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Avoid Building Permits AND Preserve Historic Beauty

Do you still need building permits if you’re repairing cracked plaster walls or ceilings? As long as you’re not doing any structural renovation, the answer is generally no, you do not building permits. Just ask Mike, a Plaster Magic® customer.

We recently got an email from Mike, who had an interesting experience while on a plaster repair job in Boston. As if there aren’t enough reasons to preserve historic plaster instead of tearing it out and putting up drywall or new plaster…

A woodworker by trade, Mike was on a renovation project in the Chelsea section of Boston. The original plaster in the home was cracked and pocked, so Mike ordered some Plaster Magic® to reattach it to the lath, thus preserving its beauty and value.

As he was working on the project, a policeman and building inspector made a surprise visit to the site. This is not an uncommon occurrence on job sites. Mike did not have a building permit.

But that’s the beautiful thing! Because he was simply repairing the cracked plaster with Plaster Magic®, he didn’t need building permits. Mike explained to the officer and inspector that because he was preserving the plaster and avoiding a tear out and replacement, he was keeping the disturbance under the building permit requirements threshold. The inspector and officer agreed once they saw how little he was disturbing and walked away satisfied.

We love to hear stories like this.

It makes us happy to know that Plaster Magic® is not only saving renovators time and money (not to mention saving historic plaster in cities rich with heritage), but also saving them time, plus the added expense and frustrating application process that building permits require.

All states and cities have different permit requirements, so be sure you do your homework before beginning a project. For information on permit requirements, contact your town clerk or city offices. You may also visit