The Building Permit process ensures that all new construction and renovations to existing buildings conforms to building codes, safety regulations, and local ordinances. Not all work requires permits. The following provides some examples of when permits are and are not required.
Examples when Building Permits are required:
Examples when Building Permits are not required:
The above list is not all-inclusive. Please contact the Building Department prior to beginning any work to determine whether a permit is necessary.
How to Apply for a Building Permit
- 1. Speak to the Building Official
- Call or visit the Building Department during office hours and explain the type of work you are planning to do. The Building Official will advise whether a permit is required and explain the requirements, codes/ordinances, and the steps in the process to complete your project.
- 2. Submit Your Application
- On the application you will indicate the type of work you will be doing and who will be doing the work. For owner-occupied single family residences the homeowner or a contractor licensed in the State of New Jersey may do the work. In all other cases, including two family residences, single family rental properties, and commercial properties, only contractors licensed in the State of New Jersey may perform the work.
You may also be required to attach plans, sketches, or other documents with your application. You must also make pay all fees associated with the permit process. Fees vary with the type of permit and type of work being performed.
If the work you are doing involves changes to the exterior of your property or structural changes to the interior of your home your permit will require review by the Zoning Officer. In these cases you will be asked to submit a copy of your plot plan (property survey) with your application. Examples of permits that require Zoning approval include, but are not limited to, additions, changes to the interior floorplan, decks, sheds, pools, fences, and driveways.
If your project cannot comply with the current Zoning Ordinance you will be required to obtain a variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment. No work can begin until all variances are approved and issued.
- 3. Wait While Your Application is Reviewed
- Your application will be reviewed to ensure that it complies with current building codes and township ordinances. If your application does not comply you may either correct the violations or file an appeal.
Please note that no work can begin until a permit is issued. Exceptions are made for the emergency replacement of furnaces, boilers, and water heaters. However, the Building Department must be notified at the time of installation and permits must be obtained within 5 days from the date of installation.
- 4. Receive Your Permit
- If your application does comply with standards a Building Permit will be issued and the work may begin. The Building Permit must be prominently displayed at the building site and a copy of the approved plans must be kept on site.
After the permit is issues any proposed changes must be submitted to the Building Official. All changes need to be reviewed and approved.
- 5. Schedule Inspections
- Inspections are required at various phases of the project to ensure that the work conforms to the permit, the plans, and building codes. The type of inspections required vary depending on the type of work being performed. You will notified of the required inspections when the permit is issued.
Call the Building Department to schedule all inspections. When calling please indicate the homeowner's name, address, and building permit number.
Please note: New Jersey State Law 13:45A-16.2 states: "For inspection building, electric, plumbing, fire protection, elevator-final inspections are required before final payment is made to the contractor."
- 6. Receive Certificate of Occupancy (CO) or Certificate of Approval
- Once the final inspection is completed and all work is determined to be in compliance with code the appropriate certificate will be issued. This indicates that your project has officially been completed. You may know occupy your new or renovated property with the peace of mind that it conforms to all building codes and safety regulations.