Zoning & Building Permits in New Hampshire

City of Manchester 1892 Zone and Building Map

Types of Permits
Porcupine Real Estate often gets questions on zoning regulations in New Hampshire. Much like property taxes, zoning laws and ordinances vary from town to town. If you're considering a property and plan to do any major improvements like building a garage, putting livestock or other animals on the property, cutting down several trees, or something similar, you will want to check with the town before you proceed.

Town Permitting Processes
While each town has its own permitting process, if you're doing your own work on your house, the permit requirement is often waived. We recommend checking with your town to confirm prior to starting work.

The State and the Septic System
One exception to the permit process is septic systems, which are regulated on a statewide basis. If you're building a new system, you'll have to get state approval for the system regardless of the town. If you're building within the minimum setbacks of a body of water or wetlands, you'll need state approval.


Porcupine Real EstateEditor's Note: This article is the fourth installment in our real estate column, where the experts at Porcupine Real Estate share their answers to clients' frequently asked questions.You can view several towns' zoning ordinances on Porcupine Real Estate's New Hampshire Relocation Guide.


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