Construction permits are issued by the Construction Inspection Division in the lower level of the Municipal Building.
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Permits are used to regulate construction. The process is designed to ensure that all construction within the Township is safe. The safety of building occupants is the primary reason for construction codes. Construction codes in effect in New Jersey can be found in the following link: NJ State Codes and Regulations
There are several types of permits, depending on the type of construction- structural, plumbing, mechanical or combination. Most homeowner projects require a "combination permit." In addition, permits are required for the demolition and relocation of buildings.
A construction permit is needed for all new construction. Permits are also usually needed for the repair or replacement of existing fixtures such as windows. A plumbing, electrical, or mechanical permit is needed for any change to a buildings system. For example, moving or adding an electrical outlet requires a permit. Feel free to call out office to find out if your specific project needs a permit.
A permit is not needed for wall papering, painting or similar finishing work. Replacement or repair of plumbing, mechanical or electrical fixtures (i.e., Changing faucets or replacing switches) does not normally require a permit.
Obtaining the permit is the first step. To begin the permit process you need to submit plans depicting the proposed improvements, submit a copy of the property survey with the improvements drawn on it and indicate the construction type to be used.
Don't be discouraged if this sounds complicated. Handouts are available to help you with each type of permit. You should be aware that once the plans are approved by the Construction Office you are required to build to match those plans. If changes occur during construction they must be made with the Construction Office's written approval.
The second step is the inspection of the work. The property owner is responsible for ensuring that inspections occur at specific times during construction. You may have the contractor call to schedule the inspections but please make sure that your contractor follows through.
Permit issuance periods vary depending on the project’s complexity.
Complete permit cost breakdowns are available from the Construction Inspection Division. Cost examples are as follows:
A copy of the contractor's contract is required to determine fees as per state requirements.
If a permit is not obtained when needed prior to construction you have violated Township and State regulations and are subject to fines and penalties. In addition, you will be required to obtain permits for the work and the work must pass inspection or be corrected. Otherwise, the site will have to be returned to its original condition.
Remember: Construction codes were created for safety reasons. Work built without a permit can be unsafe, no matter how good it looks to the untrained eye.
Generally permits expire 180 days if no inspections have been made. For a project to be complete it must pass final inspection. If a permit expires before final inspection the project is in violation of Township regulations. If this happens we will help you reactivate the permit or apply for a new permit with as little inconvenience as possible. Our interest is in seeing your project complete- including the final inspection.
You can do the work yourself but you must follow certain regulations. It is important that you build according to the approved plans. If the plans are revised during construction, it will cause problems when the project is inspected. Please obtain the written approval of the Construction Inspection Staff before making the changes.
A New Jersey Licensed Architect is recommended for the preparation of plans for major projects. Major projects may need to include floor plans drawn to scale, sections, elevations and details. Structural elements such a girders and columns are required to be drawn by a New Jersey Licensed Architect. Minor projects such as decks and small additions can be drawn by a homeowner.
The Construction Inspection Office has standard specifications that can be followed within certain limitations for routine projects such as decks and retaining walls. These specs along with a plot plan/survey depicting your project are accepted as the required plans.
There are some projects which require a New Jersey Licensed Engineer to prepare plans. Examples are an in-ground pool, grading plans and retaining walls no more than four feet in height.
Inspections are made during certain points in the project depending on the type of work begin performed. For example an addition will require inspections prior to the installation of footings or foundations, as well as inspections of the addition's framing, electrical, plumbing and fire fixtures.
Remember: The project is not complete for legal purposes until it has passed the final inspection.