committee will review the application and either mark it for approval or send it on to the Planning Board for a full review.

How long does it take to obtain a building permit? How far ahead of my project should I apply for the permit?
Permits are usually available within 7 to 10 business days from the application submission.  State law provides up to 30 days for review. Applicants are notified of incomplete applications. Projects that have been reviewed within the 30-day time frame and require further action by other boards (Planning and or Zoning) may require further time prior to the issuance of a permit.

Can I start the project before having the permit?
No! You are required to “post” the permit at the site prior to the start of the project and it must be available to the Compliance Officer to sign during all inspections.

What are the consequences of not having a building permit?
If you begin construction without a permit, the Code Compliance Officer will issue a “Stop Work Order”. You will then be required to apply for permits and pay an additional fee of $25.00 for your project. If your project is a commercial or multi-family the additional fee is $100.00. If approved, a permit will be issued and you may be required to uncover any work that has not been inspected. In some cases, regulations and codes may not permit the type of construction that has been done. In this case, you may be required to replace or restore the area to its original condition prior to construction. It is obvious that you should make sure you have all of your permits before starting. It is the owner of the property that has the responsibility for insuring that all permits have been obtained not the contractor or subs.

Do building and sign permits expire?
Yes! Permits expire after 1 year. You are entitled to one additional extension without a fee. If over 1 year has elapsed then you must file a completely new application.

What happens if my building permit application is denied?
Denials are issued in writing with the basis of the denial provided. Every attempt will be made to advise you on how to correct the reason for denial.
Your options may include:
  • Applying to the Zoning Board of adjustment for a variance or special exception
  • Applying to the Zoning Board of Adjustment
Assistance in filling out the forms
You may contact the Main Office at the Gorham Town Hall for assistance in filling out any of the required forms.

Town of Gorham, New Hampshire
20 Park Street, Gorham NH 03581 (603) 466-3322